Former Phillies World Series MVP Cole Hamels has not seen a Major League mound in some time.  His last appearance came on September 16, 2020, as a member of the Atlanta Braves, his only start with the team that season.  In 2021 he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization in August, but did not pitch.  After sitting out 2022, Hamels is going to give it one more shot.

Should he make the team, this would be a chance to come home.

Hamels was born and raised in San Diego, and he still has family there.  He grew up a San Diego Padres fan, and was a big fan of Tony Gwynn.  Hamels often wore number 19 growing up in Gwynn's honor before putting on number 35 with the Phillies.  This will be his chance to play for his childhood team.

Hamels must demonstrate that he is worthy of a roster spot, of course.

Hamels will head to Arizona with the Padres to show that he is indeed healthy and that he can help the San Diego Padres.  The Padres rotation is set to feature familiar faces Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Blake Snell.  Newcomer Michael Wacha should have a starting rotation spot, and Seth Lugo signed as a starting pitcher.

Reliever Nick Martinez is also a candidate for a rotation spot as well after making 10 starts in 2022 and pitching well in relief.

Therefore a rotation spot is far from guaranteed for Hamels, who turned 39 years old in December.  But the team he grew up rooting for is going to give him a chance to show he can still do it.

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