As reports begin to file in that Scott Feldman has agreed to a one-year $6 million deal with the Cubs, it’s easy to focus on the failures of Scott Feldman here.
After three straight trips to the postseason, 2009 seems like a long time ago. For some, it’s hard to remember that Feldman gave the Rangers a 17-8, 4.08 ERA effort over 34 appearances that, at one point during the season, garnered [fringe] Cy Young discussion.
Surely even the fans that jumped back on the bandwagon after the 2010 World Series run should be able to remember the 2011 playoffs. You know, when Feldman pitched 8.2 critical innings in the first two rounds against the Rays and Tigers, punching out 9 hitters and surrendering only 3 hits and no walks.
Again, I’m not suggesting that we forget about the last three years in which Feldman posted a record of 15-23 with a 5.15 ERA. But what about that stretch in 2012 from June 19th to August 4th when Scooter took the mound and went 6-0 over 6 starts (7 appearances) with an ERA of 2.81 while the rest of the rotation (8 other pitchers started games) combined for a record of 10-10 and posted an ERA over 6?
When Scooter had it, he had it.
When he didn’t, he didn’t.
At his best, Scooter was a ground-ball pitcher who threw a heavy ball with a good sinker and sneaky cutter in a ballpark famous for its jet stream and tendency to produce offense. At his worst, he had a tendency to get too much of the plate, lose command of the sinker, over-expose the cutter, and well, you know the rest. But he was always a guy the club could count on to eat up some innings, whether as a number 5 starter, or as the long man in the bullpen. And there is value in that.
While it may be fun to envision the Rangers rotation with a guy like Zack Greinke or David Price, it’s never as exciting to think about who takes the ball when the rotation is weakened by injuries. Sure, the Darvishes, the Verlanders, the Greinkes, those guys are the Rolls Royce that every team would like to be driving when the postseason comes around.
But we’re going to need a new Scooter, too.
Robert Pike is a Staff Writer for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at Robert.Pike@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @Bob_Pike