“As milestones go, this one didn’t make headlines, but Cole Hamels is particularly proud of it.
“I finally hit 200 (pounds), and it only took 26 years,” Hamels joked. “I have the height, but I’ve always been the skinny kid.”
Hamels credits the added weight for bulking up his stats, but there’s more to it than taking in a few extra calories at dinner.
The lefty has taken a whole new approach to his preparation this season, and the results — namely a 2.58 ERA in his last nine starts, including eight innings of one-hit ball last Thursday in St. Louis — have been all the motivation he’s needed to keep up the pace.
“I think I’ve finally been able to get a routine together where I understand what a season takes, how long a season is, what happens to your body during a season,” Hamels said.
“Those days I used to take off last year or the year before that, I’m not taking off. Mentally, I’m convincing myself I can still do one more rep.”
Hamels said he’s taken only two days off from workouts since spring training began. Besides that, he’s been hard at work in the weight room, running or long-tossing every day.
“Sometimes in the past, you’d play catch to play catch,” Hamels said. “I didn’t get anything out of it. Now, I’m trying to get everything I possibly can.””