Cole Hamels set to return to Braves camp Saturday

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Cole Hamels will likely miss a decent chunk of time to start the season. The good news is that he is set to arrive at camp Saturday:

Hamels bothered his shoulder during offseason workouts shortly before Spring Training. The Braves signed him to a one-year deal this offseason and are looking to bring him in for his talent as well as his vast experience and veteran presence. Now, the team is set to likely start the first month of the season without him, and with a ton of innings lost due to the departures of Julio Teheran and Dallas Keuchel. Only Mike Soroka, Max Fried, and Mike Foltynewicz are locked for the rotation. Sean Newcomb, Felix Hernandez, and a handful of youngsters such as Kyle Wright will compete for the two other starter spots.

With that being said, it makes no sense for the Braves to rush back Hamels. He is 36-years old and the Braves will need him to remain healthy. Last season, Hamels was not the same pitcher after coming off the IL. The Braves will look to make sure he is 100 percent before a return, which David O’Brien of the Athletic predicts will be in early to mid-May. The Braves played things safe in the Spring last year with Josh Donaldson, a veteran coming off an injury-plagued season, and it ended up paying dividends. He avoided the IL and had a fantastic season. Hamels situation is a bit different as he will miss some time, but it is the same thinking. This will also give the Braves some extra time to evaluate their options at the back-end of the rotation.

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