Jim Salisbury reported today that Cole Hamels experienced shoulder soreness near the end of the 2012 season, and then "encountered an issue" related to that soreness early in his offseason throwing program.
The title of the article says that Hamels is "OK". Amaro insists that it's not a problem at all and the he should be ready for the first day of Spring Training. Well, I'm convinced!
It doesn't really matter if Amaro says he's OK. Or if Scott Sheridan, the Phillies head athletic trainer, says he's OK. Or if the Pope, or the President, or the ghosts of Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson say he's ok. When there's news about the team's young, talented, marquee pitcher feeling soreness in his throwing shoulder, I'm going to get worried. Especially considering Amaro's record concerning offseason injuries to his pitchers.
Of course, Amaro could turn out to be right and Hamels' shoulder soreness won't be an issue going forward. But that's the problem with offseason injuries. There's nothing to do but sit and wait until Spring Training starts while you imagine the absolute worst outcome possible, huddled under a blanket on your bed with a bottle of Jack, your computer, and your 2008 postseason DVD set.
Salisbury's piece also gave Amaro updates on a few other players. Roy Halladay, who typically starts getting ready for the next season before the calendar year is up, is expected to be ready for Spring Training when it begins. (As opposed to ready for Spring Training by January 1.) To help the strain on his shoulder he's made some mechanical changes, and he'll be throwing off a mound later this month. Of course, Amaro cited Rich Dubee's eyewitness report on Halladay's progress, so take that with a grain of salt the size of a space heater.
Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are both expected to be ready for Spring Training. Utley is supposed to be examined by Scott Sheridan next week, and my fingers are crossed for a positive report. If he is indeed at 100%, this would be the first time since 2010 that Utley would be healthy and ready to start Spring Training. A healthy starting lineup would be a great way to start the year.
Baseball is almost here, folks. Stay strong.