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Hamels Has Setback Citing Shoulder Fatigue

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, March 06, 2014 08:42 AM | Comments: 61
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

PHOTO: AP

PHOTO: AP

Here we go again. Cole Hamels, who was behind schedule due to biceps/shoulder tendinitis, is now shut down for a week.

That’s pretty devastating news as the Phillies co-Ace will now be missing for the first month of the season, a month in which the Phillies can ill afford to fall too far behind the front-running Nationals and Braves. Instead of having Hamels for five starts, give or take, the Phillies will now have to rely on someone who was unlikely to make the rotation out of spring.

 

 

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1683 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 SEEK

    Not good.

     
  • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

    Big surprise, seen that coming a mile away

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    This is the beginning of the end of the Phillies season. They needed everything to go perfect to compete. We know how honest the Phillies are in disclosing injuries. The next news we get is that Hamels needs surgery and will miss the season. Lee, Burnett, and 3 bags of garbage to round out the rotation. How about our $4 million dollar Cuban import? Oh that’s right…he’ll be spending his time in AAA.

     
  • Posts: 0 Philsfan21

    Beginning to wonder about Hamels desire to pitch. Got the big contract, opps, got a hangnail. Guess I’m old school. Gone are the days of 20+ complete games a year, heck, gone are the days of 3 CG’s a year. What exactly did Hamels do in the “off season” to prepare for this upcoming year? Many other of the “elite” starters in MLB had the same amount of time off, what did they do different? Just my opinion.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      This can’t be serious.

       
      • Posts: 0 Eric Hines

        Oh I think the writer is serious. We readers aren’t to take it seriously, though ;-)

         
  • Posts: 0 denise

    What can you do. He started training in November and saw that there was a problem. Should have been addressed then.

     
    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      Bingo!

      Hamels has a history of arm fatigue and inflammation and the recurrence of soreness in November should have been an early warning of things to come. Instead of having an arthroscopic procedure in November and being healed by May we’ll be hearing about Hamel’s need for surgery just as the team breaks camp to come north.

      A day or two ago I wrote that he wouldn’t be pitching until June but privately feared he was out for the season. Now, I’m holding onto my June bet by the thinnest of threads.

       
      • Posts: 0 Jaron B

        Don’t know about “history of arm fatigue” w/ Cole, but I don’t think tendinitis required an MRI. I’d like to see Cole undergo one now though. Hopefully, he doesn’t need surgery, but we’ll have to see. #StillOptimistic

         
  • Posts: 0 Jaron B

    Hogey’s Role: How could you see that coming? He did great in his ‘pen session a few days ago. Didn’t seem like there’d be a problem.

    Chuck: Now that he’s shut down, I fear another s-word coming, too. Yeah, this hurts us if he misses 3 or more starts, which is now entirely possible. Good points.

    Philsfan21: Why so harsh? Philsfan21 & denise: He tried to do his normal off-season throwing program, but had the shoulder trouble. From what we know, all went well after he restarted his program (which was throwing from flat ground until this week’s ‘pen session) up until today’s news.

    My thoughts: this news isn’t good, obviously… but keep in mind that baseball is a grueling season that requires input from many players – at least 50 per season on average. Yes, Cole is a big piece, but there are a lot of factors that affect the game. Heck, Sandberg as manager is probably a bigger factor than an absent Cole Hamels: Ryne’s stressing of the fundamentals and probably giving regular rest for the older core will likely result in a better record than last year (79-82 wins vs. the 76 from last year). There’s still time: 3.5 weeks of spring training. Let’s see where everything stands in about three weeks before lowering expectations [further].

     
    • Posts: 0 Jebidiah Atkinson

      Sandberg as manager is definitely NOT a bigger factor than an absent Cole Hamels.

      BTW, they won 73 last season – not 76.

