Braves: Cole Hamels injury opens door for a King Felix comeback
With Cole Hamels likely starting the season on the injured list, it opens up the door for Felix Hernandez to try and make a comeback with the Atlanta Braves.
Let me be clear from the beginning here, my rooting interests are very clear, I want nothing more than to see Felix Hernandez revive his career with the Atlanta Braves.
As someone who watches as much baseball as possible on a nightly basis, I’ve loved watching King Felix over the years and would love to see the King’s Court come to the TeePee.
But I’m also not delusional and understand that it’s a longshot.
However, with Hamels possibly missing the first month of the season, it opens up another spot in the Braves’ rotation — at least to start the season.
It seems pretty clear to me at this point that Sean Newcomb will get the fourth spot in the rotation to start the season behind Mike Soroka, Max Fried, and Mike Foltynewicz.
And unlike most seasons when the Braves have multiple off days in the first week of the season, that’s not the case in 2020. They have just two off days in April, so they’ll need a full five-man rotation from the beginning.
That means Felix has a good shot at making the team out of spring training if he can perform well.
Typically we don’t put much stock into spring training numbers, but that won’t be the case with Felix this Spring.
If he can go out there and prove he’s still capable of getting hitters out on a consistent basis, no matter who is in the batter’s box, I think the Braves will give him a shot.
But again, let’s not get carried away. Felix has been really bad the past two seasons — and really the past three.
Every single pitch he throws this Spring will be heavily dissected, and he’s going to have to make some adjustment to find other ways to get hitters out now that his overpowering stuff no longer exists.
And he’ll have plenty of competition with Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson, Tucker Davidson, and Ian Anderson in the mix — among others.
I’m certainly not happy that the 36-year-old guy we spent $18 million on this offseason will start the year on the injured list. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little excited about the possibility of one of my favorite pitchers of this generation taking the mound for my favorite team.
Here’s to hoping King Felix can find the magic this Spring with the Braves and give us some exciting moments in 2020.