There has been something missing from this young Phillies season. There's been some good pitching and some nice offense, but there's been no Cole Hamels.
Tonight, that all changes.
After spending several months recovering from biceps tendonitis, homegrown ace Cole Hamels has been activated from the disabled list. Let us all rejoice and be glad, for now the season is really and truly underway. I have missed watching him pitch every fifth day, as I assume everyone on Earth has as well. Of course, to add Hamels to the roster, someone had to be removed. That someone was BJ Rosenberg, who was optioned to AAA Lehigh Valley this afternoon. Rosenberg pitched 6 1/3 innings over eight games for the Phillies, amassing a 7.11 ERA in the process. He also allowed three home runs and struck out four. So, uh, best of luck, BJ. I'd be sadder for you but COLE HAMELS!
Hamels will make his first start of the season tonight in Los Angeles, which presents an interesting situation. Hamels has great numbers in Los Angeles, but his first start of the season is usually terrible.
Hamels is 3-0 w/ 2.22 ERA in 4 starts @ LA, including 2 postseason. But is 1-4 with 9.55 ERA in first start of season over past 5 years.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) April 23, 2014
So we have no idea what's going to happen tonight. At least I'm prepared for... well... everything, I guess. Or nothing. I don't know. I'm confused and excited because Cole Hamels is back tonight. Cole Hamels!
Earlier today, Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki tweeted this fascinating nugget of information:
Hamels makes 2014 debut tonight in LA, just 6th day since 2011 Phillies haven't had everyday player or starter on DL. http://t.co/QjB4Tl1VAj— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) April 23, 2014
That's insane. That's just six 100% healthy games, including tonight, over the past two plus years. It'll be nice to see what a healthy Phillies team can do. Well, nice may not be the most accurate word. Educational, it'll be educational. And you know what? I'm holding out hope for nice, too.
No matter what, Cole Hamels is back, which is thoroughly marvelous. Cole, I don't know if you read this blog, but if you do, I have one humble request: please grow back that magnificent mustache you had last year.