The Cubs announced yesterday that they’ll be signing starting pitcher Scott Feldman to a one-year contract. Feldman was 6-11 with a 5.09 ERA and 1.38 WHIP last season in 29 games (21 starts). When looking at Feldman, the Cubs aren’t looking at those ERA stats, they’re looking at more peripherals, which Jed Hoyer seemed to like.
“I think part of why he agreed to a one-year deal is that he has a lot of confidence in himself and felt like, ‘Hey, I know I can pitch better than I did last year and I can potentially use that as a spring-board,’” Hoyer said. “He showed a lot of confidence in wanting a one-year deal.
“I think last year, if you look inside his numbers, the numbers were not what he probably hoped but they were pretty misleading. If you look at his ratios and different underlying numbers, he’s one of the most unlucky pitchers in the game last year. While it wasn’t his best year, it certainly wasn’t nearly as bad as the ERA on the page says it was.”
With the 40-man roster already full, the Cubs will have to adjust one spot before the Feldman signing is official.
One of those who might not be remaining on the 40-man roster is Ian Stewart, as Friday is the deadline for teams to offer their players arbitration.
“We’re still talking to Ian,” Hoyer said. “We got a report today on his wrist and how he’s doing. He’s taking light batting practice, hitting balls off a tee and it seems like the wrist is progressing nicely. We’ll continue those conversations throughout the week. There’s a decision to be made at the end of the week. We’ve had a good dialogue with Ian and Larry Reynolds, his agent, and we’ll continue to do that for the next three or four days.”
Finally, Hoyer was asked about Rob Deer being hired as the new hitting coach.
“On that note, I think mentioning a coach’s stats as a player is one of the least useful things you can imagine,” Hoyer said. “No one ever mentions Jim Leyland’s numbers or Tony La Russa’s numbers. I think coaching and playing are two very separate things. Just because a guy happened to strike out a lot or didn’t have a high batting average doesn’t affect how well he teaches at all. I also would note [Deer] was a guy who did get on base and had a lot of power. I don’t think a coach’s playing background says how he coaches and how he teaches.”
You go, Jed.