Hamels Will Do What It Takes To Win 20 Games

Posted Mar 16, 2007

Cole Hamels isn't all that far removed from having back problems that forced his career into detour mode. Now that he's healthy though, the left-hander is thinking big.

Having established himself as a major league pitcher last season, Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has set some loftier personal goals for 2007, namely to win 20 games and made a bid for the Cy Young Award.

But, to do all that, he needs to stay on the mound.

Hamels, plagued by injuries throughout his minor league career, has stuck to a strict exercise regimen in spring training that includes 500 daily crunches and an ice bath. He also gets a massage and chiropractic treatments three times a week. The whole routine is designed to control a degenerative condition in which a disk in his back can press on his sciatic nerve, causing intense pain and limiting his mobility.

"I'll look in the mirror and ask myself, 'Did I do all I can do?'" Hamels told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I'll do 500 crunches and wonder if it's enough. I feel guilty if I don't feel like I've done enough. I get paranoid."

Hamels' health may the only thing keeping him from greatness. He throws a mid-90s fastball, an emerging curveball and one of the game's best change-ups. Hamels, 23, went 9-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 23 starts as a rookie last season, and in his final 11 starts, he was 6-3 with a 2.60 ERA. His 101 strikeouts after the All-Star break were second most in the National League.

"His conditioning is better right now than ever before," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's sound. His arm's good. His back's good. The fact that he did pitch a lot for us in the second half of the season, I think that's only going to be a good thing for him as far as getting experience."

Related Stories
The Kid's Alright; Garcia and Ruiz May Be Too
 -by FightinsFuture.com  Mar 22, 2007
News On Hamels Is Relatively Good
 -by FightinsFuture.com  Aug 22, 2007
Myers Won't Be Exiting Crowded Rotation
 -by FightinsFuture.com  Mar 15, 2007

> Members-only Forums
> Insider Information
> MiLB &
   MLB Draft News
> Expert Chats

Sign Up Today!

Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from FightinsFuture.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
SP Cole Hamels (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Baseball > Philadelphia
Baseball > Rancho Bernardo HS > Alumni
[View My HotList]