When Jim Thome signed a one-year deal with the Phillies last winter, most around baseball assumed the future Hall of Famer would ride off into the sunset after Philadelphia's season ended sometime in October.
A rough April and month-long stint on the disabled list certainly fueled questions about Thome's ability to stay in the majors, especially as a sparingly-used pinch-hitter in the National League. But since returning from the DL, Thome has looked like his old tater-mashing self, hitting five home runs in 46 trips to the plate with a 1.123 OPS.
That he started all nine interleague road games at DH perhaps has helped Thome, who has seen more than double the plate appearances in June than he did in April. And Thome feels he still has gas left in the tank to keep playing behind 2012, per CSNPhilly's Jim Salisbury.
The Phillies entered Sunday at 34-48, 8 12 games behind first-place Washington in the NL East. That's hardly out of the playoff picture, but a few American League contenders could use an upgrade at DH.
Thome has played 22 years in the majors and still hasn't won a World Series. The White Sox, pretty well out of contention by late August of 2009, dealt Thome to Los Angeles in late August in an effort to give him a shot at a title. Perhaps Philadelphia will do the same if they reach that point later in the season.
But if they don't, maybe Thome will get another shot at a ring after all in 2013.