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04/11/09 7:45 PM ET

Hamels OK for next start as scheduled

After missing much of spring, Manuel says lefty needs work

DENVER -- Cole Hamels said he is healthy and that he needs to pitch.

And the left-hander will pitch as scheduled next Thursday against Washington at Nationals Park.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was noncommittal Friday about Hamels' next start after he allowed 11 hits and seven runs in 3 2/3 innings in a 10-3 loss to the Rockies at Coors Field. But Manuel said before Saturday's game against the Rockies that Hamels would pitch Thursday.

"I've seen him enough," Manuel said. "He's the kind of guy that can rest two or three days and he might go out there and might be feeling good and feeling strong and everything goes for him. But I do think it's just a matter of him getting work. The more work he gets, the better off he is going to be. He has to pitch to get stronger. He missed a lot of time in Spring Training."

Manuel said the Phillies never considered not having Hamels pitch Friday.

"There's definitely more intensity in the big leagues," Manuel said. "If he can give us five, six innings up here for two or three starts, that's fine."

Hamels' command hurt him Friday, with many of the pitches that were hit hard thrown over the middle of the plate.

"Most of his pitches he left a little up and he didn't hit his spots," catcher Carlos Ruiz said.

But Hamels' velocity also hovered in the 86 mph range when it typically sits in the 90-92 mph range.

"His changeup is close to his fastball," Manuel said. "Can he pitch at 86? If he puts the ball exactly where he has to. But he's not that kind of pitcher, though."

But Hamels, who is behind schedule because he missed time last month with inflammation in his left elbow, said health has nothing to do with this struggles. He said he is fine. Manuel said he believes his pitcher.

"He needs work," Manuel said. "He didn't have any work."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.