Phillies: Cole Hamels suffers another setback with Braves
By Matt Rappa
Former Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels has suffered another setback
The two-time defending National League East champion Atlanta Braves have not had an ideal start to summer camp compared to the Philadelphia Phillies.
They have been without their star first baseman Freddie Freeman and notable left-handed reliever Will Smith due to them testing positive for COVID-19. Also, they have lost starting rotation hopeful Felix Hernandez and three-time Gold Glove Award winner Nick Markakis due to them opting out of the season.
Now, the Braves are dealing with another setback as it pertains to former Phillies southpaw starting pitcher Cole Hamels. According to Braves manager Brian Snitker, Hamels did not throw a scheduled side session on Saturday due to him experiencing triceps tendinitis.
“I think we’re probably a week away from seeing where he’s going to be,” Snitker added.
Hamels, 36, had missed all of spring training due to a shoulder strain; just as of last week following a bullpen session, the left-hander said he “felt great.” The 2008 World Series champion’s health appears to be a question mark once again, however, and he may not be ready for the start of the regular season in less than two weeks.
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The Phillies are slated to play the Braves 10 times across the 60-game sprint, with the first of three series scheduled for August 7-10 at home. Then, the two sides will meet again for a three-game series at Truist Park, August 21-23, before the final meeting just five days later, August 28-30, back at Citizens Bank Park.
The August 23 and August 30 contests will be on national television as part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
Hamels’ career to date has spanned 14 seasons with three different teams — the Phillies from 2006-15, the Texas Rangers from 2015-18, and the Chicago Cubs from 2018-19.
The possibility of Hamels facing the Phillies as a Brave has drawn attention from fans ever since he inked a one-year, $18 million contract this past offseason. While it is not out of the question just yet, you have to wonder if Hamels will be able to be effective in a shortened, 60-game type of a season without these late summer camp reps.