Tuesday, May 31, 2005

An Eventful Few Days

In spite of the injuries woes, the Cubs have strung together four wins in a row for the first time this year. The Cubs are actually giving me something to be hopeful about amidst the negative aura. Well, Mark Prior has a "compression fracture", Aramis is starting to hit the ball, my man Jason Dubois is still getting playing time, and LaTroy has been dealt to the Giants.

I liked LaTroy - not as a closer, but as the setup man that he should have always been. When he came to the Cubs LaTroy was coming off a 9-3 record, 1.86 ERA, 75 K in 77.1 IP year with the Twins. He is not made for the closer role. One could see the writing on the wall from Hawkins' 2001 line. Four years ago he blew 9 saves in 37 opportunities (24.3% blow rate). When Baker thrust him into the closer role in 2004, he blew 9 out of 34 (26.5% blow rate). (It's more fun to quote blow rate rather than conversion rate, btw). So far this year, LaTroy has blown half of his 8 opportunities. I don't know what the splits are on LaTroy's performance as a closer versus a setup man, but I'd bet you'd find a marked difference (anyone out there know how to get that?). Regardless, LaTroy is a Giant now and we'll keep on trucking without him. Here's to David Aardsma and Jerome Williams. Let's pray they don't follow in the steps of the dubious Andy Pratt.