All systems go for Hamels after final spring tuneup

All systems go for Hamels after final spring tuneup

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Cole Hamels appears ready to face the Braves on Opening Day.

The left-hander allowed one hit, one walk and struck out three in three scoreless innings on Wednesday against the Tigers in a Grapefruit League game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Hamels pitched three innings, as scheduled, as he prepares for the regular season.

"I feel strong and healthy and I think that's first and foremost," Hamel said in the clubhouse. "I'm comfortable knowing I can get out there every five days and know that I can go deep into the ballgame. … Knowing that all five pitches I throw, they feel really good with the way the grips are. To be able to hit both sides of the plate, which I feel pretty comfortable with, is great."

The only thing uncomfortable right now is Hamels' beard. He has been growing it for some time. He plans to shave it soon.

"It's hurting the appearance," he said.

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