Arbuckle Likes What He Sees In Hamels' Return

Cole Hamels still has some work to do before he can rejoin the regular Phillies minor league players. For now, he's in extended camp, but looked good in an outing against Devil Rays prospects on Monday. The best news was that he felt good, too.

With Phillies assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle and Scouting Director Steve Nowaryta on hand to watch, Cole Hamels threw in his first game this spring. Hamels was on a 40 pitch count and finished his day with 38 pitches.

When Hamels took the mound in the bottom of the first, he already had a two-run cushion. Facing Rocco Baldelli, who is on a rehab assignment, Hamels gave up a leadoff single on an 0-1 count. The hit came on a 92 mph fastball.

At first, Hamels wasn't even aware that he was facing a major leaguer.

"Not until I saw the back of his jersey. I would have pitched him differently instead of piking some fast balls up there. I have faced him before (and stuck him out). When he turned on my pitch I knew he was not one of the regular extended guys," explained Hamels.

Hamels faced minor leaguers the rest of the inning and had little trouble putting them away - two of them on strikeouts - and finished the inning with 17 pitches.

In the second inning, Hamels stuck out the side with a one-out walk thrown in-between the strikeouts. It took him 21 pitches, bringing his pitch count to 38 and ending his outing.

Mike Arbuckle was in Florida Monday to watch the spring debut of Cole Hamels in extended camp.
"I feel awesome. Feel great," said Hamels after the outing.

Of his 38 pitches, 32 were fastballs, five were curves and there was just one change-up. "working on the curve ball and really did not need the change today. I know it is there," said Hamels.

Hamels was consistently just above the 90 mile per hour mark with his fastballs and off-speed pitches were coming in about 10 miles per hour slower.

Mike Arbuckle saw what he had hoped to see out of Hamles, terming the outing "Good, good. Very good for his first outing."

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