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Rainout gives Phils' Hamels more healing

Rainout gives Phils' Hamels more healing
Unless he trips boarding a chartered flight or is beset by some other stroke of hard luck, Cole Hamels will likely make his next start Friday, when the Phillies return from a four-game trip to play Atlanta.

The rain that postponed yesterday's game against the New York Mets bought more time for Hamels to mend his left ankle, which he sprained Tuesday while fielding a grounder.

Even though the lefthander threw off the mound with no pain in a practice session Saturday, it was questionable whether the Phils' ace would be mobile enough to take the mound tomorrow in St. Louis. But because of the postponement, the Phils decided to push the starters back a day and hold off on Hamels.

"This gives us the opportunity to push him back an extra two days," pitching coach Rich Dubee said yesterday. "He's doing a little mobility exercises in the training room. We'll move him around a little bit [today] and see where he's at. It's an extra 48 hours."

Hamels' ankle has healed enough that he can pitch, Dubee said, but fielding and running the bases could be a problem if he's not given enough time.

He "threw great" Saturday, Dubee said. "There really weren't any effects of throwing off the mound and rotating off his back ankle or anything. That was fine. It's just his mobility. We've got to get him on his legs."

Dubee also said Chan Ho Park, the fifth starter, will pitch Wednesday, when the Phillies play the Mets in the first of a two-game set at Citi Field. After Park allowed seven runs and did not make it through the fifth inning of Friday's 7-4 loss to the Mets, manager Charlie Manuel said he was not certain whether the 35-year-old righthander would remain in the rotation.

"He's getting the ball," Dubee said. "We're confident."

Dubee said location and lack of aggressiveness had hindered Park, who won the starting job over J.A. Happ during spring training.

"I don't think he's been as aggressive in the strike zone, and he's getting into a lot of good hitter's counts," Dubee said. "The other day he threw a lot of balls in the middle of the plate when he was going for the inside part."

After Park's poor outing, Manuel also said he and Dubee might reevaluate the rotation, but Dubee said they had yet to have that conversation. The starters have a combined earned run average of 6.71 and are 4-8, with Jamie Moyer accounting for three of those wins. Only Park and Brett Myers have made it through the seventh inning.

"When Charlie wants to talk, we'll talk," Dubee said. "If Charlie wants to talk about [Park] after next time, we'll talk after next time."

If Park lost his spot in the rotation, Happ, a 26-year-old lefthander, would likely take it.

"He's done some things we've asked that have been pretty tough," Dubee said of Happ. "He's gotten enough work to stay sharp, and he's been fine."

Extra bases. Yesterday's postponement was the third this season for the Phils. The game has yet to be rescheduled. The Mets next visit July 3-5. They will return Sept. 11-13, with both clubs having a scheduled off day Sept. 14. . . . Joe Blanton, who has struggled as much as Park, will start tonight against the Cardinals, who are hitting .280, third in the NL. Blanton had been scheduled to start yesterday.

Chat online with Phillies beat writer Andy Martino today at 11 a.m. at

Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 4, 2009

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