Thanks for the mention of Boggs RJ. If you’ve watched him pitch as a starter and a reliever, the difference is just staggering. He’s getting his fastball to 96-97 consistently, his command is better, and he’s even getting more movement on the slurve. I really think he will have a very nice line in the pen this year.
Also, the Cardinals singled handedly fucked up Qualls’ WPA last night.
Comment by Mat Gonzales — April 23, 2010 @ 2:17 am
Gosh, if only my precious North Siders had picked up a veteran righty this offseason, they wouldn’t have to worry about the negative WPA’s of Jeff Samardzija (-0.32 in 3.1 IP), Jeff Gray (-0.16 in 4 IP), Esmailin Caridad (-0.89 in 2.2 IP), and John Grabow (-0.69 in 6 IP). Sean Marshall (-0.22 in 9.1 IP) and James Russell (-0.20 in 5 IP) are also negative, apparently, despite pitching quite well excepting a couple hiccups. Alone on the positive side are Carlos Marmol (0.34 in 7.2 IP) and Justin Berg (0.16 in 6 IP).
Now, I’ve watched or listened to every game this year. I’ve seen Marshall, Russell and Berg. I’ve seen enough to know that Marshall is a perfectly good secondary setup man (against the lefty portion of a lineup or in the 7th inning). Russell, outside of the mistake to Pagan on Monday, has earned his keep: he’s a born LOOGY and made Prince Fielder look downright foolish twice in the MIL@CHC series, plus getting Edmonds looking. Berg, on the other hand, has struck out ZERO of 25 batters faced and allowed yet another run tonight in a pressure situation.
Barely relevant sample size, I know. But two of the three halfway-decent relievers on the Cubs staff are getting hosed by the computer right now.
The Cubs’ starting pitching has prevented the terrible J’s (minus James Russell) from picking up too many innings so far. And Zambrano will now take on the role of Lou’s blankie, a part last played by Carlos Marmol in 2008. Lou hates pitchers and doesn’t want to think about them. Marshall, Russell, Zambrano, and Marmol will be the only 4 who even need to dress if the Cubs have a lead after 6.
Relief pitchers, with the exception of a very, very select few, suck and are unreliable from year. The clamor in Chicago for Veteran Arm in April is foolish. Wait until at least mid-May and see who actually is pitching well This Year, and this year alone. It’d be silly to cross their fingers on a middling guy who had a good ’09. You never know and there are too many unpredictable “unknown unknowns” to hazard a guess without some fresh scouting reports once the season has settled in.