As I said in the Backdoor Breakers podcast, give me three starts before I decide if I like this trade. Cole Hamels, with some cash, was traded to the North Side on July 27th for RHP Eddie Butler, RHP Rollie Lacy and a player to be named later. At first glance I just asked myself, “why?” and I do have a speculation on that which you can listen to on episode 2 of Backdoor Breakers (plug time). There is no question that among active pitchers, Cole Hamels has one of the more colorful resumes in the league, but it’s just the timing of it all that makes me question the acquisition.
Last night was his debut with the Cubs and I was more than pleased. However, I know that players tend to have a good outing on their debut due to adrenaline, new team, new faces, etc. I’m not getting my hopes up just yet, hence why I say I want to see at least three starts. Hamels threw 5 innings, gave up 3 hits, 2 walks, 0 earned runs, and 9 punch outs. Not bad at all for the 34 year old southpaw. The signature changeup was looking dirty as ever and his fastball was hovering around 95 mph. The only issue I noticed was his command of the Cutter, but that didn’t raise any red flags for me. I also just want to throw out this stat… Cole Hamels had less pitches in 5 innings (95) than Kingham AND Brault in 4 innings (119).
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 2, 2018
Maybe it’s the fact that I watch 0 Texas Rangers games in any given season that I haven’t been able to make an opinion on Cole Hamels. Let’s be honest, the only references I have are from his days in Philly when he was absolutely lights out. Overall though I think if he keeps up this pace I will enjoy watching him pitch in Chicago.
PS, this game aside, don’t sleep on this Pirates team, they could be scary.