Cubs Potential Offseason Targets: Kelvim Escobar
Trying to figure out which relievers the Cubs may try to acquire - if any - to bolster a poor bullpen performance is like trying to find a decent Cubs position player developed by the Cubs farm system over the last 35 years. For all I know the Cubs won't do much but try and resign John Grabow and then see who might stick from the current crop of youngsters plus a few Chad Fox-type reclamation projects that they might hope to stick...and probably Chad Fox himself.
We do know Hendry likes his strikeout pitchers and Escobar has a 7.89 K/9 rate for his career which trends higher when he's worked out of the bullpen as you'd expect. There hasn't been much chatter on Escobar since he went down with a shoulder injury after pitching just 5 innings in 2009 (and he missed all of 2008 as well after labrum surgery), but I think it's a fair bet he'll come back in 2010 as a reliever...that is if he's coming back at all.
|162 Game Avg.||11||10||.526||4.15||46||22||15||7||167||162||84||77||15||68||145||5||113||1.375||8.7||0.8||3.6||7.8||2.14|
|TOR (7 yrs)||58||55||.513||4.58||301||101||130||58||849.0||846||469||432||84||394||744||30||105||1.461||9.0||0.9||4.2||7.9||1.89|
|LAA (5 yrs)||43||36||.544||3.60||110||101||2||1||658.0||615||286||263||53||217||566||17||125||1.264||8.4||0.7||3.0||7.7||2.61|
For his career, he's actually got a better ERA as a starter(4.09 vs. 4.44) than a reliever, but a lot of that relief work was done early in his career. He can throw up to six pitches, but said he scrapped his slider so that takes him down to a 2 and 4-seam fastball, split-fingered fastball, curveball and change-up and that's probably 2-3 more pitches then he needs to be an effective reliever. Obviously the big concern will be how well that shoulder is doing and then what kind of contract he'll be expecting after missing out on two seasons. If he does show to be healthy, at least one other fanbase wouldn't mind getting in on the action.
Any type of serious statistical analysis on Escobar isn't going to have much merit as he hasn't pitched in two years and we don't know what the shoulder injuries may have done to his arm. This signing would be up to the doctors, trainers and scouts and if they feel that something resembling the old Escobar is still out there. Now I realize the Cubs and their fans feel snake-bitten by some of these high risk-high reward type talents the Cubs have employed over the last decade, but with the expected budget crunch, Hendry's gonna have to roll the dice on a few of these spots. If they can get Escobar on a one year incentive-laden deal, maybe with a 2nd year club option - and the doctors give the all clear signal - it could be a decent risk for the Cubs in 2010. He'd probably start the season as a set-up man but definitely has the ability and experience to step into the closer role if/when "Wild Thing" Marmol isn't getting the job done.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.
it's been a while since joe's over-managed a game...it's gotta feel good for him to be back in the saddle making people's scorecards look like their pens blew up.
Fuck a bench spot on the playoff roster, Coghlan is competing to bat cleanup.
barely any...especially for an evening game. place looks 1/2 full at best to start the game.
Listening on the radio. Are there any fans in the stands at all?
"An MRI taken Monday on the right side of Jorge Soler showed no major damage."
rare air though if he can keep it under 2. Sounds like Maddon already made up his mind though and Hendricks seems like the sort that would want to earn it. Guessing he gets a quick hook if he's still under 2 after 5 innings.
Fwiw, he can give up 1 ER in 5 innings (or more) and still be under 2. If he gives up 2 ER, he would need throw 9 IP to keep it under 2. 1 ER in 4 IP would give him an ERA of exactly 2.
In terms of WAR, it's still Scherzer by a lot (6.4), then Cueto (5.6), Lester (5.5), Kershaw (5.5), Roark (5.4), and then Hendricks (5.1)
Boring lineup tonight in terms of guys trying to reach milestones -- no KB (40 HR), Addy (100 RBI) or JHey (can he keep it going?), and Lackey isn't really going for anything, plus the team has already reached 100 wins. I get the "rest" thing, although they will have 4 days off after Sunday, but....bleh.