Braves have no timetable for Cole Hamels’ return from injury

Cole Hamels’ injured left shoulder has been reevaluated by an orthopedist in Dallas, but the Braves still don’t know when he’ll begin throwing, let alone pitch in a game.

The veteran left-hander, who signed a one-year $18 million contract with the Braves as a free agent in December, suffered the shoulder injury during off-season workouts and hasn’t pitched in spring training.

“He’s not even on the radar yet that I’m aware of, even for tossing yet,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said Monday. “He’s progressing gradually, doing all the day-to-day rehab stuff.”

Hamels previously described the injury as "a culmination of some really intense workouts for over a week and a half" in January.

The Braves have known for several weeks that Hamels wouldn't be available for the start of the season, and it appears likely they'll be without him at least through most or all of April.

That leaves two open spots for the Braves to sort out in their season-opening five-man starting rotation before the end of spring training. Compounding the issue is that the Braves have just one off day through their first 24 regular-season games, meaning they won’t have the option of going with a four-man rotation at times.

“We’re going to be pulling out of (spring training) with five starters,” Snitker said.

The Braves open the regular season March 26 at Arizona.