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Cubs Best Reliever 2012

By bullpenbrian - October 11, 2012 - 12:30 am Leave a comment.

-James Russell: (7-1, 3.25). Easily the most reliable arm in the bullpen. The 26-year-old southpaw allowed just 5 HR in nearly 70 innings pitched (69.1) and was second in strikeouts (55) only to Carlos Marmol’s 72 and games (77) to Shawn Camp’s league leading 80-appearances.

He set career-highs in appearances (77), innings pitched (69.1), strikeouts (55), home runs allowed (5) and hit batters (1). His ERA+ was a solid 21-points above the league average.

Russell is one of the few, if only, bright spots for the Cubs’ bullpen heading into 2013. It took Sean Marshall a few seasons to become one of the best left-handed relievers in the National League, and Russell appears to be headed down the same path entering his fourth season.

Honorable mentions: Shawn Camp (3-6, 3.59) league-leading 80-appearances, led Cubs relievers in innings pitched (77.2), third in strikeouts (54) and WHIP (1.29). Michael Bowden (0-0, 2.95) fourth in strikeouts (29) second in WHIP (1.25).

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Byrd, Bowden & Jackson

By bullpenbrian - April 22, 2012 - 4:00 pm Leave a comment.

It feels like Theo Epstein extended an olive branch to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday trading Marlon Byrd for right-handed pitcher Michael Bowden.

Who would’ve guessed both parties would dance following the lengthy debate to settle the Epstein compensation package to the Cubs?

There’s no question Byrd could use a change of scenery given his dreadful start to the season offensively (.075 avg., 2 RBI). Whether or not his return to Fenway Park rekindles any lingering affects from being beaned in the eye there last May is yet to be seen.

The Red Sox, however, are starved for veteran outfield help. Jacoby Ellsbury is sidelined with a separated shoulder and Carl Crawford is still recovering from left wrist surgery. Whatever Byrd has left in the tank is worth Boston’s risk.

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