Early in the 2008 season, Rich Hill walked 18 batters in 19.2 innings, for a BB/9 ratio of 8.44, before being sent out, never to return to the Cubs.
This season, Carlos Marmol has walked 52 in 56.1 innings, giving him a BB/9 value of 8.34.
Steve Blass syndrome, fine–but on the same team in consecutive seasons?
I don’t want to generalize from the case of Rich Hill, who had forearm, shoulder and back issues plus a fair share of left-handed eccentricity. The simple fact is that every pitcher who comes up with the Cubs and who works with Larry Rothschild over a period of time has trouble throwing strikes.
Here is the list of “Larry’s boys” and how they did in terms of strikeouts and walks in their latest (or last) year under Rothschild.
If you count all pitchers in the National League, minimum 40 innings, who have a K/BB ratio of 2.00 or higher, there are 84 of them, or 5 per team on average. Among Larry’s boys, everyone except Wells, Guzman and Ohman is below two strikeouts per walk. Ohman is at 2.06. Wells and Guzman are new to the team and have a recent background with other coaches. They are not really Larry’s boys–yet.
Of the rest, all except Marshall are strikeout pitchers. Their K/BB is not held down by lack of strikeouts, but rather by excess of walks.
Hill’s K/BB in 2007 was 2.90. Marmol’s in 2008 was 2.78. Wuertz’s in 2007 was 2.26. The year before that, it was 2.63. This year, with Rothschild in his rear-view mirror, Wuertz has a K/BB of 4.69.