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Shoulder strain lands Phillies' Hamels on 15-day DL

PHILADELPHIA -- Add Cole Hamels to the growing list of
injured Philadelphia Phillies.

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.

Freddy Garcia, acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the
offseason, was 1-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 11 starts before he went down
with a shoulder injury that could keep him out the rest of the
year.

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.

Former closer Tom Gordon missed two months with a shoulder
injury, and Ryan Madson, perhaps the team's most consistent
reliever, is sidelined with a strained shoulder.

Other significant players to spend time on the DL this season
include reigning NL MVP Ryan Howard and outfielder Michael Bourn,
who could miss another two to three weeks with an ankle injury.

Of the 25 players on the Opening Day roster, only nine haven't
gone on the DL.