Friday, May 17, 2013
Sveum hopes Camp will revert to '12 form
By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs are still trying to solve reliever Shawn Camp's issues as he's struggled through most of the first month of the season.
Manager Dale Sveum hopes the Camp of last season shows up.
"You just keeping sending a guy out there and hopefully the slider comes back and the command comes back," Sveum said before the Cubs played the New York Mets on Friday.
Camp is 1-1 with a 7.31 ERA in 19 games. He's allowed 3 of 10 inherited runners to score which is about his career average. According to ESPN Stats and Information, his velocity on his fastball and slider have slightly decreased from a season ago when his ERA for the season was 3.59. Only five relievers in baseball have a slower average fastball this season than Camp's 86.1 mph. Opposing hitters are batting .593 in at-bats that end with a fastball and that's second-worst in all of baseball. That figure was .357 last year. His 12.94 hits per nine innings pitched ranks 123rd out of 144 relievers in the National League.
Sveum isn't sure of the reasons behind his drop-off but knows Camp's 80 appearances last season -- which led the league -- could be affecting him now.
"That's the crapshoot of bullpens," he said. "You do that (pitch them a lot) and they might have an off month or off couple of months and then the arm comes back. That's obviously a proven fact over the years but then there are plenty of guys that do it and have a great year the next year too. There's no rhyme or reason to all that but it's definitely a factor."