CHICAGO -- Mike Montgomery was a first-round Draft pick in 2008, the same year Cole Hamels won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award with the Phillies. Hamels had an impact on Montgomery back then, and now they're teammates on the Cubs.
"It was like, 'Oh, a tall lefty with a good changeup' -- that's what I was back then," Montgomery said of watching Hamels. "You always gravitate toward pitchers who are similiar to you and how you throw."
Hamels, 34, acquired from the Rangers, will make his second Cubs start on Monday when the team opens a three-game series in Kansas City. On Thursday night, he got his first look at the Cubs' clubhouse and Wrigley Field as part of the home team. The good news is that because of the rennovations, he won't hit his head on the dugout roof.
"Being able to come here to Chicago and play all those years in the National League, you're a little more familiar [with the ballpark]," Hamels said Friday. "What they've done the last couple years, this place has become a pretty nice venue, and not only for the fans but us players."
Wrigley Field will always be special to Hamels because it's where he threw a no-hitter in July 2015 against the Cubs.
"I'm still trying to fight for home plate [as a souvenir], but I'm sure they gave that away," Hamels said. "I'll always remember the ninth inning because the home crowd was on its feet and cheering, and you don't necessarily see that [for a visiting player]."
Jonathan Lester (171 wins) and Hamels (153) have the distinction of ranking second and third among active left-handed pitchers in most wins behind the Yankees' Carsten Sabathia (243).
"It's pretty cool to be on the same team with those two guys," Montgomery said.
Manager Joe Maddon is hoping for more than just wins and innings from Hamels.
"I like the idea that he could mentor, in a sense, some of the younger pitchers based on what he's done," Maddon said. "His method can be a very good influence on the guys."
• Reliever Brian Duensing was placed on the disabled list for the second time this season because of left shoulder inflammation and southpaw Randy Rosario was called up from Triple-A Iowa.
This is Rosario's fourth stint with the Cubs. He is 4-0 with seven holds and a 1.97 ERA in 26 relief appearances for the Cubs so far.
Duensing, who was on the DL from July 1-13, has not looked sharp, and he has given up three runs on six hits and one walk over three innings in his past two outings.
"He still has that discomfort there," Maddon said. "He can't finish things off like he'd like to. It's really important to get him right in the last part of the season -- you saw what he did last year. He cares so much and is such a big part of what we do. We want to make sure he's well and right."
• Kristopher Bryant, on the DL with left shoulder inflammation, is making progress, Maddon said Friday.
"[Athletic trainer PJ Mainville] had told me [Bryant] had been doing a lot of work, and PJ said the strength had increased and so did K.B.," Maddon said. "That's a good thing. He's getting stronger."
• Yu Darvish, who hasn't started since late May, was scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday. He's been sidelined because of right triceps tendinitis.
• Brandon Morrow, who played catch on Thursday for the first time since July 18, reported no soreness in his right arm on Friday. He's on the DL with right biceps inflammation.
• Drew Smyly, who threw two innings in a sim game on Thursday, said he'll know on Saturday whether he's ready to begin a Minor League rehab assignment. He's coming back from Tommy John surgery on his left elbow that forced him to miss all of 2017.
• Wednesday was Tyler Chatwood's first relief appearance since the right-hander was moved from the rotation to the bullpen. He allowed a hit and issued a walk in one inning against the Pirates in the Cubs' 9-2 win.
"When you're starting, you have everything laid out and you know what you're going to do, and there [in the bullpen], the phone rings and it could be anybody," Chatwood said Friday. "For me, I like to know a little more in advance when I'm going in so I have time to get loose."
Chatwood does have two saves in his career to go along with his 132 starts. He's got one more item to check off.
"I need a hold -- that's the only thing left," Chatwood said.
Quote of the day
"The Wrigley bleacher faithful have always made me feel real comfortable and confident here. I'm glad I'm on their side." -- Hamels