Spring Training Notebook

Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher Cole Hamels Returning to Camp After No Damage Found in Sore Elbow

Philadelphia ace Cole Hamels could be throwing again by tomorrow, though his status for the April 5 season opener against Atlanta is uncertain.
Philadelphia ace Cole Hamels could be throwing again by tomorrow, though his status for the April 5 season opener against Atlanta is uncertain. (By Gene J. Puskar -- Associated Press)
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Associated Press
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels will return to camp after a team physician found no damage in his sore left elbow.

General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. says Michael Ciccotti reported no structural damage to the joint after looking at the left-hander's pitching elbow yesterday in Philadelphia.

Last season's World Series MVP received an injection to relieve inflammation and should be cleared to throw by tomorrow.

Hamels's status for the April 5 opener against Atlanta is unclear. The team will continue to monitor his recovery when he returns to camp.

Hamels went 14-10 last season with a 3.09 ERA. He was 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in the postseason.

-- ASTROS: Houston players are raving about the pending addition of catcher Iván Rodriguez.

"He's a veteran guy that knows how to play the game," Carlos Lee said. "He's one of the greatest catchers to ever play the game."

Houston is closing in on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the 13-time Gold Glove winner, a deal that likely won't be completed until he's finished playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

The Astros needed a veteran catcher to replace Brad Ausmus, who became a free agent and signed with the Dodgers. Last year, the Astros used Ausmus, Humberto Quintero and J.R. Towles behind the plate.

Rodriguez spent 12 seasons with the Rangers before going to Florida, where he won a World Series in 2003. While the Astros need the defensive skills of Rodriguez, they certainly aren't overlooking what he can add on offense. He hit .276 with seven homers and 35 RBI in 115 games last season with Detroit and the Yankees, who acquired him in July.


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