TODAY: Snitker confirmed that Hamels will miss the beginning of the season and will likely be placed on the 10-day injured list. (Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was among those to report the news.)
Hamels signed a one-year, $18MM contract with the Braves in the offseason, but the former Phillie, Ranger and Cub has since endured an injury-laden few months. He didn’t pitch at all in spring training because of inflammation in his throwing shoulder. The 36-year-old Hamels looked like a lock to miss the start of the season then, but the game’s months-long shutdown seemed to make it likely he’d be ready for the abbreviated campaign. Instead, though, Hamels has battled another problem – triceps tendinitis – that has slowed him in Summer Camp.
The good news is that Hamels was able to throw a side session Thursday without experiencing any pain, according to Bowman. However, it remains unclear how much time the long-effective innings eater will miss. If and when he’s able to take the mound in 2020, Bowman notes the Braves will be cautious with him, at least at first, with three- to four-inning appearances.
As for how the Braves will proceed without Hamels, Bowman lists touted young righty Kyle Wright, veteran RHP Josh Tomlin and lefty prospect Tucker Davidson as candidates for the last spot in their rotation. Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb are slated to occupy the top four spots for the back-to-back NL East champions.