The continuing story of Neal Cotts
By now you know that, no matter what happens this season, OCD Hendry is going to go out and grab four lefty relievers this coming winter. That's always been his M.O. -- he doesn't fill a roster spot, he fills it three times.
But unfortunately our GM failed to pursue a lefty reliever this winter. He didn't get one, he got none. Consequently, the Cubs are between a rock and a hammer*. Either keep Cotts on the team and watch him slowly kill Lou Piniella or cut him and have no lefty relievers on the roster. Thing is, Option #2 actually looks real good right now.
(*I'm not the hammer.**)
(**The hammer is my penis.***)
(***-Dr. Horrible quote)
Consider the facts. Cotts has made 12 appearances in 2009, for which he's thrown a mere 6 innings. In those 12 appearances, he has only once faced the minimum possible. That was on April 25th against St. Louis in which Cotts faced Cory Rasmus, aka the Dumbest Hitter Evar, who flew out to center field on the first pitch Cotts threw. (How you swing at anything thrown by Cotts - especially a first pitch - is just baffling to me.) Realizing that he'd struck the equivilent of baseball gold, Lou Piniella did the wise thing and immediately pulled Cotts before the start of the next inning. After all, to have left Neal in there to face another hitter would've been a serious tempting of fate.
At this point in time, lefty hitters are batting a sleek .308 against Cotts. So much for the LOOGY factor. Meanwhile, among all active relievers, the following are actually effective:
Dave Patton - 3 for 15 against (.200 AVG) but 6 BB
Angel Guzman - 5 for 23 against (.217 AVG, .280 OBP)
Carlos Marmol - 3 for 13 against (.231 AVG) but 7 BB
In fact let's stop it there and focus on Guzman. 23 at bats is a very small sample size, but it's a good trend. Among all Cub relievers, Guz is hands-down the best against lefties. So shouldn't he be the defacto LOOGY with the additional capability of staying in to face the next guy in the lineup after that?
Having a right handed reliever who can effectively get out left handed hitters is a huge advantage in a baseball game. Managers like Dusty Baker who are locked into the 70's will send lefty hitter after lefty hitter against pitchers like Angel Guzman because "lefties hit righties better, dude."
Therefore, I would like to advocate for the release of Neal Cotts, the secret reassignment of Angel Guzman into the Cotts role against lefties, and the promotion of another player - maybe the Incredible Mr. Fox - onto the roster. And then we can destroy the hammer once and for all!*
(*...wait, destroy the "hammer?" Whoa, bad idea! BAD IDEA!**)
(**Penis jokes at GROTA. It was only a matter of time... but at least they're tasteful***)
(***the jokes, I mean, not ... well, nevermind)