Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hamels Ready After Off-season Work

There were plenty of eyes on Cole Hamels down in Clearwater, as spring training got under way with the first official team work out for pitchers and catchers on Thursday. Hamels spoke to the media after the workout session. A key bit of information that Hamels passed along was that he never stopped throwing over the off-season. He reverted to a routine he implemented during off-seasons prior to reaching the majors- 50 throws per day. Busy with the media and banquet hooplah last winter, after being the NLCS and World Series Most Valuable Player, Hamels did not make time to keep his arm in shape, leading into a disappointing 2009 season.

Hamels also spoke of how he sought advice from Cliff Lee, Steve Carlton and John Wetteland about each pitcher's cutter pitch. Hamels incorporated a cutter/slider into his repertoire late last year after having issues locating his curveball. With Cole's arm in good shape now, he should be able to spend plenty of time working out kinks in his curve this spring. His ability to use the curve effectively will likely be defining with what becomes of his cutter/slider hybrid.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee also answered questions regarding Hamels. The impact statements from Dubee seemed to be related to Hamels' attitude and how it effected his performance. Dubee attributed Hamels' frustration level with some tough 2009 performances. Dubee spoke of wishing for Hamels to watch video footage from his own outings last season, when he displayed some displeasure, and what type of trouble he ran into following the loss of composure. Dubee feels that Hamels could learn a lot from that.

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