Hammel announced Saturday that he will retire from professional baseball, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Hammel's decision is a surprising one after the Rangers informed a day earlier that he would break camp with the big club as a long reliever. Rather than as a result of any dissatisfaction with his projected role, Hammel opted for retirement after determining that spending more time with his family was a greater priority at this point, according to general manager Jon Daniels. The 13-year veteran wraps up his career with a 96-114 record and 4.62 ERA across 377 big-league appearances (298 starts).
Hammel was told Friday he'd made the Rangers' Opening Day roster, Levi Weaver of The Athletic reports.
The Rangers have yet to officially add Hammel to the 40-man roster, but that transaction should be coming some time in the next few days. Hammel is expected to open the season in the bullpen, but he has 298 starts under his belt so far in his big-league career, and he could be one of the first pitchers called upon should injuries or ineffectiveness strike the Rangers' rotation. The 36-year-old posted ERAs of 5.29 and 6.02 in the last two seasons while calling Kauffman Stadium home, so expectations should be low for him this year at hitter-friendly Globe Life Park.
Hammel said he will not go to the minors if he doesn't make the Rangers' roster, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. "I certainly won't go to Triple-A," Hammel said after firing four scoreless innings Friday. "This is a grind. If it requires me to go home, I know my family is waiting for me and has been for a while. I'm more than willing to go home and spend time with them."
Hammel's allowed just one run on four hits and two walks while striking out 10 over 8.2 Cactus League innings. The Rangers already have a projected rotation, so Hammel could stick around as a long reliever/spot starter, and he could be the first option should one of the three starters coming back from Tommy John surgery falter.
Hammel made his debut for the Rangers, throwing two scoreless innings in Tuesday's game against Oakland.
Hammel signed late in the offseason and is behind others at this stage, though manager Chris Woodward told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com that he has time to compete for a job. Hammel has made 298 career starts and is being stretched out in camp, but Woodward said he's competing for a spot in the Rangers' bullpen.
Hammel signed a minor-league deal that includes an invitation to spring training with the Rangers on Friday.
Hammel spent the last two seasons in Kansas City but the Royals declined his option in October, making him a free agent. The 36-year-old struggled with a 5.59 ERA and 1.51 WHIP for the Royals, allowing 44 home runs over 307.1 innings. The veteran right-hander will undoubtedly be looking for a bounce-back season if he can manage to crack the Opening Day roster.
The Royals declined Hammel's option for 2019.
Hammel, who posted a combined 5.59 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and 6.9 K/9 in his two seasons with the Royals, would have been due $12 million in 2019, so Kansas City's decision to buy the veteran out for $2 million comes as no surprise. Entering his age-36 season, Hammel doesn't figure to draw much interest as a free agent given his recent struggles, but he figures to at least get an invite to spring training.
The Royals moved Hammel to the bullpen ahead of Sunday's game against the Red Sox, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Manager Ned Yost elected to pull the plug on Hammel as a starter after the right-hander was touched up for eight runs in just two innings during Friday's loss to the Red Sox. Since the beginning of June, Hammel has gone 0-6 with an 8.03 ERA and 1.95 WHIP over 37 innings in his seven starts. Reliever Burch Smith will move into the rotation while Hammel presumably settles for a mop-up role out of the bullpen.
Hammel (2-11) took the loss against the Red Sox on Friday, getting shelled for eight earned runs on nine hits in just two innings, walking one without recording a strikeout in Kansas City's 10-5 defeat.
Hammel is in the midst of a brutal stretch, as the veteran right-hander has now given up 21 earned runs over 12 innings in his last three starts, ballooning his ERA up to 6.16 and his WHIP to 1.61 through 102.1 innings. This was also his sixth straight losing decision, so Hammel's struggles this season leave him far off the fantasy radar.
Hammel (2-10) allowed six earned runs on 13 hits and no walks while striking out four across six innings to take the loss Saturday against the Mariners.
Hammel was roughed up for his second consecutive start as he allowed the Mariners to record all six of their runs in his first three innings of work. Across his last three starts, Hammel has allowed 37 baserunners in just 15.2 innings and his WHIP for the season sits at an unsightly 1.54 as a result. There's not much redeemable about Hammel at the moment as he has just 66 strikeouts in 100.1 innings and has low win upside as a member of the Royals.
Hammel (2-9) allowed nine runs (seven earned) on six hits and five walks across four innings while taking the loss Sunday against the Astros. He struck out three.
He endured a nightmare second inning in which he allowed eight runs on four hits, three walks, and a catcher's interference, with the big blow coming on a grand slam from Yulieski Gurriel. Hammel put multiple men on base again in the fourth, allowing an unearned run on a throwing error before escaping without further damage. This disastrous outing was a bit of a disappointment for Hammel, who'd allowed three earned runs or fewer in five of his previous six starts. He'll take a bloated 5.34 ERA into his start next weekend against the Mariners.
