Hamels Sharp But Not There Quite Yet

Phillies ace says he still has work to do at spring training

Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels appears ready to start the season but that doesn’t mean he thinks he’s quite there yet.

The left-hander scattered a run and four hits while striking out four over five innings against the Astros Tuesday in the Phillies 6-5 10-inning loss.

Hamels, making his third spring start, was satisfied with his changeup, which he used in every inning.

“I'm still trying to get all the rest of the pitches in, but it's nice getting into a situation where I can throw the changeup just reading the swings off the hitters,” he said. “I'll work on throwing it to different areas and getting more of the action that I know I have. It's coming.”

It might be coming along, according to Hamels but after posting a 1.69 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP through 10.2 innings so far this spring, Hamels looks ready.

But, he says his fastball still needs a little work. Carlos Lee hit one for a double in the fourth inning, leading to the only run off Hamels.

“Once I'm really in a good rhythm, I'm able to throw it three, four, five times in a row,” said Hamels. “But right now I'm getting a really good pitch and then I'm leaking the second one a little bit and it fades over the plate into the barrel.”

Luckily Hamels, who is still set to be a free agent at season’s end, still has some time to perfect everything. He will make one more start before pitching as though it were the regular season, Hamels said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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