Dodgers signing Cole Hamels to continue starting rotation makeover

Thomas Carannante
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Starting pitcher Cole Hamels #32 of the Atlanta Braves throws to a Baltimore Orioles batter in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 16, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Starting pitcher Cole Hamels #32 of the Atlanta Braves throws to a Baltimore Orioles batter in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 16, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

During the month of July, Walker Buehler carried the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation as the unit continued to be without Dustin May and also lost Trevor Bauer and Clayton Kershaw in the beginning of the month. None of those guys have returned.

The Dodgers went 13-12 and Buehler won NL Pitcher of the Month for his efforts. But dare we say his lone dominance isn’t enough?

That’s not a knock against the right-hander. He’s been incredible. But one pitcher cannot be tasked with doing such heavy lifting for an entire pitching staff on a team with World Series aspirations. Acquiring Max Scherzer and Danny Duffy at the trade deadline helped, but more lifting needed to be done.

Mission accomplished. Andrew Friedman is reportedly bringing Cole Hamels aboard, adding yet another starting pitcher with ample postseason experience.

The Dodgers are signing Cole Hamels amid his comeback in 2021.

Thankfully the Dodgers had the upper hand here given Hamels is from Southern California. They attended Hamels’ showcase weeks back as he was looking to return after a shoulder injury limited him to just one start in 2020 with the Braves.

He apparently looked good when he threw for teams, many of which were contenders, and the clear fit was always with the Dodgers, especially given the uncertainty surrounding Bauer and Kershaw.

Though Hamels won’t replace the production of any of the three aforementioned pitchers, if he can get on track during the final weeks of the season and find his footing in October, LA will have successfully kept pace in the NL West arms race while also reworking their once dominant rotation despite dealing with a myriad of issues beginning on Opening Day.

https://twitter.com/BlakeHarrisTBLA/status/1420601492747128836?s=20

The Dodgers rotation, in the end, needs stability. Bullpen games need to come to an end. Tony Gonsolin continues to be hit-or-miss. We’re not sure how many more innings Julio Urias can pitch in 2021 (he’s already at a career-high 129.2, which is 50 more than his previous high). What will Kershaw look like for the rest of the way if he returns?

Hamels doesn’t solve everything, but he gives LA experience, another lefty arm, and a potential to eat more innings and preserve the bullpen. Throw in his career 3.41 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 17 career playoff games, and this was the best move the Dodgers could’ve made in early August.

facebooktwitterreddit