After losing almost the entire 2020 season to a shoulder injury, Cole Hamels stayed in the free agent market for months to recover. Returning to health, he signed a major league contract with the Dodgers earlier this month. Just weeks later, renewed shoulder pain during his ramp-up work ended his 2021 season before it began.
After this recent setback, it was fair to ask whether Hamels would consider resigning. However, that will not be the case, as reported by Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (Twitter link) that the 37-year-old is aiming for another comeback.
There is no specific timetable for Hamels’ return from this recent injury. He will join the free agency at the end of the season and is expected to have to do at least one showcase for potential applicants if he is healthy. His form in these looks could well determine whether Hamels can get another big league deal this time.
The chances of Hamels returning to his all-star peak are very slim, but it’s not inconceivable that he could still be a decent option for the rotation to return. Those last few years ago, Hamels was one of the most durable weapons in the game. The southpaw made quite a remarkable twenty or more starts, counting over 130 innings in each 2006-19 season. And during his last healthy season, Hamels was still quite productive. With the Cubs in 2019, he worked over 141 2/3 frames at a 3.81 ERA. Given that Hamels has been an example of consistency for most of his career and was still able to perform well the last time he was physically able to pitch, it’s not hard to get his momentum up understand to try another run in 2022.