Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Philadelphia Phillies team doctor to examine pitcher Cole Hamels' elbow

The Philadelphia Phillies say they are just being cautious with their ace pitcher.

Regardless, the news out of Clearwater, Fla., that Cole Hamels is flying back to Philadelphia today to have his left elbow examined by team doctor Michael Ciccotti on Tuesday, has raised concern among the faithful.

"We do not think it is serious, at least at this time," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told MLB.com. "We thought it was important for Dr. Ciccotti to check him out and see if there is anything more serious than what we think."

Hamels threw four innings in a minor league scrimmage Sunday at the Carpenter Complex. The Phillies say Hamels is still on target to Opening Day against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park.

Amaro said Hamels doesn't feel pain when he pitches, but that the elbow tightens up between innings.

The Phillies signed Hamels to a three-year, $20.5 million contract extension in January.

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