Dodgers Reportedly Among Several Teams Scouting Cole Hamels

(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The misfortunes of the Los Angeles Dodgers seem to be worsening as the 2021 All-Star break draws near. Despite remaining in divisional contention with one of the best records in the National League, the Dodgers fell to the Diamondbacks at home on Friday night, as Arizona collected just its second win over its last 30 contests on the road.

One of the secondary storylines of the evening revolved around former World Series MVP Cole Hamels and the Dodgers’ need for pitching. According to reports, the 37-year-old lefty will be holding a showcase for teams in Texas next week.

Last year, Hamels latched on with the Braves for a one-year, $18 million deal, but injuries kept him off the field for all but one game. Dealing with shoulder issues during spring training, Hamels eventually began his 2020 campaign on the shelf with a triceps issue. He attempted to return later in the season, but another shoulder problem in mid-September ended up shutting him down for the year.

As explained by Anthony Franco at MLBTR, “Hamels was a paragon of durability before 2020, tossing at least 130 innings in every season between 2006 and 2019. He was also a model of consistency, never posting an ERA higher than 4.32 and allowing fewer than four earned runs per nine innings in eleven of those fourteen campaigns. He was still effective as recently as 2019, when he tossed 141-2/3 innings of 3.81 ERA ball with solid strikeout and walk rates with the Cubs.”

Over the course of his 15-year big-league career, Hamels owns a 163-122 record with a 3.43 ERA, a 3.68 FIP, and a 1.178 WHIP with 2560 strikeouts and 767 walks over an even 2698 innings of work. 422 of his 423 lifetime regular-season appearances have been starts.

Primarily, Hamels uses a four-seam, a cutter, a curve, and a change as part of his repertoire. After his heater sat in the 92-93 mph range in 2020, he topped out at just 89 mph in the 3-1/3 innings he threw for Atlanta last summer.

Darien Nuñez Makes Major League Debut

While the Los Angeles bullpen used a whopping seven pitchers in Friday’s loss, one bright spot was the debut of Darien Nunez, despite the Cuban native surrendering a two-run homer off the bat of Eduardo Escobar in the fifth inning.

Nuñez went two full innings, allowing one hit and no walks while striking out three batters in relief of opener David Price. An error by Justin Turner at third base allowed Nick Ahmed to reach, setting the stage for Escobar.

Nuñez touched as high as 97.3 mph with his four-seam in the fourth inning.

A 28-year-old lefty signed by the Dodgers out of Las Tanas in 2018, Nuñez began his 2021 campaign with Double-A Tulsa before getting promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City in early May. In 16 minor league games this season, he has posted a 2.70 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 15 walks in 30 innings.

Clayton Kershaw Undergoes MRI

MRI results came back on Friday for Clayton Kershaw, revealing somewhat of a positive outlook after he was placed on the 10-day injured list with left forearm inflammation on Wednesday.

“Clayton had an MRI this morning and like we expected, it was just inflammation,” manager Dave Roberts said on Friday. “He’s going to start playing catch again [Saturday] and enjoy the break with his family. We’ll figure out when in the second half we’ll pencil him back in the rotation.”

Kershaw pitched last Saturday against the Nationals, allowing three runs on three hits and one walk with three strikeouts over four innings before the onset of a rain delay.

So far this year, Kersh has gone 9-7 with a 3.38 ERA, an even 3.00 FIP, and a 0.978 WHIP with 127 strikeouts in 106-1/3 innings over 18 starts.

22 thoughts on “Dodgers Reportedly Among Several Teams Scouting Cole Hamels

  1. Cole Hamels is exactly the kind of guy I expected we would add, an innings eater. Assuming he’s healthy, I think this could be a good signing, if AF is willing to meet his price and outbid everyone else. I don’t think Andrew will spend the prospects necessary to get an ace (someone like Scherzer), unless he finds a way to trade for a young guy with a good amount of team control remaining.

