Hamels: 'My strength is there'

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

Cole Hamels will not be ready on Opening Day. But he announced that from the get-go, on Feb. 12, a day before pitchers and catchers held their first workout of spring training.

Cole Hamels could be ready at some point in April, depending on how he progresses in the coming weeks. Hamels was "thoroughly impressed" with the last week, following an 11-day layoff due to fatigue.

Hamels threw about 30 pitches in a bullpen session Sunday morning; it was the second time he threw off the mound in the last five days.

"I was really thoroughly impressed with the way I’ve been feeling all week," Hamels said. "The past couple days with recovering and still being able to maintain the exercises and the strength program without any hiccups or even having to take it back a notch. I’ve really been able to bounce back really well."

Hamels entered camp behind schedule after battling biceps tendinitis in November. He wasn't able to go through his normal offseason throwing program.

After rebooting that program last month, Hamels suffered a setback, complaining of fatigue following a bullpen session on March 1. He wasn't strong enough to face hitters later that week.

But, 10 days later, Hamels progression is back on track. He expects to throw another bullpen session on Wednesday, followed by a live batting practice session. 

"My strength is now there," Hamels said.

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