Former World Series MVP Attempts Comeback After 3 Years Out Of MLB

After being essentially out of the majors for three years, a 15-year veteran and one of the best left-handers of the past decade-and-a-half, Cole Hamels, is planning a comeback for 2023. 

The now 39-year-old said several injuries affected his production over his last few seasons, and he's had three surgeries to correct the issues and is ready to give it another shot. He spoke about his comeback attempt this weekend.

"It's hard to train when you've got body parts that are not doing what they're supposed to do to allow you to do what you want to do...

"So just understanding what was kind of wrong, getting it fixed and then actually being able to rehab it, just kind of addressing the right areas and not trying to overcompensate, I think has kind of helped," Hamels told The Associated Press.

Hamels had procedures to correct problems with his left shoulder, his right knee and his left foot. 

He pitched just three innings in 2020, and none in 2021 or 2022. His last full season, 2019, saw him post a 3.81 ERA and 1.39 WHIP with the Chicago Cubs. 

All he's asking for is one more chance. 

A Spring Training invite is no risk, all reward.  If you start me out in February, I’ll be ready by April 1,” Hamels said.  “Or I’ll know exactly I can’t do it, and I will be the first one to admit, nope, I had a great career. I can hang it up and be proud of what I did.”

Over the course of his 15 years in the majors, Hamels went 163-122 with a 3.43 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. He's notched 2,560 strikeouts.  

Hamels spent 10 years with the Philadelphia Phillies, which included three of his four All-Star selections, and the 2008 World Series MVP award. He also spent some time with the Texas RangersChicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves (for one shortened start in 2020).

Photo: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports