Starter Cole Hamels was the Braves’ lone injury as they opened camp four days ago. The free-agent acquisition, expected to solidify the rotation, was slowed by right shoulder discomfort.
Hamels has been back home in Texas meeting with Dr. Keith Meister and letting the irritation calm down. The Braves will re-evaluate him in three weeks, but Hamels will miss the start of the regular season even if he’s cleared to ramp it up at the earliest possible date.
He will, however, come to Florida and work with his teammates sometime later this week, according to manager Brian Snitker.
“I think we’ll see him at some point this week,” Snitker said Sunday. “Reports are good. (Team trainer) George (Poulis) has been talking to him. I think it’s going exactly how they’d planned, so that’s good news.
“He’ll be here sooner than later just to get him acclimated. A lot of guys know him already, they’ve been around him. It’ll be good to get him in camp, get him around.”
The Braves signed Hamels, 36, to a one-year, $18 million deal this offseason. Their hope was he’d be a stable presence in the rotation, covering consistent innings and mentoring their younger pitchers.
But Hamels, who missed time last season with an oblique injury and endured shoulder fatigue in September, aggravated his shoulder during offseason weighted-ball exercises. He said he overdid it and added he isn’t concerned, according to general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
“He works extremely hard,” Anthopoulos said. “He cares. Sometimes you just end up doing a little too much and you end up flaring up.”
Braves position players report Monday, though most are already in camp. The team will hold its first full-squad workout on Tuesday.
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