View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



July 2009



Organizational Breakdown – Pitchers

Written by , Posted in General

On Friday we took a look at the hitters in the organization by position and sorted them by OPS to see who met the benchmark of .800. Today we take a look at the pitching staff, with a breakdown on righty and lefty starters and relievers. Unlike the hitters, there really isn’t a good benchmark evaluation tool for both starters and relievers. Wins and losses are completely useless indications of a pitchers effectiveness, so I decided to use two different stats when looking at the starters versus the relievers. For the starting pitchers, I sorted by ERA, with the benchmark being 3.50. It’s a little bit of a tough benchmark, but I want dominant starters, and what better place for them to showcase that talent than in the minors where they can be above the rest of the competition. Relievers were a different story because of the limited amount of innings they throw. A good bullpen, in my mind, is one that doesn’t give up baserunners, whether by walks or hits. I decided to sort those guys by WHIP, with the benchmark being 1.25. Let’s take a look.

Starting Pitchers (RH) – No surprises here that someone like Cashner, a top prospect in the system would be above the benchmark, but it’s who joins him and who is curiously absent that have me intrigued. Randy Wells has been a great surprise this season and really deserves some rookie of the year consideration for how well he’s pitched since being recalled from Iowa. Also above the fold is Chris Archer, who was one of the pitchers acquired in the Mark DeRosa deal this past off-season. Archer is a favorite of mine, primarily because he pitched at the high school down the road from my house here in Garner, NC. He’s still a youngster, but he’s showing good promise so far.

Will Carlos Zambrano ever be the kind of dominate starter that his stuff warrants? I have my doubts. A little disappointing to not see Harden above the fold after all the dominance last year. Hopefully these last two outings are a sign that he’s returning to form.

Starting Pitchers (LH) – Not many to speak of here, but it’s actually somewhat encouraging to see good things from Casey Fossum, who the Cubs picked up just recently. I don’t have incredibly high hopes for him as a starter, but perhaps he can be a September call up that can provide a left handed arm out of the pen. Ted Lilly has been good and is just outside the 3.50 threshold, but is injured for the next few starts. Hopefully he can return to form down the stretch. Overall, a lack of depth from the left side in the organization from a starting pitcher standpoint.

Relief Pitchers (RH) – Take a look at Chris Huseby’s secondary stats. His K/9 and K/BB stats are video gamesque. He’s simply not allowing hitters to put the ball in play or reach base. When you’re not walking guys and are combining that with K’s, it’s a recipe for dominance and that’s what Huseby’s been. It’s funny because I don’t think I would have noticed the dominance had I not done this series. After all, neither John Sickels or Baseball America listed him in the top prospect list for the team in their handbooks for this year.

Admit it. If I would have said that Kevin Gregg would have better numbers than Carlos Marmol at this point in the year, would you have believed me? While Marmol is still blowing guys away (10.5 K/9), he’s dwarfing that stat with an 8.3 BB/9 stat. I’m sorry but he’s simply not the guy I want in the 9th inning until he figures out how to harness that nasty stuff he has.

Relief Pitchers (LH) –  Just like the starters, lefties out of the pen have been a hard commodity to come by this season for this team. Thankfully another name from the Mark DeRosa deal has been pitching well enough to get consideration as an additional lefty out of the pen. John Gaub, along with Archer and Jeff Stevens were the pitchers many thought would be the pieces needed to get a guy like Jake Peavy this past off-season only to see that blow up. I’m actually glad it did. I like what all three have brought to the table and really like the prospects of them pitching for this team in the near future. Guab has struck guys out and kepts the hits to a minimum, which has compensated for some of the control issues he’s had.

Jeremy Papelbon has been a bit of a disappointment for me. I had high hopes for this kid because of what his brother has done with Boston. There is still time for him to shine, but this year he’s been hit around. 12.3 H/9 is unacceptable. Thankfully he’s kept the walks down or that 1.65 WHIP could be a lot worse.

Minor League Notes

  • Jovan Rosa was 2-for-5 with 6 RBI
  • Jeffry Antigua struck out 11 batters over 4.2 IP yesterday
  • DJ LeMahieu was 3-for-5
  • Kevin Soto hit 2 extra-base hits

Top Prospect Tracker

Photo Op

Jovan Rosa is hitting .317 with two homers and 16 RBIs in 17 games with Peoria. (Scott Jontes/

  • Good to see that the DeRosa trade may be fruitful.