Hamels, a four-time All-Star entering his 13th season in the majors, cited his conditioning and his own personal goals among the reasons why he is opposed to a six-man rotation.
“It’s not part of baseball,” Hamels said Saturday after the Rangers’ spring training game against the San Francisco Giants. “I know that’s the new analytical side of trying to reinvent the wheel, but I was brought up in the minor leagues on the five-man (rotation), and that’s what I’m designed and conditioned for.
“That’s the mental side of how you prepare, how you get ready for games, how you condition your body. You throw in the six-man, you might as well be in college. … That’s just not what MLB is to me. That’s not how I learned from my mentors, and that’s not the type of way that I’m here to pitch.”
Hamels, 34, went 11-6 with a 4.20 ERA in 148 innings over 24 starts last season with the Rangers. It marked the first time since 2009 that the left-hander did not log at least 200 innings.
“Thirty-three or 34 starts are what I design, that’s what my goal is and that’s what I intend to do,” Hamels said. “This is what I’ve done. I’m a guy that pitches 200 innings. I know that’s something you don’t see as often, but that’s what’s made me and that’s what I’m going to stick to.”
Rangers manager Jeff Banister stressed that he is not yet fully committed to using the six-man rotation, saying the team is “exploring it” but that “we haven’t gotten to that point yet.”
Banister also said he doesn’t have a problem with Hamels publicly criticizing the idea and said he encourages players to voice their opinions.
“I love the fact that Cole continues to talk about it, explore it, and we’ll continue to explore anything that’s going to help these guys get better in this organization,” Banister said. “I love the fact that these guys have opinions on it — they should. It’s investment in themselves and in this team.”