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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Cubs Fire Bosio


The #Cubs have fired respected pitching coach Chris Bosio, and now could reach out to Jim Hickey,who’s a top candidate for #STLCards opening

I don’t know if firing a pitching coach is worth a posting here, but Bosio seems to get credit for Arrieta and Hendricks. Those are some pretty big feathers in his cap.


Greg Pope Posted: October 21, 2017 at 01:22 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chris bosio, cubs, joe maddon

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   1. Brian C Posted: October 22, 2017 at 11:36 AM (#5560094)
Firing Bosio is a huge surprise, but I do think that the staff was kind of a hot mess all year. Starters rarely went deep and the bullpen had some good stretches but seemed perpetually on the edge of meltdown (and the meltdowns often came).

That doesn't mean Bosio should have been let go - it's easy for me to believe that it was just kind of a Murphy's Law kind of year. The rotation was surpassingly awesome one mere year ago, and some injuries and some regression will knock an excellent rotation like the 2016 Cubs down a peg or two. But still, an effective 6-inning start was rare enough to be notable this year and shutdown 7-inning starts virtually never happened.

For comparison's sake, here's the number of 7 IP starts with 0 or 1 runs allowed for the Cubs going back 20 years:

1998: 27
1999: 22
2000: 21
2001: 21
2002: 24
2003: 40 (Dusty arm-shredding! Haha)
2004: 32
2005: 25
2006: 21
2007: 28
2008: 28
2009: 24
2010: 25
2011: 19
2012: 27
2013: 25
2014: 26
2015: 32
2016: 38
2017: 12

Obviously there are some good staffs interspersed throughout those years but some really crappy ones too and still this season set a low bar by a wide margin. Maddon definitely passed up some chances to get more innings during good starts that would have padded this number a bit, but even those opportunities were fairly few and far between. They were just an extremely inconsistent bunch this year, and very prone to high pitch counts and high-labor innings.

I dunno how much any of that has to do with Bosio though. The flip side of the argument is that despite all the issues they had in the rotation and the pen, they put together a pretty solid pitching staff overall (111 as a team). It seems like Bosio should get some credit for that. At various times this season, it looked like it could be lost years for Arrieta, Lackey, and even Lester, but those guys all bounced back to be effective, if not dominant. The bullpen threw a ton of innings but no one ever really seemed overworked and whatever struggles they had were, for better or worse, generally consistent with the patterns the individual pitchers had established over their careers. I mean, it's not like Strop has ever had seasons where he didn't alternate lockdown effectiveness with complete uselessness.

TL;DR - I guess I just don't know.
   2. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 22, 2017 at 11:37 AM (#5560095)
I don't understand this. Unless there's something going on we don't know about, this seems like a move made to placate people unreasonably upset that the Cubs got bounced by a great team.

   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 22, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5560100)
Unless there's something going on we don't know about

I think my money is on this.

EDIT: Sullivan and Gonzales of the Trib are reporting from a "team source" that Maddon and Bosio's relationship had soured and that Maddon made the decision himself. Wasn't Bosio away from the team for a while toward the end of the year for his dad's illness and/or funeral (I'm assuming not pretext) and foot surgery (maybe a pretext)?
   4. Nero Wolfe, Indeed Posted: October 22, 2017 at 05:59 PM (#5560186)
My tin-foil hat guess is when Maddon's buddy Jim Hickey wasn't renewed by the Rays, Bosio became expendable.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 22, 2017 at 06:07 PM (#5560189)
My tin-foil hat guess is when Maddon's buddy Jim Hickey wasn't renewed by the Rays, Bosio became expendable.

That's not so much "tin-foil hat" as "exactly what happened to Rick Renteria," of course. Wouldn't surprise me a bit.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 22, 2017 at 07:52 PM (#5560203)
The Nationals firing Dusty Baker also made Mike Maddux available. Some other pitching coaches thought to be secure might be a little shaky as more teams contemplate unexpected upgrade options.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: October 22, 2017 at 08:24 PM (#5560208)
Also, technically he was "let go" as the Cubs declined an option on him. Probably unlikely but possibly this is similar to the Hammel case where the Cubs would have been fine having Bosio back for one year but didn't want to commit to more than that and are doing him a favor by declining the option.

We've talked about it a bit more in Gonfalon and none of us seem happy about it, not sure anybody's come up with a good reason (other than #4 and #6 to the extent those would justify the move) but of course none of us are in a position to "prove" that Bosio was a big help.

