Cubs' Maddon calls Hamels a 'great competitor'

 
 
Updated 7/26/2018 8:58 PM
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  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) throws against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of an interleague baseball game, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in Chicago.

    Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) throws against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of an interleague baseball game, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • The Chicago Cubs placed third baseman Kris Bryant on the 10-day disabled list Thursday with a left-shoulder ailment.

    The Chicago Cubs placed third baseman Kris Bryant on the 10-day disabled list Thursday with a left-shoulder ailment. Associated Press/July 14, 2018

Cubs manager Joe Maddon has some history with pitcher Cole Hamels, who is coming to Chicago via trade with the Texas Rangers, pending physical exams being finalized.

According to sources and reports, the Cubs will give up a pair of minor-leaguers for Hamels.

While with the Phillies in 2015, Hamels tossed a no-hitter against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Maddon also saw Hamels in the 2008 World Series when he managed the Tampa Bay Rays and Hamels pitched for the winning Philadelphia Phillies.

"I've not liked him for a long time," joked Joe Maddon. "He's pitched some really big games against teams that I've been involved with and done really well. He's a great competitor. He's got good stuff, but he competes and he knows what he's doing out there. I'd have to rank him as a pretty competent left-handed pitcher."

Hamels is only 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA with the Rangers this year, but he's 152-111 with a 3.43 ERA for his career. He is in the final guaranteed season of a six-year, $144 million contract. He is making $22.5 million this year plus a $6 million buyout on his $20 million option for 2019.

Hamels has given up 23 home runs already this season. His home-run-to-flyball rate is 20.7 percent.

Bryant to DL again:

The inevitable happened Thursday when the Cubs placed third baseman Kris Bryant on the 10-day disabled list with left-shoulder inflammation.

This is the second time this year Bryant has been on the DL with that ailment. He was out from late June until mid-July the first time the inflammation occurred.

To replace Bryant on the roster, the Cubs recalled infielder David Bote from Class AAA Iowa. Bote started Thursday's 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at second base with Ian Happ playing third.

Bote hit a game-tying 2-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning before Anthony Rizzo's walk-off homer won it.

As far as Bryant goes, manager Joe Maddon said caution is the best approach.

"We went through the first process," Maddon said of Bryant resting the shoulder for Tuesday's and Wednesday's games. "He felt a little bit better but not 100 percent better. He was trying to manage it like we had talked about, wasn't seeing the improvement to the point where it was totally going away. Felt it the other day on the swing on that play to right field. So we just thought let's retest it. He's going to get another MRI, just go back to that process, make sure that we were right the first time and then work from there."

This and that:

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo played in his 1,000th career game Thursday and picked up his 600th and 601st RBI. He hit his seventh career walk-off homer ... Left fielder Kyle Schwarber collected his ninth outfield assist, tied for second among National League outfielders ... The Cubs became the first NL team to reach 60 victories, doing so in their 102nd game of the season. They reached 60 in their 114th game last year and in their 100th game in 2016, when they went on to win the World Series.

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