Phillies Notebook: Workout pushed back for Hamels, Gonzalez

Posted: February 27, 2014

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Two pitchers once projected to be in the top three spots of the Phillies' rotation had their schedules bumped back yesterday.

Cole Hamels, who entered camp behind schedule after battling biceps soreness in November, had his bullpen day moved from yesterday to today.

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, originally on tap to make his Phils debut tomorrow in Dunedin, was pushed back to Saturday after missing camp Monday with an illness. The rookie was back in camp yesterday.

Gonzalez, 27, whose work has been limited in the last 2 years after a failed defection from Cuba, has looked rusty in side throwing sessions this spring. He signed a 3-year, $12 million contract to join the Phillies rotation in August.

Gonzalez will start against the New York Yankees on Saturday in Tampa. He'll start opposite one of the Yankees' big-name pitchers: CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and rookie Masahiro Tanaka are all scheduled to pitch for New York.

The game will also be Tanaka's debut with his new team.

As for Hamels, bumping back his first time off the mound this spring apparently was nothing more than giving the 30-year-old lefthander an extra day. Hamels shrugged it off as nothing too important.

"I think I was the last to know," Hamels said jokingly. "They told me and I was like, 'Sure, I'm on board.' "

Besides centerfield depth, the most glaring hole on the Phillies' roster entering the offseason was the lack of starting pitching. The additions of A.J. Burnett and Roberto Hernandez should help the rotation.

But adding arms via minor league contracts also pays off. It's too early to tell who will stick and who won't, but Shawn Camp made a nice first impression in yesterday's intrasquad game at Bright House Field.

Camp started for one of the teams and threw a scoreless inning, getting three ground balls and a weak foulout against the four batters he faced: Tony Gwynn Jr., Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Darin Ruf.

"He looked like he can pitch a little bit, could take a little off, was down in the zone, the ball was going both ways," manager Ryne Sandberg said.

No pitcher in baseball made more appearances than Camp in 2012, when he pitched in 80 games for the Chicago Cubs. But he struggled in 2013 (a 7.04 ERA in 26 games) and faced an uncertain future this offseason, when he turned 38.

"Based on today," Sandberg said, "I liked what I saw."

Roberto Hernandez will make his Phillies debut when he starts the Grapefruit League opener against Toronto today at 1:05 p.m. The 33-year-old Hernandez signed a 1-year, $4.5 million contract in December and is the heavy favorite for the fifth starter job. He will be opposed by Blue Jays lefthander and former Phillie J.A.Happ. Former Phillies top prospect Kyle Drabek is also scheduled to pitch for Toronto . . . Ryan Howard (2-for-2, 2 RBI) and Cesar Hernandez each homered during the intrasquad game in Clearwater. Howard's team won, 7-2 . . . Freddy Galvis had two doubles in the intrasquad game: One reached the warning track, where Clete Thomas couldn't corral it, and the other just missing leaving the playing field, hitting the fence in right-center. "Just trying to keep it simple, being a line-drive hitter and utilizing the whole field," Sandberg said of Galvis. "When he pops the ball and the pop comes, to me, he's thinking that way first and he's just reacting. His body is in good position to hit the ball" . . . When the Phillies open the season at Texas on March 31, they will face star Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, the 2013 AL Cy Young runner-up. The Phillies have not announced an Opening Day starter.


On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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