Throw It Like a Ballplayer

providing baseball commentary and ponderings since April 2010

Cubs Sign Howry, Option Berg, DFA Patton

Posted by dannmckeegan on May 21, 2010

Veteran bad pitcher Bob Howry will be in uniform tonight when the Cubs take on the Rangers at the Ballpark at Arlington.  Unfortunately, it won’t be a Rangers uniform.  Howry’s career numbers look just  fine, but he doesn’t have much left in the tank.  He was so bad, Arizona let him go. In 14.1 IP for the DBacks, Howry K’d 6, walked 6, and served up 6 home runs.  He’s allowed 91 homers in 767 innings in a career that began in 1998 on the South Side.

His .245 batting average against and .287 BABIP against are attractive, but the average against has been around .310 in both 2010 and 2008.  The 2.62 K/BB rate, similarly looks great until we see the year-to-year inconsistencies.

He’s lost about 2-3 mph off of all three of his pitches, a fastball (92.4 to 89.8), a slider (85 to 82.7), and a change (85.1 to 83).  His fastball has always been his bread and butter, a pitch he likes to throw about 75% of the time.  The slider is a 15-20% pitcher, and the change is somewhere near 5%.

People are swinging more, but making just about the same kind of contact.  That generally means he, well, sucks now.

How much he sucks will be the question.  There is a suck spot open on the roster with Esmailin Caridad on the DL and Jeff Stevens having a nice inning against the Phillies.  Justin Berg will be sent toward Iowa, but odds are 10:3 that he misses Des Moines on four straight attempts and ends up walking back from Ames.  To make room for Howry on the 40-man roster, David Patton was DFA’d.

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