Quick Take Ryan Cook, RHP
weebles wobble? let's hope this one DOES


Q.  Is he an upgrade from Anthony Bass?

A.  Not for me, no.  I was looking forward to watching Bass, in the sense of being Bass being a good pitcher among bad pitchers.  I wouldn't trade you Bass for Cook, but ... you, Gentle Reader, can take comfort in two things.

(1) Bill James' axiom:  MLB orgs pay too much attention to what their scouts say, and too little to how their players have performed.

(2) Jerry DiPoto's axiom:  Relievers, if they're not Kimbrel or Chapman, wobble like Weebles.  

You AARP subcommittee members recall the Weebles that Wobble But They Don't Fall Down?  In 2012-14, Ryan Cook used to be fairly good -- I dunno how he was an All-Star, but he was -- so DiPoto's simply making a bet on Axiom 2.  I'm not with him, but.  Jerry DiPoto pushing a stack of chips into the pot, that's interesting.  At least for now.


Q.  What's the Ryan Cook template?

A.  J.C. Ramirez, Jose Ramirez, any Jack Zduriencik right hand pitcher with a hot fastball and an eyebrow-raising slider and a lack of command.  Good to know that DiPoto is married to Axiom 2 more than he is to his other axiom, the one that says "other things being equal, I'll trade some K's to reduce the walks."  Cook, even at his best, is a 9K 4BB kinda guy.  Bemusing to see Jerry DiPoto pick up a Jack Z kinda short man.

Here is a video of him at his best.  His slider can be dangerous, especially whipsawed against a 96 fastball.  Dunno that it's repeatable any more.

Brooks Baseball describes him this way:


Basic description of 2015 pitches compared to other RHP:
His fourseam fastball results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has slight armside run and has slightly above average velo.

His sliderhas some two-plane movement.

His sinker has slight armside run and has slightly above average velo.

His change (take this with a grain of salt because he's only thrown 18 of them in 2015) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' changeups, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' changeups, is slightly firmer than usual and has some natural sink to it.


Actually Cook's change can take RH hitters by major shock and produce garbage swings.  :: shrug ::  He doesn't throw it much and he has bigger problems than trying to refine his cambio.


Q.  Maybe he's a ROOGY?

A.  Without a doubt he's in that category.  Or you could try to deploy him that way, at least.  Righties basically OPS+ 70 against him and lefties OPS+ 130.  He does blow down RHB, trying to cobble smoke-and-mirrors sinker, changeup AB's against lefties.


real life bobblehead pics
real life bobblehead pics


Q.  BaseballHQ?

A.  Justifiably omits him from their ledger.


Q.  Worst and best case scenarios?

A.  As follows:

HI - returns to 2012-14 form and is an average-solid, if overrated, short reliever

HI/MID - is adroitly deployed as a ROOGY and retires some Albert Pujols types for us (129:35 control lifetime, .191/.262/.273 vs RHB)

MID - makes the team based on his contract, but wastes our time in Blake Beavan fashion 

MID/LO does get a bobblehead night, but is on the "disabled list" for it

LO - Sent to minors, costs a few bucks out of the self-imposed salary cap


My heart ain't in this one,

Dr D




Separate topic, but this seems like the strtong dividing line between the sabes and the 'old guys', no?  (I have no dog in this fight; I believe in both.)

But Moneyball taught us that the smart money is on the numbers; the new wave will eventually force out the dinosaurs.

But when I look at the the last 11 World Series champs, I see that Dayton Moore, Brian Sabean, Pat Gillick, and Kenny Williams are responsbile for six of them...Theo Epstein and Cherinton holding up the fort for the other side with two...and the rest for Mozelak and Cashman who are, where?--somewhere in the middle?

So maybe it's also possible to pay too much attention to the numbers?


He seems to be saying that the new smart bet is in undervaluing RP's, in not paying through the teeth for their mercurial arms, and in investing such savings elsewhere.

Are Kuma's 170 innings of 3.00 ERA the purchase we made with the savings we accrued by signing a bunch of spaghetti (against the wall) bullpen arms?  

It is worth looking at it that way, to some degree.

The other bet here is that you can pick up decently decent RP's all the time, as the season moves along, giving up down-on-the-farm-boys who are not your most electric prospects.  

The GM gets early grades of "A" for each of the Karns, Miley, and Lind moves.  Martin's inking gets an "I" at this point, trending toward a "B" when I believe his (now healed) wrist made all things bad and he really does wear Paul Blair's glove and swing a bat with a bit of sting.  With all that bought, the pollyanna in me is willing to trust Dipoto's got the bullpen thing covered.  Well, until his BP pours gasoline on our May-June hopes.

M's Watcher's picture

Losing Bass means we got Martin for Bartender, Jones, and Kiv? He'd better be Paul Blair, and this had better not be some JeDi mind trick.  Or maybe we just overvalue players who have been on our roster.


I am having a tough time imagining how this trade ended up getting consumated. I would think GM's are trading for players that they want, or they think will improve their team... but that does not seem to be the case here.

Texas immediately cuts Jones after Kivlehan is announced as the last player in deal?? why trade for Jones then? And I really wonder why there was a delay on annoucing Kivlehan at the time of the trade. Was there another player as an option instead of Kivlehan? Or did the trade happen so fast that Texas needed a day or two to decide who to cut? Then, after a day of being cut, Jones decides to sign a minor league deal... with Texas? Why? Why not with Seattle, since Jones did not have time to move in this short week? Or did Dipoto just want to get rid of Jones? 

Dipoto lets Bass go play in Japan because of money?? Dipoto knew that Bass was going to get a raise in arbitration, but what makes Bass look to Japan for more money? That can't be a normal negotiating ploy by Bass's agent...right? Now the amount of money to go to Japan has not been announced, but at what dollar value does Dipoto just give up on a player he wanted in a trade - one he knows is due a raise?  Does Dipoto have a hand on Bass going to Japan??? Doubtful, but... just strange.

Anonymous's picture

Letting Bass go to Japan (and getting cash for him) helps to offset some of the money spent on Iwakuma. My guess anyway. Wouldn't surprise me if someone at Nintendo asked for a favor in Japan.


I'll give the trade a "B" (as I said) when I believe he's healed and can hit.  That will take a bunch of direct evidence.  I miss Kivlehan already.

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