The Braves will be without Cole Hamels for Opening Day.
After getting utterly embarrassed by the St. Louis Cardinals in last year’s NL Divisional Round, the Atlanta Braves went scorched earth this MLB offseason by signing veteran pitcher Cole Hamels to add to their pitching rotation. However, Hamels suffered a shoulder strain back in spring training, putting his status for the initial Opening Day in major flux. Once he returned for summer camp in recent weeks, Hamels developed triceps tendinitis.
On Monday, manager Brian Snitker stated the obvious by saying it’s “going to be a while” before Hamels will be able to make his Braves debut.
Cole Hamels’ injury hampers the Braves’ lofty goals in 2020.
The Braves weren’t going to land a Gerrit Cole in free agency this past winter, so they went to the second-tier of the market. Of course, Hamels was at the top of the list, and Atlanta made a major investment in the former World Series champion. Well, $18 million for the 2020 season, to be exact.
Last season with the Chicago Cubs, Hamels (7-7) recorded a 3.81 ERA and struck out 143 pitchers in 141.2 innings pitched.
The Hamels injury news is now the second significant blow dealt to the Braves. Days prior, the Braves rescinded their contract offer to outfielder Yasiel Puig after he tested positive for COVID-19.
With Hamels out of the picture for the start of the season, Snitker will go with Mike Soroka as his Opening Day starter and Max Fried handling the second game of their series against the rival New York Mets.
It’s unknown when Hamels will be able to take the mound for Atlanta, but the team better hope it’s soon, considering only 60 games will be played this year.