Hamels's Elbow Exam Reveals No Damage

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.

-- METS: Rather than have Johan Santana ride a bus two hours to pitch against division rival Atlanta, the Mets had their ace pitch against New York minor leaguers for four innings in Port St. Lucie, Fla., in his second outing since knee surgery.

Santana allowed two runs and six hits in four innings, striking out five and walking none. He gave up three doubles and threw 40 of 56 pitches for strikes.

"I felt pretty good, because I was able to throw a lot of strikes," Santana said.

-- RED SOX: Shortstop Julio Lugo underwent arthroscopic surgery in Boston on his right knee.

The team's medical director, Thomas Gill, performed the procedure to repair torn meniscus cartilage. Lugo is expected to be out for three to four weeks.

-- CLEMENS CASE: Lawyers for Roger Clemens asked a federal judge to reconsider his decision dismissing most of a defamation suit the pitcher filed against his former personal trainer over allegations of performance-enhancing drug use.

U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison dropped most of Clemens's lawsuit against Brian McNamee on Feb. 12, saying statements McNamee made to baseball investigator George Mitchell were protected.

McNamee told federal agents, Mitchell and a House of Representatives committee that he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with steroids and human growth hormone from 1998 to 2001.

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