       
    • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

      Oh gee didn’t seem like there would be a problem huh, a little over three weeks ago it’s reported he has a shoulder issue, tendinitis they called, how could you not see this coming… He starts throwing, the pitching coach says everything is going good he’s not that far behind schedule, then uh oh he’s shut down now, big surprise that’s phillies luck, and anytime you have an issue with your shoulder you should have it checked over thoroughly before beginning throwing and if you’re a 24 million dollar a year pitcher an MRI wouldn’t be a bad thing to have done just to ensure you’re healthy enough to pitch…

       
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Can’t be shortsighted here… including this year, Hamels is owed $112.5 million (a Phillie until 2018, at least… another year and $24 million with vesting). It is a shame because it really does make this seem like a very hopeless season before it gets started but you absolutely can’t do anything stupid. Even with Cole, we need so many things to happen… if all of the other puzzle pieces seem to be falling into place in late April, then you see where Cole’s at. If not, there’s really no reason to rush him back on the field…

     
  • Posts: 0 SotehPR

    This is why the Burnett sign at almost any cost was necessary, and the replacement pitcher… Likely Buchannan or Gonzalez (baring a 1 month miracle) was supposed to be the 5th starter anyways if The Burnett deal never materialized!

     
  • Posts: 0 Jay

    The history of arm fatigue isn’t too far fetched- remember 2009 when there was a rather large consensus that Hamels was being basically a primadonna? And I agree this should have been taken care of in November when the problem arose- does anyone have any stats on how often the rest works vs surgery for pitchers?

     
    • Posts: 0 Jebidiah Atkinson

      What surgery is available for “arm fatigue”?

       
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      I am assuming you don’t think the “rather large consensus” was correct in 2009.

       
    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      The decision between rest vs surgery is always a case by case issue, determined by severity and also by expectations – and the latter point is just as critical a discison-maker. You and I are not throwing 93 mph fastballs for a living.

      I can only speculate that Hamels has been on a regimen of rest, anti-inflammatories, low stress rehab and possibly corticosteroid shots since November when he first complained of a recurrence of “soreness.” To imagine that a player worth tens of millions hasn’t been treated with the utmost care since that time is almost to insane to even contemplate. Additionally, MRIs are both non-evasive (negligible radiation) and the best method of looking at soft tissue problems – so again, I think it would be unheard of for team doctors not to have examined more than one MRI between November and today.

      So that takes us to what happens NOW. If Hamels is still in that much pain after what I SPECULATE has been over 4 months of rest, he, the team and us fans have a problem. Again, the word “expectations” is critical here and if the expectations of more rest and more non-surgical treatment don’t match up with the expectations on a major league pitcher’s arm, it’s going to be a very long and excruciating summer.

      All speculation, of course.

       
    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      Well at least you’re not ready to ship Moyer and Stairs to the Lakewood BlueClaws or Williamsport Crosscutters. That’s a blessing.

      I’ve voiced every one of your above criticisms and it’s not easy to play Devil’s advocate but I still believe there are a few points about Asche and Brown in terms of a trade with LA that can’t be dismissed. The first is LA’s thinness on the left side of their infield. As good a team as they are, they’re down to Dee Gordon a SS, a guy who’s fun to watch on the base paths but can’t get on the base paths. Banking on another surprise year at 3rd out of the 34-year-old Uribe is as big a risk as the Phils took with the Byrd signing. At the very least, the Dodgers need a replacement body as a backup at 3rd and they don’t currently have one – and any other infielder on the team with the arm for third may find themselves playing in Dee’s spot by June. So the Dodgers might look at Asche as a necessary safety piece down the stretch, especially if Uribe misses any time. All the better if they have that piece in place, now.

      As for Brown, his offensive stats are comparable to those of Ethier – but Brown has much better power stats and 25+ per season HR guys are relatively scarce in baseball in this post-steroid decade. While Brown is not great against Lefties he’s actually better than Ethier in that department, too so I can see the Dodgers rotating in Brown in certain situations and against certain pitchers or just keeping that 4th quality outfielder bat on the squad. Mattingly wants 4 starter quality outfielders and they’re not going to pay Kemp Howard dollars to sit – nor will Kemp accept that role according to the geological rumblings currently heard under Chavez Ravine. The Dodgers would also like to pawn off some of Kemp’s salary in order to pick up key pieces in what they hope to be a pennant year.

