Cole Hamels to get a late start to spring training due to shoulder irritation

Craig Calcaterra
NBC Sports

One of the key offseason moves for the Atlanta Braves was to bring in starter Cole Hamels on a one-year, $18 million deal to solidify the rotation. It’ll be a bit before the solidifying process begins, however. The team announced today that he has experienced shoulder irritation this winter and will get a late start to spring training.

How late? The team says he’ll be reevaluated in three weeks. Even if he’s 100% ready to go then that’s a pretty big chunk of spring out the window for Hamels, which means he’d be unlikely to break camp with the team even under the best case scenario.

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Hamels went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts for the Cubs in 2019, striking out 143 and walking 56 in 141.2 innings. It was a tale of two seasons, though, really. Hamels posted a 2.98 ERA in 17 starts before he strained his oblique near the end of June, after which he also suffered from shoulder fatigue. When he came back he had a 5.79 ERA in 10 starts.

The hope on the part of the Braves, obviously, was that the shoulder fatigue was a short-term thing, at worst born of over-compensation for the oblique or something. Given that he had soreness in it this winter, however, there is likely some amount of concern down in Atlanta.

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