Thursday, February 23, 2017

Eddie Butler: A Pitcher to Dream On

Recently, the Chicago Cubs made a trade with the Colorado Rockies to acquire right-handed pitcher, Eddie Butler. The Cubs gave up nothing of significance in the deal which makes sense since Butler is going to be 26 years old in a month and had an ERA over seven last year. On its surface, there is little reason to care about this move.

But the Cubs made this move, and people believe that matters. They believe this matters because in 2013, the Cubs traded for another pitcher with an ERA over seven, and this man rediscovered his top prospect pedigree and became a Cy Young and World Series winner after joining the Cubs. Eddie Butler was once also a top prospect, so can he turn into the next Jake Arrieta?


The answer is definitely no.

But that doesn't mean he can't still be valuable. He still has big time velocity, and for velocity whores like myself, that's always enough to build a little excitement. Still, he hasn't been a dominant pitcher since he was taking care of three levels of minor leaguers back in 2013. Back then, he was using a fastball/changeup combo that kept both hitters off balance. Then he stopped using his changeup in favor of a below average breaking ball, and welp, that ain't enough to get out major league hitters.

But what if he rediscovers that above average changeup to go with his plus velocity. Well, that's a combo to dream on. I think he's probably only a two-pitch pitcher if he's going to be successful so his future is still in the bullpen, but he could be an important piece there. It's unlikely to be a dominant closer, but it's not crazy to think he could be a solid setup guy.

You could find the case that the Cubs front office is filled with the most brilliant men in the world, and they were able to see something in Butler that the rest of the world couldn't. He's not Jake Arrieta, but there's still something to dream on.

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