Joe Beimel, John Grabow and George Sherrill have all been named as LOOGY candidates for the Cubs. With the non-waiver deadline approaching, B.J. Ryan needs to get his act together in AAA or else. His chances are dwindling. Casey Fossum is still hanging around in the Iowa rotation.
Beimel, Grabow and Sherrill would all be reasonable solutions for the Cubs current lefty shortage. Beimel lost some velocity at the end of 2008, which may have scared teams away from him. The Nationals picked him up, and he's down fairly well in terms of PITCHf/x derived stats. Grabow has the least movement on his breaking pitch, but sinks the ball nicely. His control is not great, though. Sherrill is a better known commodity, and may have a slight edge over the other two, but at a higher cost.
Here's what they throw
I included their release points, since I wanted to test a theory on finding arm slot. Starting with the spin movement, I draw the "Lentzner" line, but not through 0,0 as Matt does. Next, I take that line and overlay it with their release points. Let me know what you think.
Sherrill is listed at an even 6'0" and looks to work from the first base side of the rubber. His arm angle is actually mclose to Beimel's. Beimel is three inches taller and not as far out on the rubber as Sherrill. Grabow, the tallest at 6'3" (if you believe such numbers) has a similar release point to Beimel, but a lower arm slot. Or, so it appears.
A few things I've noticed when comparing the 2007-2009 stats (shown above) with the 2009 numbers:
- more strikes
- a few less grounders
- less velocity
- less "rise"
- more off-speed stuff
- less velocity on the slurve
- but more movement
- overall about the same results
- pretty much the same
Beimel's become more of a strike-thrower this year, and he'll miss the fewest bats. Sherrill is a good mix of stuff and deception, he gets the most called strikes of the group, by a long shot. But he's also a fly ball pitcher. Grabow is pretty much in the middle, and doesn't get more grounders than Beimel, roughly speaking, despite is lower arm slot and sinking action.
I'd take whichever will cost the team the least amount of money and consider risk factors like age, injury history and mechanics.