PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Even the biggest supporters of former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel would have admitted the team was in need of a change. Surely there were other reasons, including personnel and injuries that caused that disappointing seasons in 2012 and 2013, but the clubhouse needed a jolt of energy. Ryne Sandberg seems to be bringing that to the table in Clearwater this year.
“Everybody is having fun,” Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Show on Monday. “I wouldn’t say that we weren’t having that in the past because we were doing what we wanted to do, we got it done and we got out of here, but I think guys are in here early, they’re leaving later, and they’re really working a lot more efficiently and I think that’s really going to show out on the field.”
Hamels isn’t the first player to mention the change. It remains to be seen whether it will have a positive effect on the team’s record, but it seems unlikely it would have a negative one.
Hamels surprised everyone by saying that he would not be ready for opening day, as he recovers from biceps tendonitis. Hamels is holding to that prediction, but thinks he won’t be far behind.
“I won’t pitch the first the game. That’s the plan [to pitch within the first week or two of the season]. I’m just trying to go off the schedule that was set forth and you don’t know what to have setbacks,” he said. “You just keep going, but I know you have to listen to your body. If that comes, I think the training staff and myself are always prepared for that because you don’t want to push it further than what you are capable of doing because that’s when injuries happen.”
“The only solution for it is rest, and that’s kind of what the trainer said. I’m not that type of person that wants to rest. I want to keep going and keep pushing to the limit.”