Cubs' Cole Hamels Placed on IL with Oblique Injury

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent III

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Cole Hamels receives the ball in the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Friday, June 28, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

Chicago Cubs starter Cole Hamels was placed on the injured list with a left oblique strain MRI on Saturday, the team announced

Joe Maddon first told reporters Hamels would go on the injured list Friday night, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.

The 35-year-old southpaw pitched the first inning in the Cubs' 6-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds before exiting the game. 

"I felt it on the cutter to [Scooter] Gennett, you know, and kinda felt more like a cramp," Hamels said after the game, according to ESPN's Jesse Rogers. "Because I strained or tore my oblique a couple years ago, and that was completely different. That's the one where you feel like you just got shot. So, I really thought it was more of a cramp. 

"Continued to throw the next two pitches, and it still was lingering."

As a member of the Texas Rangers in 2017, Hamels was diagnosed with a strained right oblique in early May and did not return until June 26. 

Overall in 2019, the four-time All-Star has posted a 6-3 record in 16 starts with a 2.92 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. In June, per ESPN, Hamels had a 1.00 ERA and a 2-1 record across five starts entering Friday. 

The potential loss of Hamels would hurt especially right now as Kyle Hendricks remains on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation. 

Depending on what moves the Cubs do make, Maddon could turn to Tyler Chatwood, Mike Montgomery or Adbert Alzolay should Hamels miss extended time. Chatwood has started three games this season, while Alzolay has started once, and Montgomery has not started. 

The Cubs are 44-38 and hold a one-game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks for first in the NL Central.