Kelsie Whitmore signs with the Sonoma Stompers, an independent league team

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Update #2 (6:19 PM EDT):

Update (5:50 PM EDT): As noted by reader Alex on Twitter, Eri Yoshida pitched in the Golden and North American Leagues from 2010-12, so Whitmore is not the first woman to play pro baseball nor are the Stompers the first co-ed baseball team as claimed in the Stompers’ press release. Still, it’s very cool.

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The Sonoma Stompers, an independent league team in the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs, announced the signing of 17-year-old pitcher/outfielder Kelsie Whitmore on Wednesday. The Stompers will be the first co-ed professional baseball team since the 1950’s in the Negro Leagues.

The Stompers are also expected to sign Stacy Piagno, 25, who is a pitcher/infielder, the club announced earlier this week. Both Whitmore and Piagno will play for Team USA in the Women’s Baseball World Cup, held in South Korea this September.

Kudos to the Stompers for helping pave the way for more inclusivity in baseball. Despite the retrograde whining from sexist men, there’s no reason a talented woman can’t compete in pro ball with the guys. And kudos to Whitmore and Piagno as well, for being the face of women’s inclusion in baseball. Hopefully, Whitmore and Piagno inspire many more women and female-identifying people to play sports and fight for inclusion.

If the Stompers sound familiar, it’s because they made headlines in April for letting Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus and Ben Lindbergh of FiveThirtyEight run the ballclub last year, which they chronicled in a book called The Only Rule Is It Has to Work. The Stompers also have Sean Conroy, who last year became the first openly gay player in professional baseball.

Cole Hamels done for year after just 1 start for Braves

Cole Hamels triceps injury
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ATLANTA — After making just one start for the Atlanta Braves, Cole Hamels is done for the season.

Hamels reported shortly before the start of a four-game series against the Miami Marlins that he didn’t feel like he could get anything on the ball. The left-hander was scheduled to make his second start Tuesday after struggling throughout the year to overcome shoulder and triceps issues.

The Braves placed Hamels on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 18,, but that was a mere formality. General manager Alex Anthopoulos already contacted Major League Baseball about replacing Hamels in the team’s postseason player pool.

“Cole knows himself and his body,” Anthopoulos said. “You trust the player at that point when he says he can’t go.”

The Braves began Monday with a three-game lead in the NL East .and primed for their third straight division title.

Even with that success, Atlanta has struggled throughout the shortened 60-game series to put together a consistent rotation beyond Cy Young contender Max Fried and rookie Ian Anderson.

Expected ace Mike Soroka went down with a season-ending injury, former All-Star Mike Foltynewicz was demoted after just one start, and Sean Newcomb also was sent to the alternate training site after getting hammered in his four starts.

The Braves have used 12 starters this season.

Anthopoulos had hoped to land another top starter at the trade deadline but the only deal he was able to make was acquiring journeyman Tommy Milone from the Orioles. He’s on the injured list after getting hammered in three starts for the Braves, giving up 22 hits and 16 runs in just 9 2/3 innings.

“There’s no doubt that our starting pitching has not performed to the level we wanted it to or expected it to,” Anthopoulos said. “I know that each year you never have all parts of your club firing. That’s why depth is so important.”

Hamels, who signed an $18 million, one-year contract last December, reported for spring training with a sore shoulder stemming from an offseason workout.

When camps were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, Hamels was able to take a more cautious approach to his rehabilitation. But a triceps issue sidelined again before the delayed start of the season in July.

The Braves hoped Hamels would return in time to provide a boost for the playoffs. He also was scheduled to start the final game of the regular season Sunday, putting him in position to join the postseason rotation behind Fried and Anderson.

Now, Hamels is done for the year, his Braves’ career possibly ending after he made that one appearance last week in Baltimore. He went 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits, with two strikeouts and one walk in a loss to the Orioles.

Hamels reported no problems immediately after his start, but he didn’t feel right after a bullpen session a couple of days ago.

“You’re not going to try to talk the player into it,” Anthopoulos said. “When he says he isn’t right, that’s all we need to hear.”

Atlanta recalled right-hander Bryse Wilson to replace Hamels on the 28-man roster. The Braves did not immediately name a starter for Tuesday’s game.

With Hamels out, the Braves will apparently go with Fried (7-0, 1.96), Anderson (3-1, 2.36) and Kyle Wright (2-4, 5.74) as their top three postseason starters.

Hamels is a four-time All-Star with a career record of 163-122. He starred on Philadelphia’s World Series-winning team in 2008 and also pitched for Texas and the Chicago Cubs.

Last season, Hamels went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts for the Cubs.