Hamels feeling good, Carrasco comeback, Reds return



ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Braves left-hander Cole Hamels is feeling good while recovering from a sore left shoulder. Hamels hopes he’ll be ready for the start of the 60-game season in less than three weeks and says he’s interested in quality innings even if he’s not able to pitch deep into the game. The Braves opened their summer training at newly renamed Truist Park. A sore left shoulder could have forced Hamels to miss two months if the season started on time. Instead, the coronavirus pandemic ended spring training in mid-March and allowed Hamels to have a more relaxed approach to his rehabilitation.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Carlos Carrasco is making another comeback. The popular Indians pitcher is eager to get back on the mound after missing most of last season while battling leukemia. The 33-year-old is in remission but he’s at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Carrasco has the blessing of the team’s medical staff to play as baseball resumes, and he’s thankful his teammates will look out for him. Carrasco has spent the last few months working out at his home in Florida. He even installed a mound near his front yard so he could throw.

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds resumed with a familiar scene: hitters slapping batting-practice pitches around Great American Ball Park while a mash-up of disco, rap and Motown reverberated. It looked and sounded like baseball but felt very different in many ways. Manager David Bell hadn’t slept well the last few days, anxious over how to hit a restart button on a shortened season while keeping players safe from COVID-19. Outfielder Nick Senzel is worried about whether major league players will be cautious when they go out in public, so not to catch and spread the coronavirus.

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners kicked off summer camp trying to figure out how to get pitchers ready in just three weeks. One way the Mariners hope to combat worries about putting strain on pitchers’ arms is by going with a six-man rotation for the full 60-game season. The Mariners most likely already have the six starters set between Marco Gonzales, Yusei Kikuchi, Kendall Graveman, Justus Sheffield, Justin Dunn and Taijuan Walker. They may end up averaging just one start per week during the shortened season.

UNDATED (AP) — Plenty of aches and pains around the NBA have healed in the almost-four-month span since the league had to suspend its season because of the pandemic. That means the 22 teams that will be arriving at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida next week should be coming in with mostly healthy rosters. Keeping players healthy once they get to Disney will be another challenge, as workloads ramp up quickly for the July 30 resumption of games. But at least at the start of camps, rosters will be deeper than they were when the league shut down on March 11.

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