Chicago Cubs: Trade deadline acquisitions making big impact

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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Cole Hamels Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

In two starts, Cole Hamels has been just what the Cubs hoped he’d be.

Although his days as front-of-the-rotation-starter are behind him, Cole Hamels still has a lot to offer the Cubs.

In two starts with the team, Hamels has thrown 11 innings, struck out 11 batters, and walked just three opposing hitters.

After watching Chatwood walk nearly 20 percent of the batters he faced, seeing Hamels on the mound pounding the strike zone has been a breath of fresh air.

On the season, Hamels has a 14.6 percent strikeout minus walk rate. That’s not an elite number, but it is over one percent higher than the league average. Before making any of their deadline moves, the Cubs’ starters had posted a 9.1 percent K-BB percentage, the second-worst mark in the entire league.

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Hamels’ 0.82 ERA with the Cubs won’t hold up, but if he can consistently pitch six innings and produce a good K-BB%, the team will be ecstatic. His skill set is a perfect fit to address areas where the team has struggled throughout the 2018 season.

Hamels isn’t the ace that Jacob deGrom or Chris Archer is, but he was an affordable veteran pitcher with playoff experience who may prove to be a vital presence as the season wraps up. Without moving one of their young major-leaguers, the Cubs couldn’t have done much better.

He hasn’t started a game yet at Wrigley Field, but when he does, Hamels should get quite the welcome by Cubs fans.