Cole Hamels to Cubs Looks Imminent

Last week, Craig Edwards observed that the current Cubs rotation was on pace to become the club’s worst ever. While the team as a whole had prevented runs at something slightly better than an average rate, that was due largely (noted Edwards) to the contributions of the defense. The starters, meanwhile, had performed poorly in those areas (strikeouts, walk, home-run prevention) over which they exerted the most control.

From Edwards’ post:

The Cubs appear to have gone some way towards addressing this particular shortcoming on Thursday night. While nothing’s official, a trade for Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels appears imminent. Per Jeff Passan:

For all his name recognition, the present-day incarnation of Cole Hamels is inferior to the best version of that same pitcher, the one whose on-field exploits for a decade were rivaled only by those produced by a group of starters who will receive real consideration for the Hall of Fame. After recording a successful first full season with the Rangers in 2016, Hamels has authored more ordinary work in the meantime, recording 1.7 WAR in 262.1 innings since the beginning of 2017. That said, both his swinging-strike and overall strikeout rates (9.7% and 17.1%, respectively, in 2017) have returned to his pre-2017 levels (12.3% and 22.7%, respectively, in 2018). He has exhibited, meanwhile, no real signs of velocity decline.

As for Hamels’ role in Chicago, he’d look certain to replace offseason acquisition Tyler Chatwood in the rotation. Chatwood’s struggles with command have been pronounced this season, and his current walk rate (19.0%) would represent the second-highest mark among qualifiers since integration. Hamels is not only projected to outperform Chatwood by nearly a half-win over the remainder of the season, but he would also (a) serve as insurance against further ineffectiveness in the rotation and (b) stand to play some role in a longer postseason series, as well.

As for the cost to Chicago, it appears at the moment to be fairly minimal outside of the $8 million or so remaining on Hamels’ contract. The only player mentioned by name going to Texas is Rollie Lacy, a 23-year-old right-hander who has produced decent rates in the High-A Carolina League this year but who was omitted from Eric Longenhagen’s audit of the Cubs’ farm system back in November.

We hoped you liked reading Cole Hamels to Cubs Looks Imminent by Carson Cistulli!

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Ryan21
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Ryan21

So will the move to Wrigley actually help Hamels’ issues? I’ve seen some speculation about this, but Fangraphs’ 2017 park factors have the Cubs’ and Rangers’ parks both clocking in at 101 for HRs. And beyond that, Hamels in a Chicago day game with the wind blowing out seems like a recipe for disaster.

stever20
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stever20

he’s pitched well in Wrigley before- 4-1 with a 1.76 ERA for his career in 6 starts with a no hitter. 3 HR in 41 IP with a 6/40 bb/k ratio.

stever20
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stever20

Also looking at the ESPN park factors for this year- Texas is #1 at 138 for runs while Chicago is #8 at 111. For HR it’s Texas at #1 at 143 to Wrigley at #17 at 100. So while last year it was a lot closer- this year it seems like Texas is much more of a hitters park than Wrigley.

Just look at the raw numbers:
Texas- home scored 274 allowed 335 in 54 games (609 runs in 54 games- 11.28 per game
Away scored 190 allowed 218 in 50 games (408 in 54- 7.56 per game)
Cubs- home scored 266 allowed 233 in 52 games (499 runs in 52 games- 9.60 per game
away- scored 252 allowed 182 in 50 games(434 runs in 50 games- 8.68 per game)

Uwashington
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Uwashington

The differences for the Rangers home and away are nuts this year. It’s interesting because last year wasn’t such an extreme split for either the team or Hamels. Has the weather gotten more extreme this season in Texas?

stever20
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Member
stever20

I think so. I know they just had a 7 game homestand, and here’s the temps for those 7 games.
107 107 102 99 97 100 101
they had a 7 game homestand last year same week
93 95 92 88 91 89 83