On #1 ... interesting. As you note, Joe passed up quite a few opportunities to extend his starter when he was going well but not too often when they'd given up 0/1 run. But pitcher usage has take a big hit in the last couple of seasons -- only about 15 pitchers have topped 200 IP the last 2 years, about half what it was even in 2015 and about 1/3 of what it was from about 2000-2006.

I'm not sure how to produce a list like the one you have for all of MLB or by team but looking at individuals' number of 7+IP and <=1 run starts over the last few years.

The highest individual in 2016 was Lester with 13; the highest number in 2017 were Sale and Kershaw with 11. 2014-5 produced 7 seasons over 13 plus Price at 13. Just looking at 2014-17, there are 35 pitcher-seasons of 10+ such starts, only 8 over the last two years. ... OK, I can cobble together something of a list here for 2017. Note this method doesn't work well for guys who pitched for 2+ teams, they're credited to their original team below):

ARI 19 (Greinke 7)
Atl 17-19 (Dickey 7, question mark is Colon, I'd guess those came with Minny)
Bal 18 (Gausman 7, excl Hellickson)
Bos 22 (Sale 11)
CHC 10 (Lester 4 but doesn't include Q)
CWS 13 (includes Q who had 4)
Cin 13
Cle 31 (old school! Kluber 10, Carrasco 9)
Col 17
Det 15 (incl all 8 of Verlander's)
Hou 16 (not incl Verlander, Kuechel 6)
KCR 15
LAA 12
LAD 23 (Kershaw 11, excl Darvish)
MIA 13 (from 9 different pitchers!)
MIL 22
Min 13
NYM 15 (DeGrom 8)
NYY 23 (Tanaka 9, Severino 8, excludes Gray)
Oak 18 (incl all Gray, 9 different pitchers)
Phi 17 (Nola 8, incl Hellickson)
Pit 20 (Cole 9)
SDP 12 (incl all Cahill)
SEA 14
SFG 17
StL 20
TBR 15
Tex 26 (incl all Darvish 8)
TOR 15
WSN 26

So only a handful of teams hit the number that the historical Cubs usually hit. The Cubs previous low in that period was 19 and I counted only 9 teams that passed that. The nerds have spoken and it's pretty clear that even cruising starters are getting pulled early.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: October 22, 2017 at 11:48 PM (#5560236)
OK, figured out how to do it. Offensive context will matter of course but here are the number of starter games of 7+ innings and <=1 run allowed (R, not ER)

2000 657
2001 692
2002 717
2003 684
2004 695
2005 755
2006 660
2007 649
2008 693
2009 716
2010 787
2011 807
2012 765
2013 779
2014 828
2015 771
2016 576
2017 529

That's pretty massive. Partially tied to offense -- i.e. 2010-2015 was a high point for 1996 onwards -- but 2016 had even fewer than 1995 with its 144 games and 28 teams! I assume that 2017's average of just 17-18 per team is the lowest of all-time. So that's a major leaguewide change, albeit one where in 2016 the Cubs were well "behind" the curve and in 2017 were at the front of the curve.

It would be interesting to look in more detail. Compared with previous years is that SPs who are doing well are (a) more likely to be pulled in the 7th at first sign of trouble; (b) more likely to be pulled with a sizable lead to let somebody else pitch the low-leverage innings; (c) more likely to be pulled in a close game to let somebody else pitch the high-leverage innings; (d) fear of 3rd time through; (e) strict pitch count obeisance.

Realistically it can only be partial 3rd time through avoidance -- with rare exception, if they've gone 6 giving up 0/1 run, they still will have gone through about 22-24 batters. So they've made it through the scariest part of the 3rd time through, as good a time as any to push them to 7 innings. Leading to the question of how often are pitchers going 6-<7 with <=1 run:

2005 281
2006 283
2007 337
2008 346
2009 323
2010 367
2011 352
2012 386
2013 412
2014 446
2015 432
2016 475
2017 487

A bit muddied but clearly some early pulls there. The 2010-15 era was clearly a pitcher's era relative to the rest of the last 25 years so that explains some of that bump in 2013-15. Relative to 2005-6, the jump to today is around 200; relative to 2007-9, it's about 150. For example, from 2007-9 there were about 1000 games of 6+, <=1 (combining the two lists) while in 2016-17 there were about 1000-1050. Obviously some of those qualified in the 2nd list would have become unqualified for the first one if they'd stayed in but this suggests that we could still be seeing about the same frequency of pitchers making it through 6 and sometimes into the 7th giving up <=1 run but then getting pulled (including the pen stranding runners in some cases).

