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MLB Philadelphia Phillies

Cole Hamels Fine Despite Off-Season Shoulder Issues

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Just when you thought that the Philadelphia Phillies could be a surprise team in the National League East this season, injury rumors begin surfacing about a key part of the rotation. According to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia, left-hander Cole Hamels experienced shoulder soreness in his off-season throwing program.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told CSNPhilly.com that there is “nothing to be concerned about” regarding the Hamels news. But when a star quality pitcher experiences some discomfort in any area, there is always a cause for concern.

Amaro told the media that Hamels experienced this discomfort when he “got aggressive” with his throwing program. He also noted that the south paw immediately contacted head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan.

Hamels was indeed shut down for a couple of weeks to see if the discomfort went away. Amaro also did not disclose whether Hamels received treatment other than his couple weeks of rest. It is likely that the 29-year-old left-hander did not receive treatment because discomfort is common in throwing many off-season throwing programs.

Hamels finished 2012 with a 17-6 record while recording a 3.06 ERA in 215.1 innings. He was rewarded with a six-year, $144 million contract in July, which was the highest in Philadelphia sports history.

If the Phillies want to return to the post season, it is important that all of their key core players are healthy and do not experience any lingering problems throughout the season. If Hamels is healthy, along with his fellow teammates in the rotation, the Phillies could be the surprise team in the National League in 2013.

David A. Cattai is a featured journalist with Rant Sports & Buzz On Broad.

Follow me on Twitter (@DCattaiSports), Facebook, and Google+ for sports updates.