      So yes to everything you said but not all that crazy for the Dodgers.

      Of course, if the Dodgers’ Cy Young Award winner continues to get shelled this spring and some of the other walking wounded from last year don’t come around, they may have to wait until next year and be less inclined to make any big deal the winter meetings. That was their public position at this year’s meetings but we all knew that the Kemp situation was, and remains unsettled. Whether they even bother looking to Philadelphia for solutions is another story, but again, not crazy…or too crazy.

       
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        In case anyone is scratching their head right about now…
        Sorry – that last post was meant for Bob in Bucks and should have been attached to a different thread.
        Don’t know how that happened.

         
  • Posts: 0 jeff orbach

    Roy Halladay tried to pitch through shoulder issues and look how that turned out. I’m glad they are being cautious with Cole.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jay

    Yes but the arm fatigue is a symptom of an underlying issue- I just hope he heals but I fear the worst- when the Phils don’t sweep the injuries under the rug and actually say hey there’s a problem it’s usually a problem of serious proportions

     
  • Posts: 0 lew

    phillies blowing smoke up our butts. just like utley 2 years ago. no mri necessary? arm fatigue before you throw much? come on

     
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    I am really glad I did not renew my season tickets. This is serious. Phils need Hamels

     
    • Posts: 0 Robotnik

      Bart, and I’m sad that I did renew mine. Stick a fork in Hamels for he’s done. Sounds like Halladay all over again.

       
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      I renewed mine, and I can’t wait — whatever the season brings.

       
    • Posts: 0 Betasigmadeltashag

      Really so you only buy season tickets if they are favored to win the WS. By definition Band Wagon. I sat through terrible teams in the early 70s but the young talent I watched won a WS in 1980 and though they lost plenty I still went to the games. I’m not saying that the next MS or Lefty will be on the field this year but you never know. At least I won’t have to put up with band wagon fans like you following their fantasy teams

       
      • Posts: 0 Dave

        Betasigmadeltashag….there can be many reasons why someone doesn’t renew their season tickets. I didn’t renew mine after 10 years, but the play on the field didn’t have that much to do with it.

         
  • Posts: 0 Brian

    I am really disappointed in the Phillies regarding this. Honestly I can see that the phils arent doing their best to ensure the safety of our players in regards to injuries. This constant plague of injuries is not bad luck, its bad management. Not on Ryne Sandberg’s side of things but on the upper levels. Its time to rebuild. Its time to acknowledge we no longer are the 2008 or 2009 phillies. Our time is up

     
  • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    And the rebuilding starts with getting rid of that pompous ass Amaro. Seriously?…. I’ve given him a pass so many times for moves he made or things he said. And no MRI??? Are you kidding me?? That should be mandatory in my opinion.

     
    • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

      I concur

       
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      I agree it seems like a no-brainer. But I wonder if it’s as simple as it seems:

      - How often is an MRI done for bicep tendinitis, by any team?
      - It’s Hamels’ body — can the Phils force him to do the MRI if his doctor thinks it’s unnecessary?
      - What would an MRI find?

       
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        “How often is an MRI done for bicep tendinitis, by any team?”

        I would think an MRI would be common since it often has a more serious underlying cause.

        “It’s Hamels’ body — can the Phils force him to do the MRI if his doctor thinks it’s unnecessary?”

        Hamel’s can’t be forced to have an MRI if his doctor thinks the test is unnecessary – but considering the fact that the problem has not been cured through rest you’d think his doctor (or medical team) would want to look beyond stand-alone inflammation. Expectations, function wise, are far greater for a major league pitcher than a weekend golfer who will never put the same level of stress on a chronically tender joint. Plus, the possibility of compounding preexisting damage if not properly addressed are astronomically high. Not playing it safe could easily end a pitcher’s career. Sometimes it’s necessary for a patient (any patient) to become his own best advocate and at least seek out a second opinion – maybe three opinions with $20 million per year on the line. So taking a simple,painless and safe half-hour long test is not just for the team but for the player’s benefit as well. You’d think that half hour spent in a non-evasive MRI would not be the equivalent of a heart transplant.