Hammel (2-8) took the loss Tuesday, allowing four runs on nine hits and four walks while striking out four over 5.2 innings against the Rangers.
Hammel wasn't able to fool Texas hitters, inducing just five swings and misses en route to walking a season-high four. The 35-year-old seemed to be turning a corner of late with a 2.56 ERA over his previous five starts entering Tuesday, so the nine-hit, four-run showing was a bit of a setback. He now sports a 4.98 and 59:25 K:BB over 90.1 innings heading into Monday's makeup game against the Angels.
Hammel (2-7) allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits and struck out three through 7.1 innings but was still stuck with the loss Wednesday against the Reds.
The Royals were shut down by Tyler Mahle and the Reds' bullpen, nullifying a sharp outing from Hammel. Wednesday was his longest outing since he threw a complete game April 20 against Detroit. He was stuck with a no-decision in that start despite allowing just two runs. Even when Hammel does pitch well -- he has a poor 4.89 ERA this season -- the Royals can't be counted on to deliver him the victory. His next chance will come Tuesday against the Rangers.
Hammel (2-6) allowed four earned runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out six across six innings to take the loss Thursday against the Athletics.
Hammel ran into trouble his third time through the A's lineup with three of his four earned runs coming in sixth inning. Prior to that, he had allowed four baserunners with the only earned run coming on a solo home run by Matt Olson. After a disastrous four-start stretch in which he surrendered 25 earned runs across 21 innings, Hammel has rebounded by allowing seven earned runs across his last 24.1 innings pitched.
Hammel (2-5) did not factor in the decison for Saturday's win over the Athletics, allowing three runs on seven hits over six innings. He struck out three and issued two walks.
Hammel was strong through six innings Saturday but came out for the seventh inning only to give up a 417-foot home run to Bruce Maxwell to end his afternoon. The 35-year-old has allowed four runs over his last three starts (18.1 innings), generally looking much better than through his first six weeks of the season. Hammel is expected to take the hill against Oakland again Thursday.
Hammel (2-5) allowed four hits and two walks while striking out 10 across 5.1 scoreless innings to earn the win Sunday against the Rangers.
Hammel looked uncharacteristically deceptive Sunday, generating 14 swinging strikes on his way to a season-best 10 strikeouts. He has now turned in strong efforts in consecutive starts, combining to allow only one earned run in 12.1 innings while striking out 16. His season-long numbers are inflated from a strong of bad starts, but he has allowed three earned runs or fewer in seven of his 11 starts this season.
Hammel (1-5) picked up the win Tuesday, throwing seven innings with six strikeouts while allowing one run on nine hits against the Cardinals.
Hammel was finally able to get in the win column in 2018, and put together what was arguably his best start of the season. The 35-year-old threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 29 batters he faced, and induced 14 swinging-strikes en route to a season-high six strikeouts. The nine hits allowed were still a bit high, but all nine were singles and he was mostly able to scatter them thanks in part to a pair of unsuccessful stolen-base attempts. Despite the good performance Tuesday, Hammel will carry a 5.70 ERA into Sunday's tilt against the Rangers.
Hammel (0-5) took the loss Wednesday, allowing five runs on 10 hits while striking out two over six innings against the Rays.
Hammel found himself in trouble early, allowing three runs in the first inning and things didn't get much better the rest of the way. The 35-year-old has been getting hit hard all season to the tune of a 6.28 ERA and 1.47 WHIP with only 4.6 K/9. At this point, it'll be tough to put much faith in him regardless of the matchup. Hammel lines up to take on the Cardinals on Tuesday.
Hammel (0-4) did not factor in the decision in Friday's 10-9 win over Cleveland, allowing nine runs on six hits -- including three home runs -- over 3.2 innings. He walked three and recorded one strikeout.
Hammel gave up three home runs including a fourth inning grand slam to Michael Brantley, and needed 89 pitches to record 11 outs. The 35-year-old only avoided the loss as the Royals' offense scored six unanswered runs to close out the game. Hammel has an ugly 6.13 ERA and 1.45 WHIP with a K:BB of 25:16 this season, and is next set to start against the Rays on Wednesday.
Hammel (0-4) struck out five but took the loss against the Tigers on Saturday, giving up three runs on 10 hits and a walk over 6.2 innings.
Hammel threw 71 of 100 pitches for strikes in recording his fourth quality start in seven outings this season, but the Royals' anemic offense has kept him out of the win column. He'll take a 4.78 ERA into his next start Friday in Cleveland.
Hammel (0-3) allowed eight runs on eight hits and three walks across 4.2 innings while taking the loss Monday against the Red Sox. He struck out two.
Hammel was battered by a potent Boston lineup and especially so in the third inning, when he walked in a run before allowing a grand slam to Xander Bogaerts. All in all he was scored upon in four different frames, sending his ERA jumping nearly two full runs to 4.91. Hammel had allowed just seven earned runs over 27 total innings over his last four starts, and he'll look to bounce back in a much more favorable matchup with the Tigers this weekend.
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