(Note, what we'd really like here is #/proportion of starts that make it through 6 with <=1 run; #/proportion that make it through 7; etc. There's no reason to think that a pitcher who went 7/1 then got pulled should qualify while when who went 7, giving up 1, then gave up a 2nd in the 8th shouldn't.)

This isn't surprising given the 13th pitcher and a further shift in the starter/reliever innings we've seen the last couple of seasons. Nice to have it confirmed.
   9. Meatwad Posted: October 23, 2017 at 01:46 AM (#5560237)
Walt am I reading the last list correctly,in that there are more starts where a pitcher goes 6 with 1 or less run in 2017 than any other time listed?
   10. Walt Davis Posted: October 23, 2017 at 02:09 AM (#5560239)
Yes ... but let's be clear we're saying the same thing ... those are games where they went at least 6 but less than 7 without being charged with a second run ... combined with the fact that 2017 has the lowest number where they went at least 7 with 0/1 run.

So the total number of games where the pitcher went at least 6 innings while giving up 0/1 in 2017 equals 487 + 529 + however many games where the guy made it past 6 but got charged with a 2nd run before leaving the game (which could be a lot). That total of 1016 is reasonably consistent from 2005-9 as for 2016-7 while 2010-15 totals are much higher.

Or to put that another way, any starter eventually charged with a 2nd run doesn't appear in either list.

I think you'd need some retrosheet magic to get # of games where the guy had given up 0/1 through 6 regardless of what happened later. Not definitive but these numbers are at least consistent with the notion that we probably see starters with an opportunity to at least enter the 7th having given up 0/1 runs just as often but they are more likely to be pulled before completing the 7th. That strikes me as a more likely explanation for the drop in 7+, <=1 than that SPs are suddenly less capable. Obviously some (many?) of the guys pulled between 6 and 7 would have given up that second run.

We know reliever innings went up over the last 2-3 years so those innings are coming from somewhere. These numbers suggest they are being taken from starts across the board, not just 3rd-5th starters having a mediocre day.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: October 23, 2017 at 02:50 AM (#5560242)
A brief history of 21st century relief innings:

2000-2002: about 14,500 (483 per team)
2003: up 200 (490 per team)
2004: up another 250, nearly 15,000 (nearing 500 per team)
2005: a bizarre drop to below 14,100
2006: back near 15,000
2007-2009: about 15,150 (505 per team)
2010-2011: about 14,250 (Ks up, scoring down)
2012-2014: range from 14,600 to 15,000
2015: back to 2007-9
2016: almost 15,900 (530 per team)
2017: almost 16,500 (550 per team)

So they created a need for more than 7 relief slots in 2016 so now they seem to have decided they might as well use all 8 relief slots fully.

While a "massive" change it's still not massive -- an extra 70 innings per team relative to 2000-2002, less than half an inning per start ... but one roster spot switched from position to bullpen.

The flip side is starters. This might be easier by battters faced, especially with the emphasis these days on 3rd time through effects. Bear in mind these numbers are effected slightly by games not played due to rain outs but those effects are limited to maybe 500 batters faced (6 cancelled games)

2000: 126,000 (4200 per team, about 26 per start)

mostly slow decline to just below 122,000 by 2009

Bump back up to 124,000 for 2010-11

Back to around 122,000 for 2012-14

2015: 119,000
2016: 116,500
2017: 115,000 (3,830 per team, 23.7 per start)

2.3 BF per start would generally be a bit more than half-an-inning so some detail is getting lost in the rounding probably.

Starter WHIP varied from about 1.37 to 1.41 from 2001-2009. It's been below 1.35 every year until this year where it sneaked over to 1.353 ... it got under 1.30 for 2014-15 (welcome rabbit ball). It seems unthinkable now but SPs averaged under 6.5 K/9 until 2008. It's gone steadily up since then and sits at 8 now. OPS allowed did bounce back to 2001-5 levels this year (welcome rabbit ball). Anyway, it's hard to say that dropping a half-inning has done any harm to SP rate stats.

