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Notes: Hamels 'a while' away; Adams signs

@mlbbowman
July 20, 2020

ATLANTA -- The Braves will enter the season not knowing exactly when veteran left-hander Cole Hamels might be ready to join their rotation. “It’s going to be a while,” said manager Brian Snitker. “But he’s going to continue to throw and get ready.” Just how much time Hamels might miss

ATLANTA -- The Braves will enter the season not knowing exactly when veteran left-hander Cole Hamels might be ready to join their rotation.

“It’s going to be a while,” said manager Brian Snitker. “But he’s going to continue to throw and get ready.”

Just how much time Hamels might miss is not known. But the 36-year-old has not faced hitters since developing left shoulder inflammation in late January. Each of Atlanta’s other rotation candidates was ready to throw live batting practice when Summer Camp began on July 3.

If Hamels were to be on a similar prep schedule, which would include steadily increasing his innings workload, he would be at least two weeks and possibly three weeks behind.

That means the Braves could be at least one-fourth of the way through the 60-game season before they activate Hamels, who is set to make a little less than $7 million (prorated portion of the one-year, $18 million contract) this year.

Hamels’ only setback this month occurred on July 11, when triceps tendinitis prevented him from throwing a side session. That minor ailment erased hope that the southpaw might at least be ready to throw three to four innings in a start within the regular season’s first week.

“It’s just where he’s at,” Snitker said. “He knows himself really well. There just wasn’t any way he was going to be able to ready at the beginning.”

Adams returns
Looking to add a left-handed hitter to strengthen the bench and provide another designated hitter option, the Braves have signed Matt Adams to a Minor League contract. Adams spent the final four months of the 2017 season with the club.

Adams hit 19 homers over 291 at-bats for Atlanta after Freddie Freeman fractured his left wrist six weeks into the 2017 campaign. He produced a .763 OPS and homered once every 15.1 at-bats while serving as a role player for the Cardinals and Nationals over the past two seasons.

The Braves have been seeking a left-handed hitter since Nick Markakis elected not to play on July 6. They will have time to evaluate Adams while hosting the Marlins for exhibition games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Adams became a free agent on Saturday, after exercising the release cause in his Minor League deal with the Mets.

Rotation update
The Braves have decided to put Sean Newcomb in the rotation’s third spot and have Mike Foltynewicz begin the year as the No. 4 starter. Snitker confirmed this arrangement was based on the early-season matchups.

After Mike Soroka makes his first Opening Day start on Friday at Citi Field, Atlanta will challenge the Mets with two left-handed starters -- Max Fried and Newcomb. This will allow the club to use a right-handed starter -- Foltynewicz and likely Kyle Wright -- in the two-game series against the Rays on July 27-28.

Camargo decision
Johan Camargo’s right hamstring has improved since he exited Saturday’s intrasquad game with discomfort. The versatile infielder worked out on Monday. His status for Opening Day could be determined by how he feels on Tuesday.

“They said [the strain] was mild,” Snitker said. “But until he gets back out there and runs around a little bit, you just don’t know.”

Camargo and Austin Riley are both expected to see time at third base this season.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.