An ongoing investigation for sexual assault makes it extremely unlikely that Trevor Bauer throws another pitch for the Dodgers in 2021, and Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin are currently on the injured list with forearm and shoulder issues, respectively.
The team also lost Dustin May earlier in the season to Tommy John surgery and recently traded Josiah Gray, and although they received ace Max Scherzer in return, it’s safe to say their depth has taken hit after hit.
That’s where a signing like Hamels is supposed to help.
A Nice Depth Option To Have Around
Already 37 years old, Hamels is obviously not the top-of-the-rotation stalwart he was back in the day.
In fact, he had a poor showing last season, when he went 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA in 3.1 innings.
However, he still may have a little gas left in the tank, and if there is a team with the proper resources to give Hamels the tools to be successful at this point of his career, it’s the Dodgers.
Los Angeles is not signing Hamels to be an ace.
They are bringing him into the fold with the objective of stretching him out and plug him in the rotation down the stretch, hoping he can pitch five or six quality innings and keep the team in the game.
The pitcher is already at the Dodgers’ spring training complex in Arizona preparing himself to possibly join the starting rotation later in August.
Hamels has passed the physical and it’s a done deal with Dodgers. He is now in Arizona getting ready.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 4, 2021
He had an impressive workout in front of several teams back in July, and had the opportunity to wait out the trade deadline and choose his team.
However, that doesn’t mean he is ready to join a Major League rotation.
He will probably need his time and at least a couple of starts in a minor league assignment.
Late August is a good target for him to start helping the Dodgers.
Last season’s numbers, albeit in an extremely limited sample, serve as a reminder that expectations should be tempered when it comes to an injury-prone 37-year-old pitcher.
However, if the Dodgers are patient, they could be rewarded.
Hamels May Still Have Some Gas Left In The Tank
In the more normal 2019 season, Hamels pitched for the Chicago Cubs, and had a very good year.
In 141.2 frames that year, the crafty lefty with the impressive changeup struck out 143 batters and finished with a 3.81 ERA.
The Dodgers would probably be happy if Hamels can have an ERA in the low-4.00s.
That would be an amazing return on investment.
The bottom line is that they need Hamels to at least be competent because there are no certainties about Kershaw’s left arm and Gonsolin’s right shoulder.
The #Dodgers' signing of Cole Hamels is a low-risk investment in a veteran left-hander who could provide rotation depth if Clayton Kershaw is slow to recover from a sore elbow. RHP Tony Gonsolin also on the IL. Rotation now is Buehler, Scherzer, Urias, Price.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) August 4, 2021
Once he is ready to help the big league team, Hamels will slide over to the rotation, a group that needs more healthy arms as it prepares to make a strong push for first place in the National League West division.
Hamels is no hero, but is a shrewd depth signing that can pay dividends for the current World Champions.