Phillies: Ruben Amaro Jr. shares update on Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels with former General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Cole Hamels with former General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

When the Philadelphia Phillies signed Matt Moore and Chase Anderson this past offseason to one-year deals, the best-case scenario for the pair of veterans was them lasting the entire season as serviceable Nos. 4 and 5 starters in the rotation.

Unfortunately for manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Caleb Cotham, Moore and Anderson have been anything but that. The left-hander has allowed 17 hits, 13 runs (12 earned), four home runs, and nine walks spanning three starts and 11 innings. Anderson, meanwhile, has allowed 16 hits, 12 runs (all earned), three home runs, and eight walks spanning four starts and 16 2/3 frames. Respectively, they have 9.82 and 6.48 ERAs.

Is a Phillies-Cole Hamels reunion imminent? Not so fast, says Ruben Amaro Jr.

As a result of their struggles, and partially due to Moore’s recent stint on the COVID-19 injured list, the Phillies have put Vince Velasquez back in the rotation mix — and reportedly eye Spencer Howard to also make starts in the near future, even after previously wanting to limit his innings in his sophomore season.

Phillies fans have long clamored on social media for the team to take a different route — a reunion with 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels.

News about the free-agent has been largely silent this past offseason and through the first month of the 2021 regular season, but former Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. — who traded Hamels to the Texas Rangers in July 2015 — took to social media on Wednesday to address the fans calling for a Phillies reunion.

“Folks who follow the Phillies… Cole Hamels is not physically ready to pitch yet,” Amaro Jr. tweeted in all caps. “Chill.”

The 37-year-old was limited to just one start last season with the Atlanta Braves due to a slew of shoulder and arm injuries. Hamels received free-agent interest this offseason from several teams, including the Gabe Kapler-led San Francisco Giants, and was working out every day — with a focus on his health. He has made it known that he intends to pitch this season.

“This is probably one of the bigger injuries I’ve ever suffered,” Hamels said in a recent podcast, before adding:

"“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.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.”"

Amaro Jr.’s insight into the latest on Hamels shows that the 15-year veteran is not quite physically ready to have a showcase in front of big-league teams. Perhaps, he and the Phillies can still reunite at some point this season.

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