Texas Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels gave an eloquent goodbye press conference Friday before departing Philadelphia, thanking the media and Phillies fans for their support from the beginning of his career and then taking a look forward to “the next chapter.”
Hamels and lefty reliever Jake Diekman were to fly to Globe Life Park and arrive Friday evening ahead of the opener of a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants. Hamels confirmed that he will start Saturday night.
He also sounded genuine when saying the Rangers still have a chance at the 2015 postseason and will be a threat next year with Yu Darvish and Derek Holland expected to be healthy for all or much of the season.
“There’s always a chance, especially in that league,” Hamels said. “Knowing that I can be a part of that, I don’t think they’re too far away this year. And I’m excited about next year. I’m excited to see where it will go.”
The Rangers entered Friday at 49-52, eight games behind Houston in the American League West and four games out of the second wild-card spot. The Rangers, though, just pass six teams to get into the wild-card game.
Hamels, 31, will be pitching for the first time since tossing a no-hitter last Saturday at Wrigley Field. He touched 96 mph in that start, but usually sits 90-94 with one of the best changeups in the game. He also throws a cutter and curveball, and has deception in his delivery.
“There’s still a chance, and I like knowing that,” said Hamels, the MVP of the 2008 World Series. “I’m not going to go in and solve every problem. I just want to be part of it.”
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760