Cole Hamels held his much-anticipated showcase for interested teams in Frisco, Texas, on Friday — and interested teams, there were many.
Twenty clubs had representatives attend the workout, including but not limited to the Los Angeles Angels (per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger), St. Louis Cardinals (The Athletic’s Katie Woo), Boston Red Sox (WEEI’s Rob Bradford), New York Yankees (The New York Post’s Joel Sherman), Los Angeles Dodgers (Los Angeles Times’ Mike DiGiovanna), New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies (MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, who added that a few teams are already in touch with Hamels following the workout).
Hamels threw two separate bullpen sessions, each comprising 30 pitches and with a five-minute break in between, according to MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki. Hamels’ fastball reportedly averaged 88.5 mph and topped out at 90. (He averaged 92.5 mph on his fastball in 2015, his last year as a Phillie, and that number has steadily decreased each year since.)
Hamels also threw each of his secondary pitches — his cutter, curveball, sinker and go-to changeup — that had solid movement but lacked the trademark control on which the southpaw has built his career, per Zolecki.
As Zolecki noted, Hamels can count on his velocity and control improving with time as he kicks back into a full-gear, which may take a month before he’s ready to make his season debut.
The 37-year-old threw just 3 1/3 innings with the Atlanta Braves in 2020, missing most of the season with a triceps injury and making one start in September before being sidelined again with shoulder fatigue. He was, however, fairly effective with the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs across 2018 and 2019, posting ERAs of 3.78 and 3.81, respectively. Given the role in the Phillies’ rotation that Hamels would most likely occupy — that is, at the back end, in place of Vince Velasquez or possibly Matt Moore — that level of production would certainly help.
Hamels would also bring some veteran experience to a clubhouse that has yet to reach the playoffs together and has played its way out of a postseason spot down the stretch in each of the last three seasons. It wouldn’t be the driving force for the signing, but a reunion with the 2008 NLCS and World Series MVP would also bring a buzz to Citizens Bank Park in the thick of the playoff chase — should the team still find itself there in August.
Judging by the crowd on site at Hamels’ showcase on Friday, one thing is for sure: There will be competition if the Phillies are interested in a reunion.
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION
- ‘Man I Throw Hay Bales On A Trailer’: Christian McGowan Comes From Small Town To Phillies
- Report: Phillies Would Be Interested In Byron Buxton If Made Available
- Spencer Howard To ‘Take The Reins Off,’ Build Pitch Count In Minors
- Cole Hamels Slated To Hold Showcase For Potential Suitors Later This Month
- Report: 9-Inning Doubleheaders Could Return In 2022
- Brian Barber On Mick Abel: ‘He’s Exactly What We Thought He Was Going To Be’
- Joe Girardi Is Feeling The Heat
- Brad Miller On Zack Wheeler: ‘It’s Cy Young, MVP – It’s All Of It’
- Exec On Gabe Kapler: ‘He Learned A Lot Of Lessons’ From Time With Phillies
- Sinclair Broadcast Group Makes Bid To Buy NBC Sports Philadelphia, Other Local Networks
- Phillies 2021 Walk-Up Songs