Release Bob Howry

It’s time the Cubs released Bob Howry…maybe explore some trade options for him.

Nothing against Howry the person…but I’ve seen enough of Howry the setup man.

This isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to today’s loss, I’ve pointed out Howry’s disappointing season for weeks now.

In the beginning, I was patient, and mostly confident, Howry would rebound from a horrific April:

  • 19 hits in 12.1 innings pitched, 3 home runs and a bloated 8.03 ERA.

In fact, that’s exactly what happened, albeit briefly, during May:

  • 16 hits in 15.1 innings pitched, 2 home runs and a very respectable 1.76 ERA.

Unfortunately, the tide turned in June:

  • 12 hits in 10 innings pitched, 1 home run and a 4.50 ERA for the month.

It’s a red flag…Howry isn’t quite right…he’s not improving…and the season, of course, is in full swing.

To this point, the Cubs’ super-charged lineup has mask Howry’s ineffectiveness.

The one-two punch of Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood rarely leaves the pressure on Howry to protect late inning leads.

But given the Cubs’ collective funk offensively this month (July)…Marmol’s lack of command…and Wood’s trip to the DL…Bob Howry’s ineffectiveness has been exposed.

Regardless of Marmol’s recent struggles, however, Lou simply can’t throw Marmol (or Wood) every game.

So Lou’s left with the consistently bad Bob Howry to protect late inning leads. Not good.

Howry’s results for July:

  • (1-2) record, 13 hits in 11.1 innings pitched, 3 more home runs and a 7.15 ERA.

Obviously, the Cubs can’t rely on Howry any longer, and especially with the Brewers making a run. The backend of this bullpen needs reinforcements…like immediately!

Howry turns 35 in August…is in the final year of a three-year $12 million dollar contract: no better time to cut the string.

I’d hate to see Howry’s career as a Cub end this way…but what other options are left for a guy who’s allowed 62 hits in 50 innings pitched, 9 home runs and sports a 5.22 ERA?

  • Notes: Howry’s career ERA is a respectable 3.62.
  • In 2007 Howry allowed 76 hits in 81.1 innings pitched all season, including just eight home runs.
  • In the Cubs’ five losses since the All Star break, the lineup is 2-for-15 with RISP.
  • Jeff Samardzija made his major league debut: 1-run, 2-hits in 2-IP, and is not the answer to replacing Howry.
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