Just when you thought the Los Angeles Dodgers were done making moves, President Andrew Friedman has gone out and bolstered the starting rotation even more, adding four-time All-Star Cole Hamels.
The veteran southpaw last pitched in 2020 with the Atlanta Braves, but only saw 3.1 innings of action due to a shoulder injury that he suffered during spring training. The good news for the Dodgers is that at age 35 with the Cubs, Hamels finished the 2019 season with an ERA+ of 113 in 141.2 innings of work. When healthy, the now 37-year-old can still be an above-average pitcher, and possesses a nasty changeup that ages well into his later years.
Dodgers Sign Cole Hamels
Hamels’ best year came in 2012 when he finished sixth in NL Cy Young voting with an ERA of 2.46. Hamels also finished in the top 10 of Cy Young voting in 2007, 2011, and 2012. In 2008 during the Phillies championship season, the San Diego native led the entire league in WHIP at 1.08. The former first-round pick was named NLCS and World Series MVP that year as well.
The Dodgers signed four-time All-Star Cole Hamels to a one-year contract through the 2021 season. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated Yefry Ramírez for assignment.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 4, 2021
To make room for the left-hander in the Dodgers 40-man roster, Los Angeles designated pitcher Yefry Ramirez for assignment. The 27-year-old right-hander only pitched two innings for the Dodgers in 2021.
Hamels now joins a Dodgers rotation that includes the likes of Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Julio Urias. The Dodgers also have former Cy Young winner David Price, and added left-hander Danny Duffy at the trade deadline. These moves come in wake of Trevor Bauer being placed on the administrative league by the MLB in early July following assault allegations levied against him.
The loss of Bauer is no easy hole to fill, but the Dodgers have made more than enough moves, and now need to figure out if they want to have a five-man or six-man rotation going forward. You can automatically pencil in Scherzer, Kershaw, Buehler, and Urias, but who deserves the fifth or sixth spot?
Danny Duffy has been exceptional so far this season with a 2.51 ERA, but has yet to make an appearance with his new team. David Price has an ERA+ over 100, but was shaky in his last start against the Giants, and might be better suited as a full-time reliever coming out of the pen at this stage in his career.
Wrapping Things Up
If anything, I’d rather start Hamels over Price for the remainder of the regular season given the fact that Price has experience in the pen and was a large part of the Tampa Bay Rays success in 2008 as a closer when he got the save against the Red Sox in Game 7 of the ALCS.
Currently, the Dodgers are 65-44, 3.5 games back of the Giants for first place in the NL West. Despite being more than 20 games over .500, it’s been a disappointing season for LA considering how stacked they are. The roster hasn’t been able to catch a break with injuries, which has resulted in the defending champs playing in the Wild Card game if the postseason started today.
With a team this loaded, you can’t afford to play a single-elimination win-or-go-home game in the fall.