Cole Hamels’ MLB Comeback Cut Short Again

Phillies Cole Hamels
30 June 2015: Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) winds up to pitch during the MLB game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Philadelphia Phillies played at the Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA

Cole Hamels‘ attempted comeback for the 2021 season is over before it even began.

The 37-year-old former Phillies pitcher and 2008 World Series MVP (and forever Philadelphia heartthrob) was placed on the 60-day injured list on Monday less than two weeks after signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, ultimately ending his season according to Bob Nightengale. Hamels was scheduled to pitch two innings in a simulated game but left the mound after just one after feeling some shoulder pain. The Dodgers have yet to confirm the injury Hamels is officially dealing with.

The Phillies were one of many teams to attend a showcase hosted by Hamels. Dave Dombrowski, Phillies president of baseball operations, said the team would “revisit the conversation” of whether or not to sign Hamels after the July 30 trade deadline passed. The Dodgers signed Hamels to a one-year deal worth $1 million, plus $200,000 for every start he made this season just after the deadline on August 4.

This is the second season in a row an attempted comeback by Hamels was cut short. He signed a one-year, $18 million deal with the Atlanta Braves prior to the 2020 season. During delays to the start of the 2020 regular season, Hamels was battling triceps tendinitis into July. He was able to recover enough for one start in 2020, debuting in September and going 3.1 innings in a start against the Orioles prior to being placed back on the injured list with a left shoulder strain. Hamels has collected just under $8 million (prorated $6,666.667 from Atlanta, $1 million from LA) for 3.1 innings the last two seasons combined.

The Dodgers selected the contract of former Phillies pitcher Neftali Feliz to replace Hamels on the 40-man roster. Feliz appeared twice for the Phillies in June, to the tune of a disastrous 36.00 ERA in a total of one inning pitched.

Hamels may struggle to find another major league contract offer after two straight seasons ended with a bunch of cash and no production. Facing the last vestiges of a once-dominant pitching career, Hamels may consider taking a similar approach that several of his ’08 World Series brethren have taken: signing a one-day contract to retire as a Phillie. Back in 2018, Shane Victorino did the same to retire during Alumni weekend. Although this year’s Alumni weekend has passed, that doesn’t mean Cole wouldn’t come back next summer’s event to a rousing ovation as only the Philly fans can provide.

Photo By: Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire