Chicago Cubs: Cole Hamels, LHP
For a spot which the Cubs, as well as their fans, imagined Yu Darvish to be in, instead, it is the ageless wonder in the form of Cole Hamels. Baseball sure can be fun and exciting, with many wild twists and turns.
Nearing the trade deadline with conflicting news on the return of Darvish, the Cubs found themselves in acquisition mode. Enter Cole Hamels. In an unlikely move, they acquired Hamels to shore up the rotation, and my goodness has Hamels stepped up and pitched brilliantly.
Hamels has thrown 69 1.3 innings in a Cubs uniform in 2018, pitching to the tune of a 2.47 ERA. Nobody expected the result that is, but here we are, and it is wonderful. Regarding postseason pitching as well, Hamels understands the nature of what needs to be done to be successful.
For Hamels, his strikeout percentage is once again back up, from 17.1 percent last year to 23.2 percent this season. Hamels has also decreased his walk percentage slightly as well as a much lower xFIP down from a 4.83 to a 3.97. He has found his groove in a Cubbies uniform.
In his career, Hamels has made 16 starts, posting a 7-6 record with a well-balanced 3.48 ERA. His best postseason came when the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series in 2008. Hamels finished that postseason 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA. As a secure way to balance the rotation for the best-case scenario for the Cubs, Hamels should justifiably be a solid middle-rotation piece.