The Dodgers announced that they have selected the contract for veteran reliefs Glad Naphtali. To make room on the 40-man list, they placed left-handers Cole Hamels on the 60-day injury list. The move ends Hamels’ season before he could make an official appearance. Hamels recently suffered a form of arm injury, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link).
In addition, Los Angeles was reminiscent of right-handed pitching views Andre Jackson to make his major league debut. Jackson was selected to the 40-man offseason list to prevent him from being taken in the rule 5 draft, so there was no need for a similar move in that regard. To open active duty room, Darien Nunez and Edwin uceta was selected for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Hamels missed almost the entire last season, with the Braves dealing with triceps and shoulder problems. He remained in the free agent market throughout the offseason and first half of the campaign in 2021 before completing a showcase in mid-July. This led to a one-year agreement of DKK 1 million. Dollar with the Dodgers two weeks ago in hopes that Hamels could build up as a late opportunity for rotation in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, he now has to deal with another injury that prevents him from taking the mound in 2021.
There will definitely be updates on Hamels’ specific diagnosis and prospects. It is not clear if this latest issue will affect his readiness for the campaign in 2022. The 37-year-old will again hit free agency at the end of the season and he will definitely have to complete another showcase for teams if he is able and decides to pursue opportunities this winter.
Clearly, Hamels’ setback will remove another potential starting opportunity for the Dodgers down the stretch. Los Angeles tracks the Giants with four games in the NL West, and they were already without Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías, Danny Duffy and Tony Gonsolin due to injury (as well as Dustin May, who underwent surgery in Tommy John in May). Kershaw especially played catch today for the first time since he was shut down due to soreness in his forearm (via Juan Toribio from MLB.com), although he is still not expected back until September.
Féliz is back in the majors for the second time this season. The former All-Star appeared in two games for the Phillies in late June, his first big league action in four years. Féliz was tagged for four runs in a round of work with Philadelphia before being released. The 33-year-old stuck with the Dodgers on a minor league deal shortly thereafter.
The veteran has spent the last six weeks in Oklahoma City and bounced back to the big ones with a 3.38 ERA across 18 2/3 innings. It’s a continuation of the stellar work he logged at the highest level of minors with Phillies’ subsidiary in Lehigh Valley. Between the two organizations, Féliz has a 2.45 ERA in Triple-A with a huge 38.8% strikeout rate and an average 9.7% walking rate.
Jackson, meanwhile, is one of the better pitching prospects in the Dodgers’ system. He dropped to the twelfth round of the 2017 draft after undergoing a Tommy John operation in his final season at the University of Utah, where he spent more time as an outfielder than he did on the mound. The right-winger made his professional debut the following year and struggled with his control, but he had a breakout season 2019 spread over two levels of A-ball.
Each of Baseball America, Keith Law of the Athletic and Eric Longenhagen of the FanGraphs beat Jackson among the Dodgers’ top fifteen minor league games either before or during the 2021. Season evaluators praise his four-pitch mix and athletics, with a general expectation he continue to improve due to his relative lack of experience as a pitcher.
The 24-year-old has spent most of the year with Double-A Tulsa throwing himself at 3.27 ERA across 63 1/3 innings. Jackson beat a strong 29.6% of opponents while going a career-low 7.9% of batsmen facing earning his first major league call.