Meanwhile reliever rate stats relative to SPs have remained reasonably constant even though teams are dipping deeper into their pitching pools. Reliever WHIPs are pretty consistently .02-.03 below starters and the K/9 rate one higher. There's probably not a lot of cause-effect there but adding an extra reliever and cutting SP innings a bit doesn't seem to have hurt overall performance. Short (I said short) relievers have pretty much always out-performed starters on rate stats so if you can steal a half-inning from starters without hurting overall reliever rate stats, it's clearly something you'd like to do. The question then is whether it's worth the roster spot and teams clearly think so.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: October 23, 2017 at 03:22 AM (#5560244)
Yet more fun and games. I can't find a way to do an easy yearly table so some selected years for pitches/PA:

2001 3.72
2006 3.75
2011 3.81
2014 3.82
2015 3.82
2016 3.87
2017 3.88

That's not separated by reliever/starter (I don't know how to do that). Anyway, for 2017, 23.7 batters at 3.88 pitches/PA is about 92 pitches; for 2001, 26 batters at 3.72 pitches/PA is about 96.7 pitches. So part of the phenomenon is more pitches/PA -- to what extent that is batters being more patient vs. how much is starters figuring they can afford to nibble more (or just try to K more) if they're only asked for 24 batters in their 90-100 pitches, who knows? Anyway, 26 batters at 3.88 pitches/PA would be 101 per start and teams are clearly not going to move in that direction. So even if we pushed back to the abusive (!) pitch counts of 2001, that only gets us back to 25 batters at 3.88 p/PA.

So potentially one BF lost to rising pitch/PA, 1.3 lost to lower overall pitch counts and/or reliever v starter advantage and/or nerds and/or wimpy pitchers and/or push-button managers and/or Scott Boras.
   13. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: October 23, 2017 at 08:33 AM (#5560254)
So don't get me wrong -- I'm Team Bos and think this was mistake.... but whether just to be contrarian or try to make the opposite case, here's the case for Bosio being no great loss.

1) Cubs pitching coaches seem to have a rather unique ability to garner good press, so it's not like Bosio is/was a rarity in that regard. I remember how Billy Connors "fixed" Rick Sutcliffe. Oscar Acosta got so many Ks from his pitchers. Larry Rothschild was a god. Pretty sure even Dick Pole had his cheering section. For a team with one title and what, half a dozen division titles since the mid-80s -- the Cubs sure do seem to be blessed with extraordinary pitching coaches!

2) His big project success was Jake Arrieta. But - as I understand it - the primary different between Arrieta's instruction in Baltimore vs Chicago is that the Orioles were dead set on trying to get him to stop throwing across his body, while the Cubs pretty much went with "You do you". I'm sure Bosio has to at least be on board with that, but it's hardly a unique approach to take with a guy acknowledged as having good stuff, a once well-regarded prospect, but who hasn't had good MLB results. People want to put Kyle Hendricks in his win column, too -- but Hendricks was a fashionable darkhorse prospect when he came over, was dynamite in the Cubs system, was successful from day 1 in the bigs, and has the nickname from teammates - "the Professor".

3) The Cubs have certainly provided him with no shortage of other Arrietas to fix - Chris Volstad, Jacob Turner, Eddie Butler, Mike Bowden, Felix Doubront, Alex Burneet... and not a lot of them got "fixed".

4) Edwin Jackson went from went-traveled, but with frustratingly good stuff to awful and nearly done and out of baseball under Bosio.

5) The Cubs HAVE seen a few guys pass through the Bosio staff who went on to bigger, better things elsewhere -- Chris Rusin became useful in Colorado, of all places. Zak Godley turned into a fine starter for the DBacks. Dan Straily went from "Oh wow - that's a nice toss-in!!!!" to awful in Chicago to useful rotation stings in Cincy and Miami. Arodys Vizcaino back in Atlanta.

Now... maybe you could also give Bosio Jason Hammel... maybe Trevor Cahill.... Clayton Richardson.... a few others.

However, I think you could make a pretty case if take Jake Arrieta off his ledger -- the record is not very good for pitchers doing their best work under him. The results would seem mixed, at best.

I don't know that I necessarily buy my own contrarian case above.... but I do think there's a case to be made that Bosio's reputation with us is basically Arrieta + Myth and Legend.
   14. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: October 23, 2017 at 10:00 AM (#5560297)
Have to run for a meeting, but was just jotting down some before-during-after names from Bosio's Cub tenure and I think I'm talking myself into the contrarian Bosio view....
   15. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 23, 2017 at 10:30 AM (#5560308)
An Athletic piece on Bosio, if you have a subscription.

Epstein mentioned that the bullpen was 30th out of 30 in walk rate in a radio interview Thursday, before Thursday’s Game 5 and again on Friday. Epstein pointed out that they were the only team in baseball above 10 percent (they were at 10.6 percent) in unintentional walk rate.

