Tag Archives: Cole Hamels

Is Cole Hamels The Ace Of The Rangers Pitching Staff?

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers

Courtesy: Getty Images

New mustache but with the same result.

Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels just keeps on winning and putting on a display in the process. The lefty tossed a gem on Friday night at The Globe against the division rival Los Angeles Angels, not allowing a run in just over seven innings of work while striking out six to run his record to 4-0 on the season.

Hamels missed some time last month due to an oblique injury but took no time at all regaining his form upon return.  He’s won two consecutive starts and had retired 24 straight hitters until giving up a two-out single in the second inning in the win over the Halos.

What’s even more impressive is Hamels has a 26-6 record in 52 regular season starts as a member of the Rangers and the team is 38-14 in those games. Looks like that trade with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015 to bring Hollywood to Arlington in exchange for prospects turned out to be good one for Texas.

So does all this make Hamels the ace of the Rangers staff?

While there is the belief that Yu Darvish is the ace, it’s hard not to argue on behalf of Hamels for that spot. Sure, Darvish is one of the top pitchers in baseball when his stuff is working, but Hamels is that solid rock that finds a way to get the job done more often than not.

Take away last year’s series against the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS, where both pitchers got bruised by the Jays lineup, and Hamels has the playoff resume that stands out. Hamels is a career 7-6 in the postseason with a 3.48 ERA but two of those losses are with the Rangers. He basically arrived on the scene in 2008 after walking away with the World Series MVP when the Phillies won it all. Hamels threw a total of 35 innings during the postseason, and held opponents scoreless in 28 of them.

Granted, Darvish hasn’t had the postseason opportunities that Hamels had in both Texas and Philly. A career 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in two playoff starts isn’t worth writing home about but it’s a small sample that’s hard to either dismiss or defend.

Plus, Hamels isn’t leaving anytime soon since he’s not a free agent until 2020. Darvish, on the other hand, is a free agent at the end of the season and it remains unclear whether Arlington is the home for Yu after the year.

Right now, Darvish is an All-Star but the nod may go to Hamels as the ace. Let the debate continue on.

Hamels Back In The Groove In Second Rehab Start In Frisco

Rangers Cole Hamels

Courtesy: Getty Images

Cole Hamels is close to being back.

The Rangers lefty made his second rehab start at Double-A Frisco, allowing one run on two hits in five and two-thirds innings in the Roughrider’s 11-2 win over the Midland Rockhounds. Hamels struck out seven on 81 pitches, 50 were strikes.

“Things went well,” said Hamels. “Ultimately, we’ll see how I feel tomorrow and get back into the five-day routine. Obviously bounced back really well from the last start with the five days. I think that will be the tell-tale sign with how I feel tomorrow.”

Hamels is on a rehab assignment after suffering an oblique injury last month. During his two starts in Frisco, one of the things he worked on was getting back in the groove with his cutter, which he threw frequently during this last outing.

“I didn’t throw a lot of good cutters in my last start so really tried to make sure I had that feel,” said Hamels. “It’s such a good pitch to get guys off-balanced and to make sure I can execute the other pitches. That’s kind of been the tell-tale sign for really establishing what the hitters approach is with that pitch. Since I was able to do that, it gave me a good idea what I could threw next to these hitters out there.”

Hamels will travel with the Rangers to New York for a weekend series with the Yankees. The hope is the ace will be ready to return against the Indians in Cleveland afterwards, although nothing has been confirmed.

Roughriders centerfielder Jose Cardona provided some offense in the third inning, showing why he’s a Texas League All-Star. Cardona left no doubt when he turned on one for a three-run homer. Leftfielder Scott Heineman also added a two-run shot for the Roughriders.

As for Hamels’ time on the mound at Dr. Pepper Ballpark, it was a pleasant experience for the Rangers ace.

“I’ve heard outstanding things and coming here I have to say it’s one of the best Double-A stadiums I’ve come to,” said Hamels. “It’s a fun place. If you ever have to rehab, this is definitely the place you want to lobby towards.”

Frisco hits the round for a four-game series at Corpus Christi starting on Thursday. After tonight’s game at The Globe, the Rangers wrap up their series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon before embarking on a 10-game road trip against the Yankees, Indians and Chicago White Sox.