LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers were hoping Cole Hamels had some gas left in the tank, but the left-hander was placed on the 60-day injured list on Monday, effectively ending his comeback attempt before he was able to throw a single pitch.
Hamels threw a simulated game on Aug. 7 at Dodger Stadium. He was scheduled to throw two innings, but after throwing his first inning, Hamels had a lengthy conversation with pitching coach Mark Prior, manager Dave Roberts and a couple of members of the front office.
Hamels went back on the mound after the discussion and tossed a few warmup pitches. Matt Beaty, who was hitting in the simulated game, stood at the plate, waiting for Hamels to begin his second inning. But after the warmup pitches, Hamels went back to second base for another discussion and walked back into the Dodgers clubhouse.
After the simulated game, the Dodgers said cutting down Hamels to one inning was part of the plan. But he didn’t throw again as he experienced arm pain. The Dodgers are still scheduled to pay the left-hander $1 million.
Losing Hamels is another blow to the team’s pitching depth, but it doesn’t necessarily change the Dodgers’ plans. The Dodgers are hoping Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin and Danny Duffy can return at some point in September, giving them plenty of depth. Julio Urías is also expected to return from a left calf injury next week against the Padres.
Hamels, 37, appeared in one game with the Braves in 2020, but then a shoulder injury ended his season. He was hoping to make his return to the Majors with the Dodgers, but it won’t be in '21.
With Hamels going on the 60-day IL, the Dodgers opened up a 40-man roster spot for right-hander Neftalí Feliz. The Dodgers signed Feliz in July after he was let go by the Phillies. Feliz made two appearances with Philadelphia this season, allowing four runs in one inning.
Kershaw begins recovery
For the first time since being shut down nearly three weeks ago, Kershaw played catch on Monday. It’s the beginning of Kershaw’s rehab and the left-hander is expected to play catch over the next few days.
How Kershaw responds after multiple catch sessions will determine how quickly he can progress through his rehab. Kershaw admitted to rushing back in his first attempt back, so the Dodgers will be cautious.
Kershaw was moved to the 60-day injured list and won’t be eligible to return until Sept. 5. But the Dodgers remain optimistic that Kershaw will return just in time for the stretch run and into the postseason.
“Well I hope and expect him to be pitching for us sometime next month,” Roberts said. “Best case scenario is he’ll be making a couple of starts in September. That’s kind of the best-case scenario and then we’ll see how it plays out.”