Dozens of scouts on hand for Hamels' first start

Lefty, who's been subject of trade rumors, holds Yanks to one hit over two innings

Dozens of scouts on hand for Hamels' first start

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels is well aware of the trade speculation that has swirled around him since the start of the offseason. And if it slipped his mind, all he had to do was look behind the plate at Bright House Field on Friday afternoon where 24 scouts assembled to watch his first start of the Grapefruit League.

Hamels didn't disappoint against a Yankees split-squad lineup that included Mark Teixeira, Chase Headley, Stephen Drew and Didi Gregorius. He sailed through two shutout innings, allowing one single while striking out two in a 4-1 Phillies loss.

And he was just as hard to pin down when asked if he felt under the microscope when he went to the mound.

"I think the whole team is. ... All the guys are," he said. "There's a lot of jobs to be won. I think if you're a young guy, it's a great position to be in. As veterans, I think that's just the situation and scenario that happened over the last couple years that we're in. I think it's everyone, even the front office. It's a team aspect, a team sport. And I think that's just kind of where we've been placed."

He also insisted that rumors that he could be headed to the Red Sox, Cardinals, Dodgers, Padres or Yankees haven't been at all disruptive.

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"This has been a great spring, just from a sense of the overall team aspect of what we're trying to do out there, how we're trying to implement a new focus," he said. "But at the same time, we all know that we have to get ready and we have to be as competitive as we possibly can. So for what I like to do, and how I try to prepare, I've kept to the same sort of routine."

The game started in a steady drizzle, but Hamels said he wasn't concerned about slipping and injuring himself.

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"You just want to get it in because there's a schedule and you want to stay on the same schedule to get ready for Opening Day and the year," he said.

"I was getting ready. It's something where I just wanted to go out there and face hitters. Batting practices are great, bullpens are great, but there is just a little more adrenaline and focus that you need when you actually have a guy in there from an opposing team. And he's trying to get base hits, score runs. It's just the competitive nature and you want to be able to get that first one out of the way."

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