Cole Hamels left practice early yesterday, thanks to a personal issue that he is attending to. While this may raise some eyebrows on the foreheads of conspiracy theorists -- he left camp on the same day pitching coach Rich Dubee said his ace was behind the other pitchers at this stage of the game -- Dubee told reporters yesterday there is no cause for concern about Hamels health.
It will be interesting to monitor Hamels this spring and early in the regular season after a regular season in which he threw a career-high 227 1/3 innings, followed by 35 innings in the postseason. Last year was the first season of his career in which he did not spend time on the disabled list.
The Grapefruit League opener is Wednesday against the Pirates. Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton are scheduled to pitch in the game.