        “What would an MRI find?”

        It would confirm tendonitis but also detect osteophytes like bone spurs and other structural anomalies. Considering the stakes and the profession, I would be shocked to find out no MRIs were taken between November and March – and shocked if multiple MRIs and/or additional tests haven’t already been performed.

         
      • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        I’m sorry but I think any team that’s invested so heavily in a player such as the Phils are with Hamels has an almost God-given right to DEMAND an MRI. Who cares if Hamels and/or his doctor objects. I think the player has an obligation to disclose any and all ailments and should willingly agree to any and all tests that the team wants to do.

         
      • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        And I’m gonna further say that if the team doesn’t want to do an MRI in this case then they are being incredibly irresponsible. To the rest of the team, to the ownership partners who dole out all this money, to the city and to the fans.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        On the first point, I agree it makes sense that the team’s investment should entitle them to demand that. But God would take a back seat to whatever is in the contract, so unless the player gives up his healthcare privacy rights in either the CBA or his own contract, it seems it’s up to the player.

        On the second point, terms like “incredibly irresponsible” seem over the top to me when we don’t know the rest of the story, or what typical procedures are across baseball for symptoms like these.

         
      • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        “Incredibly irresponsible” may be a bit harsh but it just seems to me that a team….any team in any sport….would want to know what is going on and to use the technology that is so commonplace today. I mean..an MRI isn’t like getting a heart transplant.

         
      • Posts: 5221 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        I have to agree with Chuck A on this. I have absolutely no idea what an MRI would find or not find, and no idea about what rights a player has (or doesn’t have) in his contract-

        But- An MRI is certainly not an invasive procedure. What possible objection would Cole have to a stinkin’ MRI? Radiation poisoning? I mean, is it more dangerous than putting a cell phone up to our ears? Sheesh!

         
  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    Well, this news knocks the $hit out of that recent “Phillies fan Optimism” article. This team is like King Midas in reverse. Get a young and old priest to sanctify the area. Ugh!!!

     
  • Posts: 541 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    The latest news with Hamels is depressing. I don’t know the situation regarding the question of whether or not Hamels had an MRi exam. I’m not jumping to any conclusion like some “fans” here without knowing the facts. However, it does make sense that Hamels, medical team and Phillies management would all agreed to have an MRI now as precaution.

    As a matter of fact, I read that the Mets’ scheduled opening day starter, Jon Neise felt weakness and pinching in the shoulder two weeks ago and underwent an MRI, Fortunately, it showed no issues with the arm. He was prescribed exercises to strengthen the weak muscles in the scapula behind the shoulder, which were neglected as he rehabbed the rotator cuff tear he had during last season. He has gone back to his regular routine and already pitched two innings of live pitching to minor league hitters.

    As a supportive fan, I’m hoping for the same results with Hamels as he goes through a period of rest and gradual rehab in April.

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      Niese isn’t even a close example. When a pitcher has had a recent rotator cuff tear, an MRI for “pinching” would be a must; the surgery may not have been completely successful.

      When an arm is “tired” it might only indicate rest, not expensive medical proceedures. Hamels has not complained of any pain. I’m certain if any of us threw 35 pitches after a rather long layoff, our arms would be tired, too.

      People are being ridiculous when they believe a multi-million dollar athlete and the people that are paying that amount aren’t already doing everything possible to protect themselves. If Hamels has a tired arm, I’m inclined to allow those who actually have the medical charts, trainers who are watching him everyday, and the player himself before I’d trust any “jump to conclusions” reporter or upset fan.

