MLB: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

From BP Boston: Contemplating Ryan Cook

Over the weekend, the Cubs claimed reliever Ryan Cook off waivers from the Red Sox. A few days before that, he’d been profiled for BP Boston’s “Rebuilding the Red Sox” series by BP’s Ryan P. Morrison. Given that Cook is now a Cub, we thought you’d enjoy reading that brief profile here at Wrigleyville. 

Ryan Cook didn’t make the best impression in a Red Sox uniform this year. Maybe a mere five games and 4.1 innings shouldn’t do a whole lot to make us certain about a player, but as Addison Reed might tell you, there’s struggling, and then there’s bleeding all over everyone and staining their favorite shirts. Cook’s 13 earned runs surrendered during his 4.1-inning span gave him a career ERA with Boston of 27.00. Ichiro Suzuki’s career ERA with Miami is 9.00.

It’s no guarantee, though, that Super-GM Dave Dombrowski and GM Mike Hazen will opt to not offer Cook a contract for 2016 by the non-tender deadline a month from now. As evaluation goes, ERA doesn’t always offer all of the answers, small samples are almost necessarily misleading, and an ERA from a small sample only has value as, say, a hook for a piece about Ryan Cook. Relievers are weird. But it wasn’t so long ago that Cook was one of the AL’s most dominant relievers for two years running, and at $1.4M for a projected arbitration salary (plus the value of club control for 2017), Cook is not a pricey gamble if a return to dominance seems possible.

2012 2.09 0.94 9.8 3.3 .220 1.7
2013 2.54 1.29 9.0 3.3 .306 0.6
2014 3.42 1.08 9.0 4.0 .232 1.1
2015 18.69 3.12 6.2 7.3 .432 -1.1

2015 looks a lot worse than it should, with just 8.2 innings pitched — Cook pitched 42.2 innings at the Triple-A level this season. There, he looked a lot like the 2014 MLB version of himself, with a 3.16 ERA, a 7.6 K/9, and a 3.4 BB/9. His BABIP was way down: .299 while in the Oakland organization and a laughably low .100 BABIP in his 9.1 innings with Pawtucket.

To read the entire piece, be sure to visit BP Boston here.

Lead photo courtesy Greg M. Cooper—USA Today Sports.

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