2009 Player Previews - Mike Stanton
A long time ago in a New York ballpark far away, Mike Stanton was the reliable lefty bullpen arm of a World Series dynasty. In fact, he's got a lot of playoff experience -- enough to essentially be a full season of baseball.
In 53 playoff appearances, Stanton threw 55.2 innings of work. He's 5-2 with 47 strikeouts, 21 walks, and an ERA of 2.10. He's pitched in the World Series in 6 separate seasons - 2 with the Braves and 4 with the Yankees, and he came out a winner on 3 occasions.
This is on top of a career of decent success - nobody makes the playoffs 11 times for 4 different teams without being good at his job. Point of fact, as a career reliever Mike Stanton's tossed more than 1,000 innings and earned more than 30 million dollars.
At a glance, with those credentials, Stanton sounds like a guy who should be a no-brainer to ascend into the Cubs bullpen and take up the job of lefty specialist. The only problem is that he's older than the effing space program. Well, maybe he's not quite that old, but Stanton was born before the summer of love. He was born when Hendrix was still dropping acid, when the Beatles were still making music together, when Cher was still hot. That dude is old.
He's also not exactly setting the world on fire this Spring. Hell, I'm not even sure if he's still with the team, but in 5 games pitched and 4.1 innings of work, Old Man Stanton has really struggled to keep those damned punks off his yard. His ERA is 6.23 and he's given up 7 hits while walking and striking out only 2. Then again, that's a very, very small sample size. If Stanton manages to stick with the team throughout the Spring, maybe he'll actually have put together decent enough numbers to justify making the squad. And if he makes the team, then that allows for Sean Marshall to be in the rotation. And if Sean Marshall starts the year in the rotation ... then justice will be served.
I should mention that before he forgot that yesterday was his turn, Rob was very supportive of Stanton and expected him to make the team. Maybe he still feels that way, I dunno. But I'm inviting the Uncouth Sloth to add on his own rhetoric to this post, because I'm actually very curious about what he has to say about the Old Man Who Throws Lefty.