Roster Spot #22- P- Michael Wuertz #43
Ht: 6'3'' Wt:205 Bats: Right Throws:Right
I remember your rookie year, Michael, you were no star
Michael Wuertz is now in what will be his fourth year in his semi-permanent position as the Cubs right handed specialist/slider specialist/6th inning guy. Wuertz is also still in his semi-permanent position as the least interesting personality on the team (though Rich Hill tries). Wuertz first came up with the Cubs in 2004 as a rookie, and was promptly cast in to the fire by Dusty Baker, who was desperate to shed his "doesn't play young guys" label. Wuertz responded by giving up 13 runs in his first 20 games (17 innings) to wind up with a first half era of 6.75 era. Wuertz did redeem himself in the second half, however, finally managing to get his devastating slider to work at the major league level. Wuertz' numbers since the 2004 second half show the drastic change from rookie schlup to bullpen fixture:
2004 (2nd half): 11 games, 11 innings, 1-0, 0.77 era.
2005: 75 games, 75.7 innings, 6-2, 3.81 era.
2006: 41 games, 40.7 innings, 3-1, 2.66 era.
2007:73 games, 72.3 innings, 2-3, 3.48 era.
As you can tell from these numbers, especially the amazing correlation between apperances and innings pitched, when he enters the game Michael usually is a one-inning-only effective middle reliever. So why do Cubs fans fail to embrace him?
Because he looks like this: