Hamels Gets Ready To Travel

Cole Hamels started the season in Clearwater only as a way to avoid pitching in colder weather. Now, as spring flowers are blooming in abundance up north, the left-hander should be packing his bags.

After his first two starts at Clearwater, Cole Hamels had a completely unblemished record. He had thrown 11 shutout innings and had 16 strikeouts, with just two walks. His third start was sub-par as Sarasota scored three earned runs off Hamels and he lasted just 4 2/3 innings. Saturday night, Hamels took to the mound for his next start and what should be his last with Clearwater.

While he certainly wasn't dominating, he could have gotten off much better if not for some weak fielding. Granted, Hamels walked the first three hitters in the fifth inning, but then came back to strike out the next two. He seemed to have finished off working out of the jam when he got Tampa's Ben Jones to ground a ball to second baseman Peeter Ramos; That's where it all fell apart.

Ramos booted the ball and two runs scored. Hamels was then lifted and Joe Bisenius gave up an RBI single before striking out Matt Carson to end the inning.

In all, Hamels again lasted just 4 2/3 innings and allowed four runs, but only one of them was earned. His five walks were uncharacteristic of him, but he may have been looking ahead a little.

The Phillies have told Hamels that he would be leaving for either Reading or Scranton after his Saturday start. Where he'll wind up isn't known for sure, but Hamels seemed to indicate that he wouldn't mind a stop in Reading. Reportedly, the Phillies had pushed off the promotion because of Hamels shaky start against Sarasota in his third outing of the season and there is no immediate indication whether they will do that again after Hamels 4 2/3 innings Saturday night.

On the season, Hamels is 1-1, 1.77 and has pitched 20 1/3 innings, giving up 16 hits and 9 walks while striking out 29. His most recent start shouldn't have an impact on his promotion since he would have been out of the jam had Ramos made a routine play and also because Hamels is simply ready to pitch at a higher level.

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