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PIT/PA Watch

May 15: 3.55
Season: 3.61
NL Average: 3.73
Cubs' NL Rank: 15th

Cubs Season Record 22-15 (--)

This Series
May 14-May 16

Cubs Sweep 3-0



Final Score: 6-1

Final Score: 7-5

Final Score: 4-2


Next Series
May 18-May 20

AT

May 18: Clement (5-2, 2.78) vs
Schmidt (3-2, 3.79)


May 19: Zambrano (4-1, 1.82) vs
Rueter (1-4, 5.52)


May 20: Maddux (3-3, 4.44) vs
Hermanson (1-2, 4.67)



Last Series
May 11-May 13

Dodgers Win 2-1



Final Score: 7-3

Final Score: 4-0

Final Score: 7-3


Know Your Enemy - The Series
Part 1 - The Reds
Part 2 - The Pirates
Part 3 - The Brewers
Part 4A - The Cardinals - Position Players
Part 4B - The Cardinals - Pitching and Bench
Part 5A - The Astros - Position Players
Part 5B - The Astros - Pitching and Bench

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 Archives
08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003
09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003
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03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
Creeping Inexorably Toward A Worthwhile Sub-Heading.
Monday, March 08, 2004

Don't Make Me Come Over There

I'm sure you're all aware by now that Mike Remlinger will be starting 2004 on the disabled list. In the long term, this is a good thing. He spent the entire season in pain last year, and while he performed admirably considering, I'm not interested in having anyone on the pitching staff "gutting through" an injury, particularly in the early going. The Cubs will need all hands on deck and healthy if they want to make the postseason, and will need them more upon arrival.

This development has all but guaranteed a spot for Juan Cruz in the bullpen, at least to start the season. It would take something catastrophic involving an asteroid, Bruce Willis, and the accidental mislabeling of laundry soap as weapons-grade plutonium to keep him out of the Cubs' bullpen in April. Who accompanies him is another matter, and while I'm not going to go through every reasonable possibility (Alex Ciepley's already done nicely with that), I do have someone I want to actively stump against.

IP H HR BB SO ERA
Player A 559 653 58 234 235 5.43
Player B 4 5 0 1 2 0.00

I know I'm comparing apples and oranges in the sample sizes, but that will be part of my point. Yet, before I make my intentions clear, let's talk about the guy with all the playing time.

It's pretty easy to see how awful Player A is. He doesn't strike people out, has lousy control, and gives up a ton of hits. The one "positive" is that he tends to give up "only" 20.7 home runs per 200 innings, but spinning that is like saying how nicely Martha Stewart's hair held up in the wind after she became a convicted felon. His career ERA+ is still 81, and if 559 innings of that brand of "run prevention" doesn't convince you to leave him be, there may be a job for you in Cincinnati.

Gotcha, Derek. Player A would be a bad addition to a team. What about Player B? Well, right now, we don't know much. Four innings, no matter how good or bad, tell us next to nothing. If we understand the quality of the competition our ideas about this pitcher become more clear, but only by a fraction. It's still just four innings, and anyone with enough talent to be a professional baseball player at any level of a Major League system can have four good innings in the Show.

It's impossible to come to a conclusion about Player B's potential. There's just not enough information, and even adding another 10-15 innings of data won't do much to increase our enlightenment. Until we know more, Player B is something of an enigma, and there's no way we could make a reasonable decision about how to use him with that little information in hand.

Luckily, we don't have to. And neither do the Cubs. Player B is Jimmy Anderson, a soft-tossing lefty currently having a decent camp in Mesa, and battling for the last spot in the bullpen. Player A is also Jimmy Anderson, except instead of spring training numbers against other team's AA players, those are Anderson's career stats in the Major Leagues.

What should we believe: the 4 innings of work in Mesa, or the 559 innings played against the big boys? The answer is obvious to me, and should be to the Cubs as well. Unless he's suddenly added velocity on his fastball and snap on his breaking stuff, Anderson is going to be the same pitcher he's always been: Shawn Estes minus the curveball, plus the Krispy Kreme.

The only reasons to let Anderson move north with the big club are because he's performed well over a short stint against inferior competition, and he happens to throw with his left hand. If either of these justifications seem solid, you're welcome to your opinion. I just hope you don't work for the Cubs.

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Posted by Derek @ 1:39 PM

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