Former Phillies ace Cole Hamels eyeing another comeback attempt in 2023
Former Phillies ace Cole Hamels planning another comeback in 2023
Cole Hamels still isn’t ready to walk away from baseball.
The longtime Philadelphia Phillies ace has only thrown 3 1/3 innings since the 2019 season, but he’s hoping to get back on the mound in 2023 so that those won’t be his last frames.
According to MLB insider Jon Heyman,
"“Cole Hamels has decided to take his time with his comeback plans and try next spring rather than rush things. He called off a comeback a year ago when he experienced a setback after signing with the Dodgers. Hamels, 38, has thrown just 3 ¹/₃ innings since 2019 but is a career 163-game winner.”"
Hamels is one of the rare homegrown pitching gems in Phillies history. He was their first-round pick in the 2002 draft and made his debut on May 12, 2006. He spent the first decade of his big-league career in a Phillies uniform, helping them win five consecutive division titles, back-to-back pennants, and their second-ever World Series championship. Individually, he was a three-time All-Star, NLCS and World Series MVP, and finished in the top-8 in NL Cy Young voting four times.
After the Phillies traded Hamels to the Texas Rangers at the 2015 deadline, he spent three and a half seasons with them, two with the Chicago Cubs, and most recently, 2020 with the Atlanta Braves, for whom he only made one start, totaling 3 1/3 innings.
In 2021, after hosting a showcase for interested teams – including the Phillies – Hamels signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in August. Phillies fans had hoped for a homecoming, but not signing him turned out to be the right choice, as Hamels never pitched for the Dodgers. They placed him on the 60-Day IL, and he had shoulder surgery in November.
It’s clear that Hamels wants to walk away on his own terms, and hopefully, he’s able to do that; most athletes don’t get to make that choice. Unfortunately, after how the last two seasons panned out, it’s hard to see any teams continuing to take a chance on him.
Hopefully, I’m wrong, but the realistic outcome is that the game walks away from him.