Where is Sean Marshall and What Have You Done With Him?!

The lanky, handsome lefty the Cubs have summoned from the bullpen these past two evenings is NOT Sean Marshall, the swing man we've come to know and, you know, like a lot. Throughout his career, Marshall has always sported a pretty pedestrian strikeout rate (6.5ish K/9, which is below league average). This year, in the first two games, Marshall has gone K-crazy, earning an ungodly 17ish K/9. This fun, small-sample-size-induced oddity has resulted in a most amazing FIP:

Marshall 2010 FIP = -1.07

Tee hee.

It's hard to know why Marshall has been so hot lately (I'm counting his strong Spring Training) or whether any of it will last, but it seems like his fastball has been a bit more steamy of late:


Source Frangraphs.

Which brings me to my next topic and the next inning, in fact: John Grabow. Many of us barfed balked here at Cubs Stats when the Cubs re-signed Grabow to an above-market contract. Frankly, Grabow has been an excellent lefty specialist throughout his career, but Piniella seems determined to make him fit as a high-leveridge, go-to pitcher. I think that position is Esmailin Caridad's until he proves otherwise. Unlike Caridad, Grabow has never done well against righties:

GRABOW
Career xFIP vs. righties: 4.66 or worse than average
Career xFIP vs. lefties: 3.32 or way better than average

Career K/BB vs. righties: 3.32 way better than average
Career K/BB vs. lefties: 1.45 worse than average

In summation: NO MAOR GRABOW FOR TO PITCH AGAINST WRITIES, PLSKTHXBAI!

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