       
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        Dead arm syndrome more often than not indicates an injury to the labrum which is the rim of cartilage that keeps the shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint stable. Unfortunately, a pitcher sometimes feels no pain pain at all. Unfortunate because the damage, if not dealt with through immediate rest or surgery, can get worse. The good news is that dead arm limits the speed of pitches and by doing so helps protect your body from instant catastrophe. Of course, while a slow fastball may prevent you from damaging your arm it can also damage your ERA.

        But dead arm syndrome is not necessarily limited to the labrum. To through a 90 plus mph baseball require synchronization of a multiple muscles, tendons, joints, nerves and bones and any combination of damage, often determined by a pitcher’s personal physiology can be at the root of the problem.

        Unfortunately, the older a pitcher is and the more demand on his arm, the greater the chance that rest will not suffice. A little leaguer is more likely to recover with extended rest (often an entire season) than a college pitcher and a 30-year-old big league ace is at that much more risk of requiring surgery. Where it is and how bad is always the deciding factor but the right choice can still remain elusive. At this point, probably no treatment, including surgery, can be ruled out.

        So the symptom of “dead arm” with no pain is just as much a concern as pain only. Hopefully, Cole’s dead arm means that nature shut him down before serious injury could occur. But this is nothing to ignore and at a minimum he should be shut down and taking every test imaginable to isolate the problem(s).

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        So when did you become an orthopedics specialist and who taught you to read a chart without actually seeing it?

         
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    Arm fatigue is code for something else. I dont know what but the Phils havent been forthcoming about such issues especially when it comes to its bigger names. Like Hogey i saw this coming a mile away myself. I already suspect a few likely scenarios in the next few days.

     
  • Posts: 0 Double Trouble Del

    The odds of this team playing as contenders were not good. Hamels is long term and every precaution must be taken to ensure his health so if it means even missing the entire season, then so be it (jedi). Sorry, couldn’t help the Star Wars reference.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I’m so confused as to why they wouldn’t do an MRI with Hamels? Arm fatigue can be “nothing” or it could be “something” .. so why not get him checked out and see?

     
    • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      It defies all logic in my opinion. Either he….or the team…is scared to find out the results.

       
  • Posts: 167 photoFred

    Avatar of photoFred

    Amaro:
    “He’s seen doctors. He doesn’t have any structural damage.”

    Zolecki:
    Hamels said he feels no pain in his shoulder, but his arm is “fatigued out.”

    So based on available reports this may not be anything more than a slowing down of the recovery process for his initial tendenitis.

    If that’s true, I get why he might want to shut it down for a spell. Pitching is hard and I don’t just mean hard on your body; I mean really difficult to do. We’ve all heard about pitchers that won’t even change their socks when they’re going well. Any sort of physical distraction—pain or not—may make it difficult to find that elusive groove, which is most of what spring training is about.

    It’s easy to say, “just man up and pitch.” There are those who would do just that but I think Hamels is too smart to be one of them.

    Of course there’s always a possibility that we’re being misled. And if that’s the case then I expect this will degenerate into a real mess.

     
    • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      And the doctors are basing that on what tests, Ruben??

       
    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      Chuck and Fred & all concerned…

      I suspect what we have here is a failure to communicate.
      I mean we’re talking tests (or no tests) on the shoulder here – not the more intimate results of Hamels last proctology visit!

      Thankfully, Amaro has come closer to supplying the public with basic information via the slightly elaborated grunt, ““He’s seen doctors. He doesn’t have any structural damage.”

      Fine. Not the most elucidating of comments but…fine!
      It would have been more enlightening and encouraging had he elaborated in something more than simple sentence form and declared, “All appropriate tests have been administered and doctors tell us he has no structural damage requiring surgery.”
      But Rube, like Gary Cooper, is a man of few words and I guess we’ll have to interpret his Cliff Notes version of Hamel’s status as meaning they expect him to pitch sometime this season.

      On one hand, logic tells us somebody’s doctor(s) must have administered all the requisite tests to protect everyone’s best interests. To believe otherwise would suggest total nincompoops run the front office and that Hamels and his advisors aren’t very bright, either. While an attack of mass idiocy is not out of the question, I trust it’s the less likely scenario.

