At what point does the MLB reallign so we don't have six teams in one division?
Kerry Wood missed some time due to injury this season as well, but for the most part he stayed on the field and excelled. 66.3 innings of 194 FIP+ ball is pretty impressive. Throw in Jeff Samardzija and Carlos Marmol and the Cubs bullpen is extremely solid for years to come, assuming that Wood does re-sign in Chicago. Rich Harden or Ryan Dempster were the Cubs best starter, but unfortunately for the Cubs only one other starter, Carlos Zambrano finished with a FIP+ over 100, Ted Lilly, Jason Marquis, and potentially some combination of Chad Gaudin or Rich Hill will need to rise to the occasion next season. Chad Fox's attempt at a return did not go well or last long.
This just in: Edison Volquez is really, really good. The two bullpen additions were pretty solid as well in Jeremy Affeldt (a free agent this off-season as well) and Francisco Cordero. You'll note that most of the Reds' above average pitchers were relievers, including Daniel Herrera who was the other part of the Josh Hamilton deal. Bronson Arroyo delivered about 200 innings of average ball, and Aaron Harang was slightly worse, as was Jonny Cueto. Homer Bailey and Josh Fogg were pretty awful to tally more than 100 innings, even worse: Fogg logged 3/4ths of them.
I think LaTroy Hawkins may have avoided the non-roster invitee tag with his 21 innings in Houston. Chris Sampson is still going to be a steal for some team if they can pry him from Ed Wade's hands. Roy Oswalt recovered from a rough start to finish above average, although not by as much as you would expect. Serious question: how did Brandon Backe rack up 167 innings for Houston?
The Brewers made restructuring their bullpen a top priority last off-season, which is why it's somewhat ironic that their top two contributors (in terms of FIP+ at least) from the pen were late season acquisitions Julian Tavarez and Todd Coffey while Eric Gagne and David Riske were two of the worst. Derrick Turnbow was also just pitiful. I believe I called their bullpen one of the most volatile I'd seen purely from the amount of boom or bust types, and boy they delivered. Salomon Torres was a bit above average, and there's really not much more to say about CC Sabathia, he was just straight up amazing at times. Ben Sheets was also very good, almost topping the 200 innings mark as well.
|John V. Benschoten||22.3||48|
One day Pirates fans are going to look back at their 2008 pitching staff like Rays fans do their 2007 staff. Outside of Matt Capps there was not much positive happening post-trade deadline. Paul Maholm ate a ton of innings at an average rate at least. Tyler Yates was okay too, but otherwise there's not much to say. They will be better next year, I have faith in Neal Huntington.
St. Louis Cardinals
And then there's the Cardinals. Aaron Miles pitched one inning and has a 134 FIP+, gotta love that. Kyle Lohse getting a big deal looks awful using your pitching metric of choice, 4/41 for a 107 FIP+? Ew, and consider that the Cardinals dealt Anthony Reyes, who probably puts up near similar numbers given the opportunity, good get by the Indians. Jason Isringhausen enters the free agency market with one of his worst seasons.