"This is kind of a second breath of fresh air to get away from it for a couple of extra days," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "He can release his mind a little bit. Kick back a little bit longer before he has to go out there."
Hamels leads the majors with 11 losses. His ERA is 4.58, which would represent a career worst. He has a 5.21 mark during his last three outings. The Phillies are 3-14 when Hamels pitches.
The pitcher is healthy, the team insists. He threw a bullpen session Saturday. Dubee said it was an elongated session and Hamels may not throw again until he takes the mound at PNC Park on Thursday.
"Totally healthy," manager Charlie Manuel said. "There is definitely nothing wrong with him. He's fine. As a matter of fact, he's very fine."
The idea for this extra rest was Dubee's, the manager said. The pitching coach viewed it as a mental issue. He broached the subject with Hamels, comparing it the sort of break a hitter mired in a slump would receive.
"I don't know that he was receptive," Dubee said. "He accepts it. We didn't have a big knock-down, drag-out fight about it."
Hamels will still start three times before the all-star break, just as he would have had he stayed on schedule. Dubee noted the all-star break did wonders for Cliff Lee's mental state during a similar 2012 slog. Hamels will have the chance for two breaks in the span of two weeks.
"See if we can't get him back to feeling good about himself," Manuel said.
Major League Baseball will unveil the All-Star Game rosters on Saturday night. The Phillies will not have any players voted into the game by fans, but stand to have a few representatives. Domonic Brown is all but guaranteed a reserve spot.
"His numbers indicate that," Manuel said. "He's definitely worthy of it. The numbers definitely prove that."
Lee entered his start with the eighth-best ERA in the National League. He should earn a bid. Manuel said Jonathan Papelbon deserves consideration, too.
"You're not going through the whole season without running into two or three times when you don't save games," Manuel said. "That doesn't happen very often."
Carlos Zambrano was placed on the disabled list at triple-A Lehigh Valley with right-shoulder stiffness. The pitcher can ask for his release Monday, but it appears he will attempt to rehab his injury while still in the organization. He will be examined later in the week. . . . The Phillies have played 44 road games, the most in the National League. . . . The 16-1 Phillies win Friday marked the Dodgers' worst margin of defeat since July 3, 1947, when the franchise was still in Brooklyn and lost to the New York Giants, 19-2, at Ebbets Field. Jackie Robinson was a rookie.
Contact Matt Gelb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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