Suarez wins debut; Hamels-Phils reunion no-go

Phillies No. 8 prospect optioned after five-plus; veteran headed to Cubs

July 27th, 2018

CINCINNATI -- Cole Hamels will not reunite with the Phillies for a run at their first National League East title since 2011.

Sources told on Thursday night that the Rangers will trade Hamels to the Cubs, pending the exchange of medical information. Many Phillies fans dreamed about Hamels -- the 2008 World Series and National League Championship Series MVP -- rejoining the Phillies for the stretch run. But while the Phillies had scouts at some of Hamels' recent starts, sources said the front office had minimal interest in him.

Hamels, 34, is 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA in 20 starts this season. His 4.17 xFIP is 47th out of 80 qualified pitchers. But Hamels has pitched much better outside Arlington, Texas. going 4-2 with a 2.93 ERA in 10 road starts.

The Phillies like their rotation. It entered the night with a 3.78 ERA, which ranked ninth in the Majors. Its 3.56 FIP ranked third. The Phillies might be better served upgrading the offense or bullpen.

Phillies left-hander won his big league debut in Thursday night's 9-4 victory over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Suarez, who is the organization's No. 8 prospect per MLB Pipeline, allowed four runs and six hits in five-plus innings. He walked one, struck out three and allowed two homers.

Suarez was optioned afterward to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He got the spot start because the Phillies used both and Vince Velasquez in Sunday's doubleheader against the Padres.

"It feels great to win your debut," Suarez said through an interpreter. "I really have to give it to the guys. The offense was behind me the whole time."