Cub Roster Profiles: Casey Weathers
As the 2012 season approaches, Cubbies Crib is profiling each and every member of the Cubs forty man roster. Today, we are talking about Casey Weathers.
When the Cubs sent D.J. LeMahieu and Tyler Colvin to the Rockies, the media focused their attention on new Cub third baseman Ian Stewart and indicated that Stewart was the Cubs target. That is not exactly accurate. From the Cubs’ perspective, Ian Stewart was not the sole centerpiece of that deal. Casey Weathers is potentially as valuable in the short term and could easily eclipse Stewart altogether in the long run. He has the stuff to be a very good closer, but thus far he has not learned to tame it. If Casey Weathers is going to survive an injury filled career, he will need to learn to control his pitches. If he can do that, the Cubs will have a very good late inning arm for years to come.
In a nutshell, his 2011 was horrible. His plus pitches show up on the stat sheet by virtue of a 9.5 K/9 and a 0.6 HR/9. His lack of control is evident in his BB/K ratio of 1.00. In 2011, Weathers walked better than a batter per inning. Despite that, his WHIP was just 1.752. With a walk rate that high, that is impressive. The potential is clearly there, if he can just find the control he needs to harness it.
We can’t expect great things from Weathers anytime soon, but that does not mean we should forget about him. He will likely start 2012 in Tennessee or Iowa with his focus purely on mastering control. That approach allowed Rafael Dolis to make some significant strides forward in 2011; it is absolutely possible that Weathers can replicate that success in 2012. Should that happen, I think Weathers will be challenged with a late season call up. Long term, he could be fighting Dolis to become the set up man or closer for the Cubs. He has all the makings of one, save control. If he can learn that, he has as bright a future as any reliever in the Cubs’ farm system.