The Rangers have placed lefty Cole Hamels on the 10-day DL, per a club announcement. He was scratched from his most recent start with an oblique strain; the injury is expected to cost him around eight weeks, per the club.
Hamels, 33, was expected to anchor the rotation alongside Yu Darvish. But he has struggled to open the season, recording only 4.1 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 over his 32 2/3 innings. Hamels has still managed a strong 3.03 ERA, so the bottom-line looks good, but his swinging-strike rate (7.5%) is lagging far behind his career average (12.3%) and he is benefiting from a .219 BABIP.
Righty Anthony Bass has been brought up to take the open roster spot. While his first (and so far, only) MLB outing of the year went poorly, he has been pitching well at Triple-A since returning from a 2016 stint in Japan. Over 9 1/3 innings, Bass has allowed just one earned run and only four hits while recording an outstanding 17:4 K/BB ratio.
Rangers starters currently rate third in the Majors with a 3.45 ERA, but their 4.68 FIP and 4.71 xFIP rank among the bottom third of the league, and their 4.89 SIERA is the second-worst mark in baseball. In other words, regression from this unit already looked likely, and subtracting Hamels from the mix doesn’t figure to do Texas any favors. As can be seen on their depth chart at Roster Resource, the top internal candidates to fill in for Hamels are A.J. Griffin, Clayton Blackburn, Eddie Gamboa and Dillon Gee.