Since everyone in Rangers nation is still abuzz about the recent acquisitions at the Winter Meetings, and since North Texas is awash with Tony Barnette fever, it’s important to remember some of the other, lesser moves the Rangers front office made to help stimulate the worst to first run during the 2015 season.
While not of the magnitude of Tony Barnette (really, what could be?), this one was pretty important, because it netted two pieces. It’s a re-post of an article from July 30.
In case you were living under a rock the past twelve hours, or just returned from the Pluto probe mission, you know the Rangers finally consummated their six-months-in-the-making trade to acquire Cole Hamels from the Phillies.
In fact, getting to Pluto and back didn’t take as long as the Rangers getting Hamels. This deal had been talked about so much since the start of Spring training, the topic has been exhausted.
So I will say just a few things about Cole Hamels.
In nine seasons, he has finished in the top ten in Cy Young voting four times. Yu Darvish, by comparison—because from now until the end of time they will be compared—has finished in the top ten twice in three seasons.
Hamels’s lifetime record is 114-90, with an ERA of 3.30. By comparison, Yu Darvish’s career ERA is 3.27. Pretty even.
His career WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) is 1.145. Darvish’s is 1.196. Pretty even.
Darvish averages 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Hamels, 8.3.
Both pitchers allow 2.3 walks per game in their careers.
Hamels was the MVP in both the 2008 World Series and the 2008 NL Championship Series.
He’s pitched two no hitters, one by himself last week, one with three other Phillies pitchers (including Jake Diekman, who came along with Hamels in the trade) last September.
There has been a lot of talk about where Hamels will fit into the Rangers rotation.
Sabermetricians can break down each guy’s stats to finely ground minutiae, but the reality is, Hamels is the ace of the rotation this year and the beginning of next season, until Yu Darvish comes back to full Darvish (fingers crossed).
Assuming that Yu re-Darvishes, he and Hamels will be 1A and 1B, interchangeable. Any talk of Hamels being the number 4 or number 5 starter on this rotation isn’t reflective of his true talent and his career performance.
The Rangers acquired a bona fide Darvish-like ace.
Whether they gave up too much to get him is the topic for another day.