April 19, 2009

Neal Cotts, take two

After today's game, I almost went back and deleted yesterday's post. Almost. For those of you keeping score, Cotts entered the game in the top of the 7th with a 1-run lead and promptly walked the first two batters he faced on 8 straight balls before being removed for Marmol, who worked his way out of the jam. You'd think that Cotts was squarely in Lou's doghouse already, but he surprisingly hadn't pitched his way into it yet, seeing how he was still the first guy Lou tapped for a somewhat leveraged pitching appearance today when he could have just taken the easy way out by going Heilman/Marmol/Gregg to end the game. So I guess we'll have to take the famous wait and see approach to see what happens to Cotts. I think he still sticks with the team for a little while longer.

If Cotts is released, I think he gets replaced by Waddell, who Lou has liked. Sadly I've also heard some buzz that he might be replaced by Chad Fox (ugh) and his duct-taped arm. Moving these guys around is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic (or the Hindenberg, if you prefer. These Cubs are soaring!). Waddell *might* be worth something, since the buzz is that he's more of a classic LOOGY, but young pitchers can break your heart in creative ways. Let's look at the numbers we have.

Here is the chart similar to the one that I used in my bullpen projections, which further makes me wish we got one of those other LOOGYs on the cheap. The entries here are the pitchers' FIP, and I added Waddell's minor league FIP, adjusted to the major leagues using minorleaguesplits's MLE tool. The FIP numbers for the three ML guys aren't precice: b-ref only gives PAs instead of IP so I estimated their IP for each split based on their fraction of total PAs. Surprisingly, even though Cotts's OPS against was worse for LHH than RHH (see my earlier bullpen prediction post), his FIP splits look more like they should.

PlayerFIP vs RHHFIP vs LHH2009 Salary

I'm kind of surprised - the numbers say that bringing up Waddell IS a much better idea than I thought. I hope that we keep Cotts for a little while to see what kind of trade value we can get for him, but maybe the Cotts haters are right: he should be shown the door. I just hope we don't see Chad Fox up here anytime before September this year


phil said...

Papers this morning say Hendry is heading down to Des Moines for two days. My guess is that he's auditioning for Cotts' replacement.

MB21 said...

Jeff, I linked to your post on Cotts and then after yesterday wish I hadn't have too. Funny you said the same thing about wanting to delete it. I think it's time for him to go. You can't count on him to come in and really get anybody at this point.