Home > Uncategorized > 40 Guys in 30 Days: Aaron Cook

40 Guys in 30 Days: Aaron Cook

I wanted to do this one on Sycho Sid, but we got the other slightly underrated but still bad at his job guy who suffered a gruesome leg injury instead. A shame.

Aaron Cook
2012 stats: 76.2 IP, 16 K, 15 BB, 10 HR
5.17 ERA, 5.01 FIP, 4.58 xFIP; 0.5 fWAR, -0.9 bWAR
2013 contract status: Free agent ($1.5 million in 2012)

I was really mad that Aaron Cook wasn’t on the Major League roster out of Spring Training. Daniel Bard had looked like absolute garbage, and I was convinced that Cook would provide a better option as the fifth starter. As it happened, Aaron didn’t make his Red Sox debut until May 5; he looked fine through the first inning, but suffered that ugly gash (which I absolutely will not link because that would mean I’d have to look at it again) and wound up shelled and on the disabled list.

After he made his way back, Cook had one of the best runs of his career: In his first five starts back, he allowed just eight earned runs in 33.1 IP. He did it with ground balls, ground balls and even more ground balls; he struck out just three batters over those five starts, but walked just two. There was some talk that his extreme pitch-to-contact style enabled him to defy DIPS theory in the same way that a good knuckleballer does; for a while, a few people even seemed to believe it.

Then, of course, the wheels came off. Starting with a drubbing by the Yankees on July 27, Cook’s given up 30 earned runs in his last 40.2 IP. He’s struck out a few more batters, but also walked more and allowed more home runs. In his last eight starts, opposing batters have an .891 OPS against him; for some reason, people aren’t racing to say that he’s broken DIPS theory anymore.

At this point in his career, Aaron Cook doesn’t belong in a contending team’s rotation. He might be able to provide some value to a National League club with a good infield defense behind him, but I would be very surprised–and more than a little upset–if he’s in the Red Sox’ plans for 2013.

Next time: A guy who isn’t on the 40-man roster! (Yet.)

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