Cole Hamels could be ready to pitch for the Phillies as they wrap up a three-city west-coast trip in two weeks. Maybe. Hamels, working his way back to the rotation with an extended spring training of sorts, is scheduled to pitch for the Single-A Clearwater Threshers on Friday in Lakeland, Fla. and could need just one more start for Clearwater after that. If everything goes as Hamels expects, that would be all he needs. “I’ve been going up 15 pitches per game and I’m up to four innings so the next one will be five or six innings,” Hamels said. “It could be two more, I believe so. We’ll talk about it and discuss it. But everything is going well between starts. There is nothing in the back of my mind and nothing lingering. I’m letting it go good.”
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Generally, six spring outings are preferred for starting pitchers as they build up into game shape. However, Hamels threw 50 pitches in a game on Monday in Clearwater plus another 15 in the bullpen afterwords. With two more starts, Hamels says he will throw approximately 90 pitches. That should do it, he says. “If I can get to 90 pitches, I’m game-ready,” Hamels said. Meanwhile, three outings into his extended spring training, Hamels says he’s throwing all his pitches.