Cole Hamels is entering his third full season with the Texas Rangers. After struggling with injuries last season, he’s hoping to remain healthy this season, as well as continue playing good baseball. In other words, he’s hoping to show the baseball world he’s still got it.
Hamels will be 34 when the Texas Rangers begin Spring Training. For now, the Rangers do not have a top pitcher in their rotation. Hamels along with several other pitchers the Rangers have signed will compete for the spot in the rotation.
The Rangers are looking to bounce back from their mediocre 2017 season where they finished 78-84, missing the playoffs after winning the American League West title in back-to-back years. The Rangers had potential coming into 2017, but the team fell apart. They were not focused and had no motivation.
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Since Hamels’ arrival in Arlington, Hamels has been making an impact during the regular season. However, when it comes to his performance in the post-season, it’s a different story.
Hamels’ regular season record in a Rangers uniform is 33-12. In the playoffs, he’s 0-2 in three starts. That 10-1 loss against Toronto in game one of the 2016 ALCS questioned whether Hamels was finally beginning to lose his touch or if he just had a bad afternoon and the Rangers just fell apart.
Last season, Hamels only started 24 games, which his lowest since his rookie season where he started 23 games. He finished 11-6 with 4.20. His 4.20 ERA is his highest since 2009. He had a stint on the disabled list due to injury, missing two months of the season.
Here’s what to expect from him next season; Earn a spot in the starting rotation, win at least ten games, finish with an ERA between 4.20 and 3.50, and stay healthy.