Hi! My name is RANDALL CHRISTOPHER WOLF. And here's why you should trade me!
2012/Career vitals: In 2012, Randy Wolf has suffered through a nightmare first half of the season: he's 2-6 in 17 starts, with a 5.80 ERA (4.61 FIP, 4.59 xFIP). His WHIP (1.57) is the highest he's posted since 2006, but he only made 12 starts in 2006, so this season could probably be called the worst of his career, in terms of giving up baserunners. His BABIP is off the charts, for him (.332 this year vs. .287 in his career), and he's getting a lot of ground balls (43% of batted balls) but they're not being turned into outs. Oh, and his strand rate (65%) is easily a career low, and is about 8.5 percentage points below his career average (73.5%).
Over his 14-year career, Randy's been worth 24.4 WAR, according to FanGraphs. He's got a 4.17 cumulative ERA, striking out about seven hitters per nine and walking about three per nine. He's also played for about 18 teams in his career, which is great because he knows where the good sushi restaurants are in almost every MLB city.
Contract sitch: Wolf's in the last year of a three-year contract that pays him $9.5 million this year. The Brewers hold a $10 million option on Wolf for next season; if they decline it, Randy gets a $1.5 million buyout.
DEAL ME NOW! Yes, yes: his ERA is ugly, his ERA+ is uglier (72), he's given up the most earned runs of any pitcher in the National League, he's surrendering 11.1 hits per nine, and he's already given up 13 bombs in 2012.
His peripheral numbers aren't that far off his career norms: he's walking the same amount of batters, his strikeouts are down from his career average but are right in line with what he's done the last two years (5.9 K/9 this year, compared to 5.9 K/9 in 2010 and 5.7 K/9 last year), he's not giving up a ton of homers, he's probably getting a little unlucky, BABIP-wise, and if the Brewers' bullpen wasn't an out-of-control tire fire, Wolf might be something like 5-6 or 6-6 right now, instead of 2-6. (And, before you say it: pitcher wins are, of course, the dumbest statistic in any sport, but I'm convinced GMs still look at them.) Plus, he's left-handed, he's got playoff experience, and he's the only Brewer pitcher outside of Yo who didn't turtle in the NLCS last season. That's gotta be worth something, doesn't it?
Please don't read this part, opposing GMs: Even though most of his numbers, ERA and WHIP aside, aren't ghastly, Wolf hasn't really pitched a great game in 2012. His best effort, to date, was a seven-inning turn against the Royals in KC, when he held the Royals to one run on six hits and a couple of walks. He's got a couple of decent starts against the Cubs (6.0 innings on May 11 and 6.2 innings on June 7), but that obviously comes with a Darwin Barney-sized chunk of salt, because LOL Theo.
In other words: that 5.80 ERA isn't the result of a few clunkers mixed around a bunch of good starts. Wolf's ERA hasn't been below 5.00 since the fifth inning of his first start of the year. There's a whole lot of 'meh' in there, and not a lot of reason to think he's going to put things together on a consistent basis in the second half of the year.
Fill in the blank: Randy Wolf is worth his weight in: Star Wars comics books. There's not a huge market for them, of course, but if you can find an interested party, they're not totally worthless.
Gratuitous note about being the parents of twins: Rubie Jr. and Rubette are five months old now, which, among other things*, means we're able to take them out in public more. And something we've noticed in our trips to Target, the grocery store, or the gun range** is that when people stop us to look at the babies, three-quarters of them ask some variation of this question: "Are they twins?"
I mean: my kids are the same size. They look alike. We have a double stroller. We have a gigantic ****ing diaper bag that only the parents of twins would lug around. Yes, people: they're twins.
Anyway, Mrs. Q has decided she's going to have some fun with this, and the next time someone asks her whether Rubie Jr. and Rubette are twins, she's going to say: "Funny story: we had the girl, liked her a lot, so we said 'eh, what the hell?' and swiped the boy when we left the hospital. You won't tell anyone, will you?"
* Said "other things" include two of our new favorite games: Rubette treating the jumperoo like a port-a-potty (for real: she poops her pants within three minutes every time we put her in the stupid thing), and the related and highly suspenseful game: Does Poop Wash Out of This?
** I'm joking! Come on. They're five months old! I wouldn't take them to a gun range. What kind of parent do you think I am? They have to learn to shoot a bow-and-arrow first, then we go to the gun range.
Why Doug Melvin probably won't trade him: Because we're totally picking up his option next year.
How desperate should we be to move him, on the Rubie Q Patented Trade This Slug-O-Meter: Whatever you can get for him, Mr. Melvin -- be it a Single-A relief pitcher, a 28-year-old AAA utility man, a PTBNL -- take it. Our meter goes to 11 on this one.