Cole Hamels feels good after another side session

Bill Shanks

The 2020 season will be the 15th for veteran left-hander Cole Hamels. The Braves brought him in on a one-year deal because of his experience, and they also still hope he can pitch.

Hamels did not participate in spring training. He had damaged his shoulder with a weighted ball exercise over the offseason and was shut down. The Braves hoped he’d be back for the second half of the season.

Instead, the pandemic hit, and baseball shut down. Now, Hamels has a chance to be ready for the start of the season – the new, shortened, 60-game season. And the Braves now hope Hamels can be ready to contribute for the full two months.

Hamels was 7-7 last season for the Cubs, with an ERA of 3.81 in 27 starts. He allowed 141 hits in 141.2 innings, with 56 walks and 143 strikeouts.

In his career, Hamels has won 163 games and lost 121, with a 3.42 earned run average. In 17 postseason games – 16 starts – Hamels is 7-6 with a 3.41 ERA.

With the young pitchers the Braves have, they hope Hamels can be the trusted veteran in the rotation. They hope there is still some good innings left in an arm that is obviously slowing down with age.

And if Hamels is ready in October if the Braves should make the postseason, he could be a huge factor in trying to help Atlanta win a playoff series for the first time in 19 years.

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