Hamels says he won't be ready for Opening Day

Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Cole Hamels said he won’t be ready for Opening Day.

Hamels, who made his first career Opening Day start in 2013, said he felt discomfort in his shoulder and biceps during his throwing program this winter. He believes he’s “8-to-10 days” behind the rest of pitchers in camp, who will throw bullpen sessions as camp officially gets underway tomorrow.

Hamels said he does plan on pitching in April, even if he’s not ready by Opening Day.

“It’s not like there is any pain or discomfort (now),” Hamels said. “It’s just the building up the muscles (process). Like they say, you can’t run a marathon right off the bat.”

Hamels, 30, signed a 6-year, $144 million contract in July of 2012. It’s the largest contract in Phillies history.

“The only solution is rest,” Hamels said. “I gave it the adequate rest and I feel great now.”

Hamels said the pain originated when he began getting his arm back in gear after a brief offseason break.

“I was actually feeling really great in October, ready for the postseason,” Hamels said with a laugh.

But when he got his arm back in gear in mid-to-late November, Hamels said he felt a “kink in the system.”

“It was cranking back up on top of the weight lifting I was doing,” Hamels said. “I think it was just getting into the exercises too fast, too soon.”

Hamels played catch in Clearwater today, when pitchers and catchers were required to report to camp. He said catching up to the rest of pitchers is just a matter of building up his strength and endurance through throwing.

Hamels hopes to throw his first bullpen session within the next two weeks.

But can he catch up in time to jump in the rotation the first week of the season? It’s possible, Hamels said.

“Normally we throw 5 or 6 games down here,” Hamels said. “By the fourth, leading into the fifth, I’m ready (for the regular season. “If I can get to a fourth game, I’m game-ready, I’m good to go.”

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