Good news for Phillies fans, as Cole Hamels appears to be slightly ahead of schedule in his rehab from biceps tendonitis.
According to CSNPhilly.com, the three-time All-Star will likely pitch in as many as four more games for Class A Lakewood and could make his return to the Phillies by the end of April.
Just one month ago, at the beginning of March, Hamels had directed his trainers to scale back his rehab after saying his arm was "fatigued out," and his prospects of playing in April were in doubt. Hamels had thrown 35 pitches in the first weekend of March and had then hoped to join Grapefruit League action, but he described that session as feeling "like a thousand [pitches].” He admitted that the tendonitis wasn't the real problem but rather the speed at which he was rehabbing the chronic issue, telling reporters that he "pushed it a little too hard too quickly."
Things seem to have improved for the 30-year-old, and he is able to pitch now without strain; he threw 44 pitches and got 10 outs against 12 hitters during a minor league game on Tuesday in Florida.
Hamels, who went 8-14 last season, is owed $22.5 million per season through 2018. He recorded a 3.60 ERA last year and has thrown at least 200 innings for four straight seasons and at least 180 innings for seven consecutive seasons.SI WIRE: Report: Rays, starter Chris Archer agree to 6-year extension