A call to release the human gas can, Bob Howry
Lou Piniella is a showman. He understands the value of giving fans their money's worth - just look at the fits he's thrown the last two seasons, both of which resulted in winning streaks by the Cubs and joy by the Cubs fans. Maybe that's why Lou insists on pitching to Carlos Lee, and, even more insanely, perhaps that's why Piniella continues to use Bob Howry.
After all, any time the Cubs appear to be pulling away with a big lead, Lou can keep the fans in the game by trotting out Howry, who tends to respond to the call by lobbing a few batting practice pitches to the opposition, who often respond by launching new satellites into the atmosphere.
It's good drama, it's great television, but it's bad baseball.
Howry has been a walking, talking gas can. In the month of July, Howry threw 13 innings of work and surrendered 14 hits. Of those 14 hits, more than 25% (4 in total) were homeruns. He had an ERA of 6.75, and it's only gotten worse as the month progressed.
In his last 9 outings, Howry has thrown 8.1 innings. He's allowed 9 earned runs off of 4 homeruns. 3 of the last 7 hits he's given up were not contained by the ballpark.
I submit to you that he's not worth a draft pick. He's worth a ticket out of town. Hendry needs to pull the trigger, as the Cubs just aren't a good team with Howry in the bullpen.