It's been announced on Monday that the Chicago Cubs have reached contract agreements with both Manny Corpas and Andy Sonnanstine. Corpas is an interesting guy, a former closer who missed all of last season with an injury, but Sonnanstine is also an interesting guy. The more interesting guy of the two, to me. And since I'm the one writing and you're the one reading, I'm in control of the rest of this article, so I'm going to spend the rest of this article teaching you a little bit about Andy Sonnanstine. Just in case you don't really know him.
Before we get started, I should note that Sonnanstine has apparently agreed to a split contract. A split contract is simply a contract that guarantees a player one salary if he's in the majors, and another, much lower salary if he's in the minors. Sonnanstine is not a lock to make the Cubs out of camp. And yet I am writing this article. Off we go.
Andy Sonnanstine is a pitcher
I forgot to make note of that above, and now that I think about it the picture I've chosen for this article is incredibly misleading. Sonnanstine's a pitcher. A right-handed pitcher. A right-handed pitcher who's a left-handed batter. If you didn't know Andy Sonnanstine before, this is probably the first thing you should know about him.
Andy Sonnanstine has not been very good
Sonnanstine broke in with the Rays in 2007. Since 2007, 116 pitchers have thrown at least 500 innings. Sonnanstine's 5.26 ERA over that span ranks third-worst, ahead of only Luke Hochevar and Kyle Davies. This despite pitching in front of a good defense, in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. Sonnanstine has posted a worse ERA since 2007 than Scott Olsen and Dave Bush.
Andy Sonnanstine has not been very bad
By some measurements, anyway. Sonnanstine has about the same FIP since 2007 as Jeremy Guthrie and Joe Saunders. He has about the same xFIP since 2007 as Bronson Arroyo and Randy Wolf.
Andy Sonnanstine ages at an accelerated pace
This is an older picture of Andy Sonnanstine:
This is a newer picture of Andy Sonnanstine:
When Andy Sonnanstine was a rookie, he looked like the scout who discovered Andy Sonnanstine. These days Andy Sonnanstine looks like the guy who hired that scout. Sonnanstine is 28, going on 64.
Andy Sonnanstine has gotten hit at the wrong times
Why has Sonnanstine posted such a high ERA? This might help to explain it. Over the course of his career, with the bases empty, Sonnanstine has allowed a batting average on balls in play of .277 - among the best marks in the league. With runners on, though, Sonnanstine has allowed a batting average on balls in play of .345 - the worst mark in baseball. This could be Sonnanstine's fault. This could also be a statistical fluke. The Cubs, presumably, are hoping it's a statistical fluke. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. It's always somewhere in the middle.
Andy Sonnanstine is the answer to a trivia question
On May 17, 2009, Joe Maddon forgot to designate a DH on the lineup card before a game between the Rays and Indians. As such, Sonnanstine had to bat, and he had to bat third, between Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena. Sonnanstine went 1-for-3 with an RBI double, and the Rays beat the Indians 7-5. That remains the only extra-base hit of Sonnanstine's big league career.
Andy Sonnanstine and
Sonnanstine has faced Francisco ten times. Francisco has a walk, two singles, a double, and five home runs. That is good for a 3.567 OPS. I guess they might be friends. Ben Francisco probably really likes Andy Sonnanstine. But Andy Sonnanstine probably really doesn't like Ben Francisco. Unless he likes him so much that he's grooved pitches on purpose. Friendship transcending the game!
And now you know some things about Andy Sonnanstine. May you enjoy the rest of your day.