Phillies assistant GM Scott Proefrock gave a few health updates on Phillies players Wednesday afternoon.
-Cole Hamels appears to be nearly a lock to return to the Phillies during the west coast road trip, specifically when they’re in Los Angeles. He’ll pitch Thursday in Clearwater and if all goes well, it’s likely he’ll be with the team next week. Proefrock would not definitively state that, but did say it is a “distinct possibility.” Man do they need that. They need starters to go longer than the 5 1/3 innings they’re currently averaging. It’s taxing a bullpen that is already thin on consistent arms. It’s tough to expect eight innings every start from Hamels – at least initially – but they’ll need some great outings from him.
-Darin Ruf has resumed baseball activities. Sidelined with an oblique injury, Proefrock said they will proceed with caution on Ruf, although the original 4-6 week timetable is still holding true.
-Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is nearing a return to the mound. Proefrock said he’s been progressing well and when he gets himself stretched out, they’ll get him to a rehab assignment.
-Ethan Martin is also progressing well. He has been throwing bullpen sessions recently and could be ready for a rehab assignment in the near future. Look for Martin to be a possibility for the bullpen when completely healthy. Ryne Sandberg said that he thought of him as someone who was definitely in the mix for a sizable role before his injury.