MLB rumors: Cole Hamels wants to pitch again; should Phillies make the call?

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Dan Roche
·3 min read
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Could Cole Hamels help the Phils beleaguered rotation? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The issues for the back end of the Phillies starting rotation are glaring. Could the team ring an old friend to help out?

Four-time All-Star and 2008 World Series hero Cole Hamels joined the Major League Beginnings Podcast to discuss his career highlights, and the prospect of getting back to the big leagues after shoulder and arm injuries limited him to one appearance for the Braves last season.

“This is probably one of the bigger injuries I’ve ever suffered,” Hamels said of his 2020 season. “When you injure your shoulder, normally you don’t hear good things. Last year was tough, to not be able to throw, and having that injury with the season I was, I was not able to build back.”

Hamels’ injury issues can be traced back to an oblique injury with the Cubs in 2019, which cost him the entire month of July. He wasn’t the same after that, going 1-4 with a 6.57 ERA in his final nine starts of the season.

Now, he says he’s healthy, and even at the age of 37, with one MLB appearance under his belt in the last 576 days, he believes he can still help a team in need.

“It’s being able to prove to others that I’m not done, that I don’t give up easily, that I still have a lot left in the tank physically. Because mentally I know I can still compete at that level. I know I can still get guys out. … I still feel like I have enough work ethic, enough to grind through injuries.”

“That’s what got me to 200 innings every year. That wasn’t a smooth 200 innings, there are games you’re nicked up, you’re not feeling so hot, but you have to push through and pace yourself in a way. It’s just a different mentality and I know I can still pitch.”

Hamels has been a starter his entire 15-year career, but he didn’t entirely rule out a change in role if he no longer has the length to go 6-7 innings on a given night.

“I know being a starter, you still have options when you’re left-handed. Teams want that, I know I have multiple pitches that I can get guys out with. It’s a matter of how long can I do the 200 innings, can I do 150? What can I do? What am I going to be capable of in a season? And worst comes to worst, I can always just go to the bullpen. That would be interesting. I don’t know, maybe I can work on the Trevor Hoffman changeup. Seemed to work for him [laughs].”

“I’m not ready [to retire] just yet. I think I still have a lot to offer, and it’s just proving to teams that I don’t give up easily, and that I have a pretty good work ethic, and the intelligence to survive out there.”

Certainly some food for thought for a Phillies team that could really use some help eating innings beyond Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin.

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