Thursday, October 09, 2003

Cole Hamels removed from Team USA roster

I just got this bit of news from Kevin Goldstein's Baseball America Prospect Report. From the article at

Hamels was removed for the roster due to a minor muscle injury in his back. The Phillies and Team USA decided it would take too long for Hamels to get back into condition to pitch competitively. Team USA has to settle on a 24-man roster by Oct. 24.

"He's got some muscle spasms in the right side of his back," said Phillies assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle, who oversees the farm and scouting departments for the organization. "It's really a matter of timing more than anything else. He hasn't been on a mound pitching for a few days. If the tournament were a week or 10 days later, it wouldn't have been an issue."

Arbuckle was a member of the USA Baseball steering committee, chaired by Dean Taylor and Bob Watson, that picked the players on the roster. The Phillies wanted Hamels, who threw 101 innings this season between two Class A levels, to put his above-average feel for pitching and fresh arm to use in the qualifier.

"I talked to Dean a couple of times because we wanted Cole to pitch on the team, and Cole really wanted to do it," Arbuckle said. "We wanted to play it out as long as it was feasible that he could be healthy enough. Even though it's on his non-throwing side, though, you have concerns that it could affect his delivery, and we didn't want to take that chance."