Hamels scratched, may miss just one start

Phillies ace out with mild right hamstring strain; Aumont coming up from Triple-A to fill in

Hamels scratched, may miss just one start

PHILADELPHIA -- Cole Hamels' locker at Citizens Bank Park has been completely cleaned out.

A trade? No. A prank? Yes. 

The Phillies announced Thursday afternoon that Hamels has been scratched from Friday night's start against the Cardinals because of a mild right hamstring strain. Triple-A right-hander Phillippe Aumont will start in his place. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg had few answers about the injury, other than Hamels told him that he does not believe it is serious and he might miss just one start.

Hamels strikes out eight

"He did not feel like it was a long term thing," said Sandberg, who left open the possibility about a stint on the disabled list. "The fact that it showed up 24 hours later [following a bullpen session Tuesday]. He said somewhat minimal."

But knowing that he is a strong candidate to be traded before the July 31 Trade Deadline, the pitcher himself used his late scratch to empty his locker, removing his name plate and everything else. Typically, that would signify a trade, but Hamels obviously has not been traded.

Not yet.

Hamels is 5-5 with a 2.96 ERA in 14 starts, but his health is critical as the Deadline approaches. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Wednesday he is hopeful the Phillies can make some trades to speed up the team's rebuilding process. Hamels is the team's most valuable piece, so they must hope the injury does not linger and Hamels returns to the rotation shortly.

A roster move will be made before Friday's game to accommodate Aumont on the 25-man and 40-man rosters.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.