Epstein admitted they had the third-best bullpen ERA, but said they “did it in a way we’re not really comfortable” with. Anyone who watched the bullpen walk batters late in close games understands what Epstein means.

Brian Duensing, Hector Rondon and Koji Uehara were the only Cubs relievers to pitch at least 10 innings and post a walk rate below 10 percent. That’s not all on Bosio, of course, but clearly the front office believed there was something in his methods that wasn’t working or that they disagreed with.

That Epstein mentions coaches as a way to get better and then transitions into talking about exit meetings could just be a coincidence. But it’s clear the Cubs were unhappy with the way Bosio was handling certain things. There are those who believe that Bosio was too rigid with the way he handled pitchers who arrived mid-season and stubborn when given suggestions on how to handle situations differently. While his dismissal feels sudden, these frustrations have been simmering over the years and apparently finally came to a boil. Justin Wilson’s struggles were highly disappointing to the team and many believe that wasn’t a scouting failure, but rather a pitcher ending up in the doghouse and quickly losing confidence.

That piece would seem to suggest it wasn't just Maddon. I also don't think it's scapegoating, but perhaps the team looking around and feeling like they were falling behind. The bullpen also pretty much fell apart end of last year/playoffs, so perhaps they think it's something they're doing in prepping/whatever that is contributing to that.
   16. Greg Pope Posted: October 23, 2017 at 12:55 PM (#5560397)
Now... maybe you could also give Bosio Jason Hammel... maybe Trevor Cahill.... Clayton Richardson.... a few others.

   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 23, 2017 at 01:06 PM (#5560409)
Clayton Richardson....

If that's a "give," exactly how horrible do you think he would have been sans Bosio? It beggars the imagination!
   18. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: October 23, 2017 at 01:09 PM (#5560414)

Could you, though?

Bos came aboard in 2012 -- 2011 was his nice bullpen year. He only spent 2012 (in total) under Bos -- 3.55 FIP, 107 ERA+... not that much different than last year in SF (3.85 FIP, 105 ERA+). He was a bit better in Chicago than in Oakland during his split 2013 -- but nothing significant.

Last year, Shark was at 3.65 FIP (only translated into a 95 ERA+) -- but he far and away had his best K/BB ratio of his career.

If you took BPJ's seasons and scrambled them up -- his dreadful southside season is an outlier, but there's no clear divining Bos-Shark from non-Bos-Shark.
   19. Greg Pope Posted: October 23, 2017 at 01:32 PM (#5560430)
but there's no clear divining Bos-Shark from non-Bos-Shark.

OK. I admit it was just a general impression based on his results after the trade to Oakland and subsequent South Side pitching. But I never looked at the numbers.
   20. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 23, 2017 at 01:49 PM (#5560442)
I don't know that I necessarily buy my own contrarian case above.... but I do think there's a case to be made that Bosio's reputation with us is basically Arrieta + Myth and Legend.

Does he get any credit for Hendricks?
   21. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 23, 2017 at 01:57 PM (#5560448)
He only spent 2012 (in total) under Bos -- 3.55 FIP, 107 ERA+... not that much different than last year in SF (3.85 FIP, 105 ERA+) ... there's no clear divining Bos-Shark from non-Bos-Shark.

But why would we expect any help that Bosio gave to Samadzija (or anybody else) to disappear when Samardzija leaves Chicago? If Bosio's help is teaching/perfecting either specific pitches or understanding pitch sequences or in suggestions of specific exercises, etc., why wouldn't we expect his pupils to take those with him wherever they go next?

There COULD be something specific about how Bosio uses pitchers, has them warm up, whatever. But I would think a pre-Bosio / since Bosio distinction might be more relevant. Which doesn't necessarily negate your point specifically as it relates to Samardzija. The dividing line in terms of him figuring out how to pitch seems to be 2011, the season before Bosio showed up.
   22. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: October 23, 2017 at 02:03 PM (#5560453)
Does he get any credit for Hendricks?

He probably ought to get some - but like I said... how much? Hendricks had the reputation as a strike-throwing command guy when acquired, pretty much pitched that way in the Cubs system, and has continued to do so with the big club. Perhaps you give Bos a bit of credit for the rise in K/9, thus making Kyle into a true front-end starter rather than an innings eating back-ender who just throws strikes? But then - how much credit to do you also give to Kyle himself -- and the defense behind him.

