Cole Hamels' scheduled throwing session Thursday was canceled because of arm fatigue. Hamels was scheduled to throw batting practice, but instead needs to "step back and start over," according to CSNPhilly.com.
Hamels wasn't going to be ready for Opening Day, but now it looks doubtful that he'll pitch in April.
"April is the last thing I want to think about right now," Hamels told reporters. "I would say, right now, we’re just taking it day by day. Ultimately I just want to get back out and get on the mound and see how I’m going to fare there."
If Hamels is out for an extended period of time -- and right now, it's hard to see any way he returns quickly -- the signing of A.J. Burnett morphs from an added bonus for the Phillies to a 1-for-1 swap at the top of the rotation.
Hamels has said he's lost weight and strength and that his arm is tired, not in pain.
“I felt good when I threw my last bullpen [Saturday], everything was great,” Hamels said. “But later that day and the next day, my arm felt fatigued. After 35 pitches, my body felt like I had thrown 1,000.
“I’ve been pushing everything I can to get ready and get back, and I pushed a little too hard. I wasn’t able to recover the way I have to.”
Hamels added that neither an MRI nor a cortisone shot has been deemed necessary.
The Phillies won't need a fifth starter until mid-April, but this now means that they likely must turn to either Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, David Buchanan, Sean O'Sullivan or Jeff Manship for some late-April starts. That is, unless Jonathan Pettibone or Ethan Martin are recovered from their own arm issues in time.
Hamels joins Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Roy Halladay and Brad Lidge as Phillies in the last few years who've suffered spring training setbacks.