Cole Hamels to make first start for Cubs on Wednesday


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Cole Hamels to make first start for Cubs on Wednesday

ST. LOUIS – The Chicago Cubs today added left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels to the active 25-man roster. Right-handed pitcher Cory Mazzoni has been optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Hamels, who will wear uniform number 35, is scheduled to make his first start for the Cubs on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Acquired from Texas on Friday, Hamels is a four-time All-Star with a 152-111 record and 3.43 ERA (944 ER/2,476.2 IP) in 383 career appearances (382 starts) covering 13 major league seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies (2006-15) and Texas Rangers (2015-18). The 2008 World Series and NLCS MVP is 7-6 with a 3.48 ERA (38 ER/98.1 IP) in 16 career post-season starts. Hamels has one career solo no-hitter, tossed on July 25, 2015 against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in his final start as a member of the Phillies before being traded to the Rangers six days later.

The 34-year-old southpaw has reached double digits in victories in nine seasons, including the last three in a row into 2018, and ranks sixth among active pitchers with 2,341 strikeouts, eighth with 152 wins, ninth with a 1.17 WHIP and 13th with a 3.43 ERA, which is fourth lowest among all active left-handed pitchers and just ahead of new teammate Jon Lester (3.49 career ERA). Hamels is 33-15 (.688) with a 2.94 ERA (155 ER/474.1 IP) in 71 career starts against N.L. Central competition, his lowest ERA and best winning percentage against any of the six divisions throughout baseball.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Hamels went 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA (60 ER/114.1 IP) in 20 starts with the Rangers this season, fanning 114 batters in 114.1 innings. He owns a 2.93 ERA on the road, which is tied for 12th-lowest in all of baseball, would tie for sixth-lowest in the National League and is the best road ERA among any Cub starting pitcher this year. Hamels is 3-1 with a 1.76 ERA (13 ER/41.0 IP) in six career starts at Wrigley Field, the lowest ERA of any active pitcher with more than five career starts at the Friendly Confines.

Mazzoni, 27, is 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA (1 ER/8.2 IP) in eight relief outings with the Cubs this season. With Iowa, he has gone 4-3 with four saves and a 4.86 ERA (18 ER/33.1 IP) in 24 relief appearances.

Bullpen coach Lester Strode, who was wearing uniform number 35, has switched to 00.

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