2009 Player Previews - Neal Cotts
2008 Season Recap: Neal Cotts
I tried for quite some time to come up with something flashy to say about Neal Cotts, but I just couldn’t come up with anything. He’s just not flashy and not really good either. Somehow, he has continued to have a job as the LOOGY in the Cubs pen, and it once again he is the only lefty in the pen with Sean Marshal in the starting rotation.
Cotts has been unremarkable for the Cubs the past two seasons, and was downright awful for the Sox three years ago. Before that, he turned in a pretty nice season for the Southsiders on their way to Championship. The one saving grace is that he just turned 29, and might have a few more decent seasons in him.
Last season, Cotts had a 4.29 ERA in 35.7 innings. He did strikeout 43 which helped the 1.430 WHIP he supported. In 07, he spent most of the year in AAA as he only threw 16 2/3 innings. While Cotts hasn’t been great, there really hasn’t been any other person to throw either. Lou didn’t like Scott Eyre for whatever reason, and he was sent packing. With very few lefties on the market (Will Ohman not withstanding), the Cubs decided to bring in a guy who hasn’t pitched in two years (Mike Stanton). Well, that experiment was doomed from the start, and he was sent packing yesterday long with Paul Bako.
What does that mean for Cotts? For one, he should feel pretty safe about a job, because the Cubs don’t have another option. This spring, Cotts has a 3.12 ERA in 8 2/3 innings. He’s fanned six, while walking two. The problem is that spring stats don’t count, and he feels no pressure about a job. We can only hope that Cotts turns into the guy that who had a 1.94 ERA in 60 innings back in 2005.
I really blame the Cubs for not going out and spending the money on a lockdown LOOGY. We need somebody that can come in and get an out against lefties, and I don’t really have that warm feeling when I see Cotts stroll to the mound.
Update: I forgot to point out (as the comment pointed out) that Cotts really isn't really a LOOGY. I pulled up his splits, and just forgot to put them in the story. So, there is more proof that we don't have anybody to get lefties out.