    Nunez was very impressive last night. The homer was basically a fly ball that landed in the wrong place. So far, so good. I hope he can continue to perform the way he did last night. If so, he’ll be a real asset.

    1. I agree that Hamels is exactly the type of pitcher AF would go after, and like I said before, they are not going to offer Scherzer an extension, so the chances he would come to LA are pretty thin. Nunez impressed, Uceta did not. Why Roberts continues to run that kid out there in high leverage situations is beyond me. He literally gave the game to Arizona. Offense did not help any against a very mediocre pitching staff. I sit Bellinger tonight, I do not care who is pitching. Buehler and Turner added to the All Star team, Betts opts out, citing injuries as one of the reasons. Posey sitting out too, replaced by Molina. I bring up Quackenbush, not only because he has one of the best names in baseball, but the guy has been outstanding so far at OKC. He could be this years Morrow. And all those rookies in the pen, that is asking for trouble. Phillies brought up a kid named JT Hammer. Got to love that name. Hoyer says the Cubs will be sellers at the deadline and the clamor to bring back Joc is heating up on Twitter…

    2. I agree. There will be others, veterans at or near the end of contracts that won’t require top prospects. We don’t need an ace, we already have one. Depending on what happens with Kershaw we need another 4-5 starter. In fact, we could use 2, as Buehler and Urias will need a few days off in the second half. Bullpen games? We’ve had our share already. That pen is going to pitch near 40% of all innings in the second half. It’s important to keep the best of them rested. It would be helpful if we win the games we are supposed to win, like against last place clubs.

      Which brings us to the second half of the equation – offense. Wake up and stay awake. We are currently 14th in average and 10th in OPS. I would think we are better than that. We are first in runs in the NL, but that fact is tempered by being so bad defensively – 23rd in fielding %, and 11th in DRS. We need to tighten things up in the second half.

      1. One possible fly in the ointment, Hamels is from San Diego and they need a starter also.
        As we speak, Preller is working on deals to trade for Scherzer, Kimbrel and Berrios, and sign Hamels.
        He then plans to trade for Bryant from the Cubs, Gallo from the Rangers and will finish up by trading for Nelson Cruz to be their new batboy.
        And he’ll get all of those players without trading any of his top 20 prospects.

  2. Looks like Acuna may have hurt his leg pretty badly making a play in the outfield today.
    By my estimation, at the end of games tomorrow there may be no players who were originally elected to play in the All Star game who still remain healthy enough to participate.

    1. I saw that, Dodgers made a trade today, they sent Hugo Beltran to the Orioles for cash. He is a pitcher,

      1. Excellent, we can use the cash to extend Scherzer when we trade for him.
        I assume the amounts will be pretty much identical.

      2. Thank you Bear. I appreciate that. Please tell my wife. She just rolls her eyes at me.

      3. My eyes are rolling too, but I do appreciate the humor.

        I’ve heard of Hugo. Musician, right? (eye roll please)

        Reks again? His next hit will be his first, Tonight would be a good night to give him some at bats. 5 zip already.

  3. Acuna out for the year. ACL tear in his leg. Surgery tomorrow I think. Huge blow to the Braves. 22 runs tonight, 8 homers, 2 by Pujols and Pollock.. the Pee pee boys.

  4. Acuna is going to be out for approximately 10 months. Huge blow. Braves are 4 out. German Marquez OWNED the Padres tonight. 7 shut out innings with 9 K’s as they lost 3-0.

    1. Well, that was fun.

      Bear, you think the Rockies might trade Marquez? I see his name thrown around.

      1. From what I have read, no, but I think he has pretty good stuff. He could be traded over the winter. I think the Rockies main goal is moving Story, and possibly Blackmon.

      2. Makes sense. He’s signed to a reasonable contract with an option in ‘24. Blackmon, having an off year so far, has player options for two years. The first is $21 million, the second is $10 million. Could go up with incentives. Would he walk from that at age 36?

        I still see Story or Seager in New York.

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