Two of the key components for a six-man rotation were on display Saturday afternoon at a sun-drenched Scottsdale Stadium, where Matt Bush and Jesse Chavez made their second outings of the spring.
Bush, looking more like a starter, continued to build his pitch count over 22/3 innings as the Rangers' third pitcher of the day, and Chavez entered in the seventh.
Cole Hamels, though, was the Rangers' first pitcher of the day, and no matter how many starters the Rangers have in their rotation, Hamels will top it.
But the plan for a six-man rotation has one big obstacle in front of it -- Hamels.
The four-time All-Star isn't a fan of the idea. Not at all. Doesn't believe it will work. He knows it won't.
After 12 seasons in the major leagues, all of them geared toward logging 200 innings, he's not interesting in a taking new direction.
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"It's not part of baseball," Hamels said after logging 21/3 innings in his Cactus League debut. "I know that's the new analytical side of trying to reinvent the wheel, but I was brought up in the minor leagues on a five man, and that's what I'm designed and conditioned for.
"You throw in the six-man, you might as well be in college -- that's what the college guys do, pitch once a week -- or go to Japan. That's not what MLB is to me. That's not how I learned from my mentors, and that's not the type of way I'm here to pitch."
Hamels threw 21/3 innings against the San Francisco Giants, allowing three runs in a game the Rangers lost 9-4. Two of the runs came on solo homer, and a third scored courtesy of a double that left fielder Ryan Rua lost in the sun.
Afterward, Hamels said that he is pleased with how he feels and how much further along he is with all of his pitches than he has been in past springs. He feels good enough to log 200 innings for the ninth time in his career.