Cole Hamels is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Wednesday for the first time this spring. Meanwhile, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez will not make his scheduled Grapefruit League debut Thursday due to an illness and instead will make his Grapefruit League on Saturday against the Yankees.

Hamels was originally expected to throw a bullpen session Tuesday, but it was pushed back for scheduling reasons and not because of his shoulder.  Hamels told Jim Salisbury of that he's made "tremendous progress" with his shoulder injury.

"I’m feeling like my body is ready to make a big jump," Hamels said. "I feel right where I usually am about February 1 going into spring training. That’s about the time I’m usually ready for my first ‘pen. I’m happy where I am."

As for Gonzalez, who signed to a three-year, $12 million contract last August, the Cuban right-hander has underwhelmed early on in camp and is unlikely to make Philadelphia's rotation at the start of the year.

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg continues to say they are exercising patience with the Cuban import, but it's starting to look highly unlikely that he'll be included in the Opening Day roster.

On the bright side today, Ryan Howard slammed a long, arching homer to center off left-hander Cesar Jimenez. Howard also singled against left-hander Jesse Biddle to score a couple runs in top of first inning.

The Phillies open their Grapefruit League season Wednesday afternoon (1:05 p.m.) against the Blue Jays, Roberto Hernandez will start for the Phillies.


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