Cubs Roster Profiles: Scott Maine
As the 2012 season approaches, Cubbies Crib is profiling each and every member of the Cubs forty man roster. Today, we are talking about Scott Maine.
Some players are just hard to project. Looking at his minor league numbers, Scott Maine appears to be a major league success waiting to happen. But in true Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde fashion, his major league numbers are almost the exact opposite of what he has done in the minors. I strongly suspect that Maine’s struggles at the major league level are largely mental. He has the stuff to be a high quality big league reliever, but for some reason he has not been able to make that happen. If that is the case, 2012 might represent not only his best chance to establish himself in the majors, this year could also be his last chance to establish himself with the Cubs.
2011 was a tale of two seasons for Maine. In the majors, he gave up walks, hits, and home runs about at a ridiculous pace while his strikeout numbers declined. He stayed in Chicago for all of seven innings. In the minors, he dominated. His HR/9 dropped back to 0.5. His K/BB soared back up to 2.88. He posted a very respectable WHIP of 1.227. That is not bad at all in the Pacific Coast League. In short, he got completely different results in the minors than he did in the majors. He cannot afford another season like 2011.
Sean Marshall is gone, and someone has to take his place. Scott Maine will be one of the early candidates to not only take Marshall’s slot on the roster, but to take his spot as a reliable late inning reliever. If he can bring his minor league success to Chicago, he should be a fixture in the Cubs’ bullpen for years. If he struggles at the major league level again this season, that opportunity is likely to be seized by Jeff Beliveau, Chris Rusin, or one of the other promising pitchers coming out of Iowa.