Goatriders of the Apocalypse

2009 Player Previews - Neal Cotts

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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.

Ahhhh yes

Neal Cotts the pride of Lebanon.



How does anyone consider Neil Cotts a loogy when he does not pitch anywhere near significantly better to lefties than righties...

(career splits)
vs RHB, Splits: .246/.351/.405/.757
vs LHB, Splits: .249/.326/.439/.765
(2008 splits)
vs RHB, Splits: .263/.325/.395/.720
vs LHB, Splits: .269/.338/.522/.860

I was really actually looking into this the other day, because I heard someone talking about this, and it really makes zero sense to me how you could begin to consider Neal Cotts even loogy-able...

and then i think to myself. if the necessity of loogy-dom is to get lefties out... what righties do we have that can do that...

Heilman? Nope. Pitched lefties worse than righties by an average of .060 BAA
Gaudin? Same, if not worse.
Viscaino? Still worse.

Ready for the answer?

Michael Wuertz. The only righty in the bullpen that's actually done better over the past few years vs lefties than Neal Cotss. I know, scary thought eh? I've been really critical in my own mind of picking up someone, regardless of handedness, to be good against LHB's and to be tough against RHP... Again, we saw a failure in that regard with a few decent LHP's with considerable loogyability pass by us in FA (see: will ohman, dennys reyes)..

Kurt brought up this exact point in spring traning matchups, and i'm just expounding on breaking the notion that Neal Cotts is good. Because when he gets on the mound. I fear for my life, and not in the good way. Every time I've watched him pitch... which albeit i don't know how i saw him 55IP last year (probably close to 20-25), but all of the times i saw him, in decent games, it turns into a... cluster---- of, oh my, oh no... watching him sling from that 3/4 slot scares me. scares. me. mostly because for a relief pitcher, i do not know what i'm going to get out of him.

And naturally you brought up

And naturally you brought up everything I mentioned re: the traditional matchups v. statistical reality. This is what I get for hitting reply before reading past the first paragraph.

I think this is an example

I think this is an example in baseball of how a lot of players are LOOGYs In Name Only. Lou is a much better manager than our last one, but he used Cotts as his LOOGY last year and he'll use him as his LOOGY this year too ... it's ingrained thinking rather than statistical analysis.

I think the other day I speculated that a team would do better to acquire a righty who dominates lefties, because it would be a strategic advantage since his opponents would still trot lefties out to face his righty reliever. Cotts's line reflects that view.

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