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Lugoed and Farnsworthed
by alex ciepley
In the last question of yesterday's chat on ESPN.com, Rob Neyer had the following to offer:
Farnsworth's another guy who could be a closer someday, if he could just stop throwing so many gopher balls. And why don't the Cubs go after Julio Lugo?
Um, because Lugo isn't very good? Why would the Cubs actively pursue a shortstop who this year, in his best year, is hitting 279/336/443? Sure this is a bit of an upgrade offensively over Alex Gonzalez's lines the past two years of 248/312/425 and 228/295/409, but he isn't that much better, and certainly isn't worth a question that implies an organizational criticism (Those dumb Cubs, they'd be great if only they went after Julio Lugo!). While shortstop is a hole on the current team, I would want a bigger upgrade than Mr. Lugo -- otherwise, what's the point?
And Farnsworth and home runs? Last year he gave up 6 in 76.3 innings; this year he's given up 3 in 33.3, up just a touch. But last year Billy Wagner gave up 8 bombs in 86 innings, Keith Foulke gave up 10 in 86.6 innings, Guardado gave up 7 in 65.3 innings... I just don't understand why Neyer is coming up with Farnsy being too homer-prone to be an effective closer. I don't mean to pick on Rob, who is an excellent thinker and for pete's sake was doing a chat -- hardly a research piece -- but his closing comments did seem weird to me.