The Phillies beat writers announced earlier this afternoon that Cole Hamels will not take his regular turn in the rotation tomorrow evening.
Due to a mild right hamstring strain, Cole Hamels will not make his scheduled start tomorrow. RHP Phillippe Aumont will start in his place.— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) June 18, 2015
The Phillies are describing the strain as mild and I would tend to believe that. It behooves the team to exercise caution with Hamels's health as he has the potential to net the Phillies a more-than-solid return in a trade.
If you're into fun theories regarding this announcement, Trev223 offered an entertainingly optimistic one in the TGP email thread, which, it should be noted, has not yet been hacked into by the St. Louis Cardinals. His theory was that this "mild hamstring strain" business is nothing more than a smokescreen scratch as the Phillies work out the details of an impending trade. Given the relative dearth of Hamels trade rumors of late, I find this unlikely. On the other hand, it never hurts to dream and this is certainly an interesting possibility, no matter how unlikely it may be.
Phillippe Aumont has been called up to make the start in Hamels's stead tomorrow night. The former starter/former reliever/current starter has started 10 games in AAA this season. As a starter, he has a 2.55 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 33 walks over 53 innings pitched. That walk rate, while still very high by normal standards, is actually a bit of an improvement for Aumont.
As Matt Winkelman noted, Aumont is out of options, so he's likely to remain with the club for more than just this one start, a fact which perhaps lends credence to Trev's theory of a subsequent Hamels trade, or is merely an indication that Jerome Williams will miss a couple of starts after leaving Tuesday's game with a hamstring injury of his own. Regardless, the Aumont-as-starter experiment will certainly be entertaining independent of its success or failure.
In other news, Jake Diekman has been recalled from AAA and Dustin McGowan has been designated for assignment. In 7 innings since his demotion, Diekman has not given up a run while striking out seven and walking only one. Here's hoping the lack of walks reflects a change in ability rather than a small-sample fluke.