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Thursday, March 27, 2014
Cole Hamels returns to mound

ESPN.com news services

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Philadelphia Phillies starter Cole Hamels pitched two innings in a minor league game, his first outing of the spring as he works to recover from biceps tendinitis.

The left-hander said he felt well after recording nine outs and throwing 20 of 30 pitches for strikes against Pittsburgh's Triple-A players.

"I'm really pleased and really confident, and what I'm able to do now is to truly get spring training in," said Hamels, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday. "Obviously it's a little late, but I feel healthy and I think that's really the key."

Hamels plans to join the Phillies in Arlington for their season opener against the Rangers on Monday before returning to the team's training complex in Clearwater to continue his rehab.

Meanwhile, outfielder Domonic Brown was held out of the Phillies' 3-0 Grapefruit League loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday because of lingering flu-like symptoms. Manager Ryne Sandberg expects the 2013 All-Star to play on Friday against Pittsburgh.

The Phillies also released outfielder Bobby Abreu on Thursday to allow the 40-year-old to explore an opportunity with another team.

Philadelphia's decision to part ways with Abreu came one day after the 17-year veteran was informed by the organization that he would not make the 25-man opening day roster.

In 17 games this spring training, Abreu batted .244 with two RBIs and 10 walks, but struggled defensively.

"We just felt like at this stage of the game, he wouldn't be a fit for us," general manager Ruben Amaro said. "It was a tough decision. Not just because of how it affects our roster, but also as a person. Bobby is a great guy. He really made an effort to make this team. It obviously was a goal of his. We decided he wasn't prepared to do that to help us at this time."

Abreu signed a minor league deal in January with the hope of returning to the majors for the first time since 2012 when he appeared in 100 games with the Angels and Dodgers.

Philadelphia also put right-handers Mike Adams, Miguel Gonzalez and Ethan Martin on the 15-day disabled list, as well as shortstop Freddy Galvis and first baseman Darin Ruf.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.