Sunday, July 13, 2003

Yarbage Mid-Season Review Part 2

Ok, The starters are done. Now lets look at the Relief Pitching.

Joe Borowski
2003: 43.2 IP, 1-1, 17 SV, 42 Games, 2.68 ERA, 45 K’s, 12 BB, .210 BAA, 3 BS, 10HR
2002: 95.2 IP, 4-4, 2 SV, 73 Games, 2.78 ERA, 97 K’s, 29 BB, .239 BAA, 4 BS, 3HR

Joe has been everything the Cubs could have hoped for. He was just to fill in while Alfonseca was out, but he has the job now. It does not look like he will give it any time soon. He has only blown 3 saves all year and has looked rough at some points. For the most part Joe keeps doing the right thing. The big difference is that Borowski has never been a closer. He is the best option for the Cubs, but he really could use another pitch. Unless the Cubs make a move Joe will be the closer the rest of the season.

Antonio Alfonseca
2003: 33.0 IP, 0-1, 33 Games, 6.27 ERA, 21 K’s, 13 BB, .276 BAA, 3 BS, 19 SV, 5HR
2002: 74.1 IP, 2-5, 66 Games, 4.00 ERA, 61 K’s, 36 BB, .257 BAA, 9 BS, 0 SV, 5HR

There has been a lot written about Antonio’s struggles and they keep getting worse. He is lousy right now. I am not sure if it’s because he is no longer the closer or what, but he is not doing his job. I was never sold on Alfonseca because of his days in Florida. He was never in real pressure situations, and it is showing now. His strikeout to walk ration is terrible this year and his BAA has risen almost .020 points. If the Cubs could get any value for him this would b the time to deal him, but I doubt they can.

Mike Remlinger
2003: 40.0 IP, 5-3, 43 Games, 4.50 ERA, 28 K’s, 28 BB, .216 BAA, 0 BS, 9HR
2002: 68.0 IP, 7-3, 73 Games, 1.99 ERA, 69 K’s, 28 BB, .198 BAA, 5 BS, 3HR

In typical fashion for the Cubs they get a player off career few years and he cannot bring it to Chicago. For the most part Remlinger has been inconsistent. He has looked great against Jason Giambi. Then he cannot get an out. The biggest concern is his increase in walks. I wrote about this earlier that his walks were way up last season. The ERA has raised also, but for the most part in big situations he has come through. His changeup is really tough when he gets it across for strikes. Lets hope that he turns it around and gets his control back.

Kyle Farnsworth
2003: 44.0 IP, 3-0, 44 Games, 2.66 ERA, 49 K’s, 21 BB, .172 BAA, 1 BS, 2HR
2002: 46.2 IP, 4-6, 45 Games, 7.33 ERA, 46 K’s, 24 BB, .293 BAA, 6 BS, 9HR

I guess if Kyle were to return to the 2002 form, he could play linebacker for the Bears. On the serious side, Kyle is back. Kyle is no longer just throwing gas, but has really learned to pitch a little better. He added a pitch and it has made him more dangerous. His BAA is best measure of his success this season. It is done .121 points. There is a lot of talk always about his potential and it seems this season Farnsworth is living up to it again. I would have to say the Kyle has been the best option out of the bullpen this season.

Mark Guthrie
2003: 22.1 IP, 35 Games, 2.42 ERA, 14 K’s, 10 BB, .241 BAA, 0 BS, 4HR
2002: 48.0 IP, 68 Games, 2.44 ERA, 44 K’s, 19 BB, .207 BAA, 1 BS, 3HR, 1 SV
Mark has spent time on the DL this season, so his numbers are much less than the other Cub relief pitchers. I went digging into his splits and found that right handed batters are hitting .282 off Guthrie and left handed batters are .200 against him. Guthrie is really the only specialist on the team. Remlinger is close, but he pitches more to both sides. Last season Guthrie was much tougher on both sides of the plate. Right Handed was .223 and Left Handed was .187. Guthrie has not pitched bad, but he has to find out how to get the right side of the plate out to help the over worked bullpen.

Dave Veres
2003: 10.2 IP, 9 Games, 4.22 ERA, 7 K’s, 2 BB, .278 BAA, 0 BS, 1HR
2002: 82.2 IP, 71 Games, 3.48 ERA, 68 K’s, 39 BB, .224 BAA, 4 BS, 12HR

Veres has spent most of the year on the DL. I have not seen him pitch since April, right before he went down. From what I have read, he was pitched fairly well since his return. Veres was one of the additions of the past off season to revamp the bullpen. The Cubs need him to fill in since Wellemeyer and Cruz have shown they have weaknesses in the pen. The problem right now in the Cub pen there is little long relief in the Cub pen and Veres will probably have to work back to form.


The Cub pen was very solid until a couple of weeks ago. It seemed to fall apart, but until that point the Pen had done the job. Every team goes through its ups and downs, but lets hope that these days are behind the Cubs. If the pen is strong in the Second Half then the Cubs can contend. This was the biggest weakness and right now I say it is still a strength, other than Alfonseca. The Cubs could add one arm to the pen, but that is probably low on the list right now.

Ok the infield will come later. Be sure to checkout the starters below.