Phillies

Braves' Cole Hamels injured and will open season on shelf

Braves' Cole Hamels injured and will open season on shelf

If you're still having trouble picturing Cole Hamels in a Braves uniform, you'll have a little more time to process it.

The Braves are saying that Hamels, who signed 10 weeks ago, will not be ready for opening day (March 26). Hamels has a sore shoulder. He irritated it doing weighted-ball exercises and will be reevaluated in three weeks, per The Athletic.

Reevaluated in three weeks means that Hamels won't pick up a ball for at least that length of time. Once he does, he'll need to build up arm strength and stamina before being ready to start in a regular-season game. So we could be looking at a return in late-April or beyond for the 36-year-old lefty and former Phillies great.

The Braves signed Hamels to a one-year, $18 million deal. They signed outfielder Marcell Ozuna for the same price. They also added high-leverage lefty reliever Will Smith on a three-year, $40 million contract and brought back right-hander Chris Martin, rightfielder Nick Markakis and catcher Tyler Flowers. They were among the most active teams in free agency early and capped off their offseason with the signing of Ozuna to an extremely appealing one-year deal.

After winning 97 games last season and despite losing Josh Donaldson, Atlanta will again be a major threat to the Phillies. Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman might be the best position player duo in the majors. (Others would include Mike Trout-Anthony Rendon, Nolan Arenado-Trevor Story, Mookie Betts-Cody Bellinger.)

The Phillies went 10-9 against the Braves last season. It was a strange year within the division for them. The Phils were 12-7 against the Mets, 5-14 against the Nationals and an unforgettable 9-10 against the 57-win Marlins.

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Phillies Talk podcast: Just how crazy could the 2020 MLB season get?

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Phillies Talk podcast: Just how crazy could the 2020 MLB season get?

Ricky Bottalico and Corey Seidman discussed some of MLB's reportedly radical ideas to begin playing by June in the latest Phillies Talk podcast.

• Per ESPN's report ... Is a one-city season realistic?

• What if COVID-19 cases increase in Arizona?

• How would players scattered throughout the country get to Arizona? 

• What if one, two or three players test positive after baseball operations open back up?

• Players sitting in the stands is the most amazing visual.

• Is Ricky on board with the electronic strike zone?

• Building relationships with umpires.

• Which Phillies would be most affected by the lack of a crowd?

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How Phillies would have matched up this week against the young Blue Jays

How Phillies would have matched up this week against the young Blue Jays

A beautiful day to begin the week as the Phillies should have been greeting the Toronto Blue Jays at CBP.

I don’t know about you, but Toronto will always have a special place in my Philadelphia sports heart because we share the memory of Hall of Fame pitcher, the late Roy Halladay. Halladay played most of his stellar 16-year career in Toronto, but he played the last quarter of it in Philadelphia.

What he gave us ... was perfect. Literally.

In 2010 alone — Halladay's first season in Philadelphia — he authored a perfect game, a playoff no-hitter and won his second Cy Young Award (he gave Carlos Ruiz a replica trophy for putting down the right signals that season, remember?)

The Phillies would've been playing their second home series. The teams have played six times during the past two seasons with one run separating the total score (27-26). Toronto won four of the six, however.

The teams were scheduled for two more in Toronto in mid-September.

Despite missing the playoffs last season, the Jays have some talent, starting at shortstop with 22-year-old leadoff man Bo Bichette. Bichette played in 46 games last season and hit .311 with a .930 OPS, projecting nearly 40 home runs over a full season. Good glove, good speed too.

Toronto's first four spots in the roster are homegrown talent ending with cleanup up hitter, the young stud, Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. Guerrero made his major league debut last season at age 20 and hit .272 with 15 home runs and 69 RBIs in 123 games.

His father was a former MVP primarily for the Expos and Angels and young Vlad could be headed for a similar career. The elder Guerrero was a major Phillie-killer — his .371 batting average and 31 home runs (91 games) against the Phillies were his most vs. any team.

The first three starters are new faces in the Blue Jays rotation. The club solid lefty signed Hyun-Jin Ryu from the Dodgers, traded for Chase Anderson from the Brewers and signed Tanner Roark from the A’s.

Toronto's closer? Former Phillie Ken “100 Miles” Giles. After a shaky end to his run in Houston, Giles bounced back last season with a 1.87 ERA in 53 innings with 83 strikeouts.

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