Hamels pleased with minor league start

Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Cole Hamels continues to be optimistic as he took another new step toward his rehab from biceps tendinitis and a fatigued arm.

Hamels threw 30 pitches over two shutout innings in his first game of the spring against the High-A Pittsburgh Pirates.

The rules were relaxed and Hamels got four outs in the first inning and five in the second.

“I felt great,” said Hamels, who threw 20 strikes, allowed two singles, struck out one and walked none.

Hamels says he will now be pitching every five days and expects to make five more rehab starts, all in Florida.

“I think from what happened March 1 to where I am now, I'm really pleased and really confident in what I'm able to do now is to truly get spring training in,” Hamels said.

If all goes well, he could be pitching for the Phillies by the final week of April.