October 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Trevor Cahill (53) pitches the sixth inning against the New York Mets in game four of the NLCS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Trevor Cahill: 2015 stats: 1-3 W/L, 26 G, 43.1 IP, 44 H, 16 BB, 36 K, 5.40 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 3.92 FIP
Cahill represents the classic example of projecting early career success into the future. With the A’s, Cahill made the All-Star team and won 22 games as a 22-year-old. That set the bar very high and the bar went lower and lower each season as the performance continued to deteriorate.
When Oakland shipped Cahill to Arizona that started a nomadic adventure that included Atlanta, LA and finally the Cubs. There was the usual sprinkling of various minor league destinations with all of the above related to injury recovery and performance issues as attempts were being made to regain that early baseball magic.
A glimmer of hope surfaced with the Cubs in late 2015 as a shift to the bullpen saw some encouraging performance statistics with 17 innings and 11 games that had a 2.12 ERA attached. Can Cahill be a possible bullpen additive?
Cahill has never been a dominant fastball pitcher as his career velocity is just a shade under 90 MPH with the pitch he utilizes most often at a 54.5% in 2015. Cahill mixes in a slider that is now being used more frequently (16.7%) and a curve and change-up. The ground ball rate in 2015 was 63.1% and the real negative with Cahill is his control – a career BB/9 of 3.55 and once leading the National League in wild pitches (17).
The right-handed Cahill does offer one an enticing option of having an experienced arm in the bullpen and, quite possibly, rebounding to his early career success. A Cahill signing has one year deal stamped on it. A low risk with potentially high returns.