2009 Recap: John Grabow
Let me start by saying: John Grabow was OK in 2009.
I mean, honestly, he was exactly that -- just OK. His 3.36 ERA may look sparkly, but he didn't exactly overpower hitters (57 strikeouts in 72.1 innings pitched), and his command wasn't good either (40 walks).
He only allowed 62 hits in those 72.1 innings, which is once again a non-awful number.
Add it all up, and it is what it is. He's by no means terrible, and the Cubs could easily be wasting a lot more money on a lot worse a player were they to re-sign him (in fact, they're already doing that!).
But the team could probably do better, too. Grabow shouldn't automatically get extra credit for being left-handed; in fact, given a right-handed batter's advantage in a match-up against a lefty, an LHP ought to be really good at getting lefties out. And according to the numbers, Grabow just isn't (18 hits and 10 walks in 20.2 innings against lefties).
To his credit, Grabow seems to have a solid mix of pitches, especially for a reliever. Fangraphs says his fastball and change-up are both pretty alright, and having a slider for a third pitch seems like a good thing.
My one concern, if the Cubs were to re-sign this character, would be the walks. Lou HATES walks, and when his relievers issue them, I think it stokes his short-leash fire.
But like I said -- and perhaps it's the most important thing about John Grabow -- the Cubs could do a lot worse. Let's pick our battles, accept John for who he is, and move on with the rest of the roster, shall we?