"It's not part of baseball," Hamels told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Saturday. "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."
Several teams, including the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants, have gone to six-man rotations in an effort to limit workloads and diminish the risk of injuries to starters. Japan, specifically the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization, gives athletes added rest, which results in fewer starts for each pitcher.
"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 added.
Hamels has developed a reputation as one of baseball's most durable starters. Since 2010, the 34-year-old has pitched 1,625 2/3 innings, an average of 203 per season - seventh most in MLB. Furthermore, 2017 was the first season since 2009 that Hamels failed to log more than 200 innings.
It's unclear if the Rangers are interested in deploying a six-man rotation in 2018, but the front office was busy adding depth to their rotation this winter. Doug Fister, Mike Minor, Matt Moore, Bartolo Colon, and Jesse Chavez are in the mix this spring. Internally, Martin Perez is expected to be part of the rotation, and Matt Bush - who struggled as closer last year - appears to be another candidate to start.
The recently signed Tim Lincecum is expected to pitch out of the bullpen.