2009 Player Previews - Chad Gaudin
Somebody has to ask it: what the hell is he thinking? Maybe he saw Reed Johnson last year, decided his popularity was because of the beard, and decided to bite off it? Or perhaps Gaudin is expressing his admiration for his all-time favorite movie Deliverance? Maybe he's just crazy?
Whatever it is, Gaudin looks like he sprung fully grown from the idiot factory. But that's fine - a team that once sported striped baby-blue road jerseys really can't say much about a player's looks. The problem with Chad Gaudin is that he is smack in the middle of redefining the concept of "suck."
Just look at those numbers. Wait, don't. Have a stiff drink first, and then let yourself imagine what will happen when Gaudin blows one too many Carlos Zambrano starts in '09. Because if he can't do any better than a 10.54 ERA with 20 hits, 9 walks, and 4 homers surrendered, then it will be a long, tough 2009 for the Bush Man of N'Awleans.
The thing of it is, Gaudin is young enough and has had enough success to lead me to believe that he could be a dependable pitcher for the Cubs. His career ERA's not great, but he really has posted acceptable numbers as a starter. The only problem is that youth and past success will only get you so far in life ... just ask Jerome Williams. The man with the creepy necklace was traded to Chicago at the age of 23, a year after a 10-win, 4.24 ERA season, and was out of baseball entirely by the age of 26.
So maybe Gaudin will rebound from his terrible spring and horror-movie-like facial hair. Maybe he'll be the insurance option the Cubs were angling for when they pulled the trigger on Rich Harden. Or maybe he's just another big ol' turd. We'll find out soon enough.