I'm really not trying to talk myself into being a Thed bobblehead -- I guess I'm just saying that it kind of feels like we all pretty much developed this Bosio Supergenius consensus some years ago and really, if you set aside Arrieta, I'm not so sure the consensus stands up to scrutiny or sample size.

This is not to say that I'm trying to move the consensus to "good riddance" -- just saying that perhaps we've all created a bit of legend that doesn't live up to the legend. How many times since Jake did we all spend the offseason with our shopping lists of "Bos will fix him!" -- and again, since Jake... not a whole lot of other "fixes" (granted, plenty of those guys just may not have been fixable period).... and you've certainly got guys like Jackson and Straily who turned into crap, while Straily at least, got his groove back after leaving.

   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 23, 2017 at 02:59 PM (#5560475)
Hey, if nothing else, we can look forward to slightly less arduous mound visits in the future, now that the Bosio Waddle won't be padding the time on both ends.
   24. Spahn Insane Posted: October 23, 2017 at 04:25 PM (#5560556)
I don't know that I necessarily buy my own contrarian case above.... but I do think there's a case to be made that Bosio's reputation with us is basically Arrieta + Myth and Legend.

I suppose there's "a case to be made" to that effect, but Arrieta and Hendricks aren't Bosio's only success stories (one can argue about how much of that was Bosio and how much was coincidence, but I have no idea how one would settle it). Feldman, Maholm, Hammel...all had nice bouncebacks with the Cubs (and Hammel in particular was much better with the Cubs--in both his stints with them--than he was before, after, or in between). And Feldman's success of course opened the door to their acquiring Jake in the first place.

EDIT: Cokes where appropriate blahblahblah. And yeah, Cahill's another one.
   25. Spahn Insane Posted: October 23, 2017 at 04:30 PM (#5560562)
4) Edwin Jackson went from went-traveled, but with frustratingly good stuff to awful and nearly done and out of baseball under Bosio.

Jackson's not been particularly good under anybody (his entire career has been a disappointment, after he debuted at 19 as a highly touted prospect), and I've got a hard time pinning blame for his enigmatic struggles on anybody but him.
   26. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 23, 2017 at 04:41 PM (#5560572)
Angels have hired away Eric Hinske; he's going from ass't hitting coach here to hitting coach there. Also it was noted in another thread, but Dave Martinez is interviewing for the Nats manager position.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 23, 2017 at 05:00 PM (#5560586)
Jackson's not been particularly good under anybody

That's what she said?
   28. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: October 23, 2017 at 08:19 PM (#5560692)
Feldman, Maholm, Hammel...all had nice bouncebacks with the Cubs (and Hammel in particular was much better with the Cubs--in both his stints with them--than he was before, after, or in between). And Feldman's success of course opened the door to their acquiring Jake in the first place.

Maholm's FIP the year before in PIT was 3.78 - his half year with the Cubs, it was 4.14 (3.76 in ATL). Granted, he did post a career best K/BB ratio - but Maholm's bounceback was basically going 9-6 for a bad team, as opposed to 6-14 and 9-15 with prior bad teams. Feldman went from 3.86 to 3.93 with the Cubs - his BB, K, and HR rates were virtually identical. The big difference was his raw ERA dropping from 5.09 in Arlington in 2012 to 3.46 with the Cubs. In short - there's not a lot of difference between them pre-Bos and in their half years with Bos.... it's mostly that the Cubs made a really good call signing both on reasonable 1 year deals thus making them exactly what they became - perfect trade chits.

The case for Hammel is far better - his line across the board was far, far better with the Cubs than elsewhere.

So - perhaps we can amend it to say more than just Jake, but no further than ex-Orioles...
   29. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 23, 2017 at 09:48 PM (#5560711)
He didn't do sh*t for Rodrigo Lopez.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: October 23, 2017 at 10:36 PM (#5560724)
I recall an Arrieta article where it was claimed that he hadn't really learned anything new with the Cubs, it's just that the Orioles disastrously forbade him from throwing this or that pitch and that they disastrously forced him to use a certain unnatural delivery, and such. The Cubs just said "do your thing" and he immediately became Jake Arrieta.

Then pilates help him make the next leap. No really.
   31. Spahn Insane Posted: October 23, 2017 at 10:39 PM (#5560727)
Yeah, maybe it’s as much that the Orioles suck at developing pitchers as anything Bosio did, at least where Arrieta (and Duensing and Strop and Hammel) is concerned.
   32. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: October 23, 2017 at 10:41 PM (#5560728)
Of course - even the oriole's castoff record isn't perfect. Brian Matusz was a waste.

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