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Hamels (shoulder) has looked better than expected in throwing sessions and the Padres are hopeful he can be an option for them around midseason, Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Hamels agreed to a minor-league contract with the Friars in mid-February and is being eased back into things this spring following all of the missed time due to shoulder issues. The veteran left-hander appears to be healthy now, though, and has apparently surprised the team by how well he's been throwing. Hamels figures to stay in extended spring training for a while before joining a minor-league affiliate to make some starts.

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