Shoulder strain lands Phillies' Hamels on 15-day DL
The All-Star left-hander was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained elbow, a major blow for a team in the hunt for an NL East title and the wild card.
Hamels (14-5, 3.50 ERA) received some good news when an MRI revealed no structural or ligament damage in his elbow. He's expected to miss at least two starts and is eligible to return on Sept. 1.
"Some people can pitch through it. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't anything serious so knowing that, I can pitch through it," Hamels said. "I know this isn't going to be anything serious."
The 23-year-old Hamels has thrown 167 1/3 innings this season, the most he's pitched in one year during his professional career. J.D. Durbin (5-2, 5.36) moved up to take Hamels' start against Los Angeles. Fabio Castro was recalled to pitch Thursday afternoon.
A first-round pick in 2002, Hamels went 9-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 23 starts as a rookie last season. He missed two weeks with a strained shoulder and was outstanding down the stretch, going 6-3 with a 2.60 ERA in his last 11 starts.
"It's something that, when it is serious and you're trying to pitch through it, that's when you can cause some more injuries," he said. "You can lose the good side of trying to go out there for the team."
Manager Charlie Manuel was relieved his ace isn't going to need surgery.
"I don't want him to miss any [starts], but I think this is what's best for him and us," Manuel said. "Luckily, we didn't lose him for the rest of the season."
While Hamels became the 19th Phillies player to go on the disabled list this season, right fielder Shane Victorino was back in the starting lineup after missing three weeks with a calf injury. And, All-Star second baseman Chase Utley (hand) took batting practice and could return next week.
The Phillies went to spring training with six quality starting pitchers. Only 44-year-old Jamie Moyer hasn't spent time on the DL and remains in the rotation. Brett Myers, the Opening Day starter, was moved to the bullpen in April, missed two months with a shoulder injury and now is the closer.
Jon Lieber was 3-6 in 12 starts before a foot injury ended his season in June. Adam Eaton, who signed a $24.5 million, three-year contract in the offseason, is out with a shoulder problem. When healthy, Eaton wasn't effective. He's 9-8 with a 6.36 ERA.
Of the 25 players on the Opening Day roster, only nine haven't gone on the DL.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press