      On the other hand, we’re just now finding out the moral depths football teams have gone to keep their players on the field – knowingly risking both limb and life. When the stars come out, fans come out – and I’m not talking about night games.

      But there’s a third possibility.
      Hamels is a competitor and if there’s no “structural damage” doctors can only advise. Only Hamels knows his pain threshold and the team will likely not argue with the player’s decision.
      Unfortunately, that drive to compete can also be a player’s undoing. Let’s hope that’s not the case. I’d rather see Hamels sit out the season than burn his arm out for a 4th place team.

       
  • Posts: 167 photoFred

    Avatar of photoFred

    >>Unfortunately, that drive to compete can also be a player’s undoing. Let’s hope that’s not the case.<<

    Exactly; that's what I mean by Hamels being smart enough to take the long view. The testosterone soaked culture of MLB has been, I'm willing to bet, the undoing of more than one pitcher.

     
    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      Well put, Fred.

      After unsuccessfully (or not) dealing with his inflammation flare-ups for 4.5 months, I’d be more concerned if Hamels comes back to pitch by May 1st rather than Jun 1st… and even June 1st would make me nervous.

      Between Cole’s unsettled status and the unpromising reports on Pettibone and Gonzalez, it sure would have been nice to have Doug Fister on the staff working somewhere in the rotation with AJ Burnett.

      Oh well, just another quality pitcher under the radar.

       
  • Posts: 0 Bob

    Time to explore trading Hamels.

     
    • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      I’m guessing this is a joke?

       
  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    Todays 1914 Phillies Report:

    Okay, the Phightin’s lack of interest in sabermetrics aside, I’m starting to wonder whether the team has even embraced late 20th medical technology . Seems Cole Hamels himself now insists he hasn’t had an MRI throughout this whole 4.5 month inflammation-now dead arm episode. Then again, maybe he’s had CT-scans and X-rays but didn’t mention it because he was omly asked about MRIs. Hmmm? Or maybe the team is turning to alternative medicine and pointing magnets at Cole’s shoulder or employing leeches or attempting a laying of hands under the tent courtesy a local SunCoast faith healer. “Ya gotta believe,” but…

    Then there’s this report: Ryno explaining to Matt Gelb that the team will be attempting more defensive shifts this season. Yeah, well after rating as the worst defensive club in baseball last year – and 28th out of 30 in frequency using shifts, why not? On the subject of shifts, Sandberg said, “It’s something that’s grown, and the information is there. Teams have had some success doing that, so that’s something to think about and apply.”

    Yes, teams have been using defensive shifts…and have been for about 70 years.
    Just ask that young Casey Stengel feller.

    Oy.

     
    • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

      This is hilarious! Thanks, Wbramh, I needed a good laugh with the way this spring training is progressing…or isbit regressing?

       
    • Posts: 167 photoFred

      Avatar of photoFred

      Hell, just ask Ryan Howard.

       
  • Posts: 0 craig

    He is a joke. Does not take his job serious. Like Howard he gets the big money and then can’t play.

     
    • Posts: 0 robbie ellis

      We should not take you serious. That statement is ridiculous.

       
  • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

    All I can say is I hope he’s not hurt to the point of surgery. My expectations of the team as a whole this past off season hasn’t changed. They are low and are sinking even faster. To me from what I can tell we are stronger in some areas. And I say some, not many. We still are going into the season with way too many question marks. That in itself should be a warning. The same way as last year too many ? marks. And now with Cole having shoulder fatigue? Well that’s just one more? mark added. Not looking good.

     
  • Posts: 0 crianza ecologica bebe

    Yo no estoy en linea con lo aqui reflejado, pienso sinceramente que hay muchos elementos que no han podido ser considerados en cuenta. Pero valoro mucho vuestra exposicion, es un buen articulo.
    Saludos

    crianza ecologica bebe http://www.ecotiendadelbebe.com/es.html

     
 
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