Eddie Butler
Eddie Butler
27-Year-Old PitcherRP
Texas Rangers
2018 Fantasy Outlook
After being designated for assignment last offseason after five rocky years in the Colorado, Butler was shipped to the Cubs prior to the 2017 campaign. The former top prospect was utilized as a true swingman with his new club, making eight starts with Triple-A Iowa and 11 starts with the big-league team. The 26-year-old was able to piece together a serviceable 3.95 ERA with Chicago, but his 5.59 xFIP was more indicative of Butlers' performance at the big-league level. Over 54.2 innings with the Cubs, the righty nearly recorded more walks (28) than he did strikeouts (30). Butler has never been much of a strikeout pitcher, and his career-high 12 percent walk rate was a discouraging sign. The Cubs are expected to bring in multiple rotation reinforcements this offseason, so Butler's time as a starter may have come to an end. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a one-year contract with the Cubs in March of 2018. Traded to the Rangers in July of 2018.
Eats up innings in loss
PTexas Rangers
August 29, 2018
Butler allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits over 4.1 innings of relief in Tuesday's loss to the Dodgers. He struck out two.
Butler has been used primarily as a multi-inning reliever since being acquired by the Rangers and was stretched out enough to throw 68 pitches Tuesday. That's more than starter Ariel Jurado, who was given the hook after 2.2 innings and 61 pitches. Jurado is not assured of a next start, so manager Jeff Banister will explore all options, including giving Butler a start. The 27-year-old right-hander has made 39 starts during his career for the Cubs and Rockies, but nothing in his track record or his performance with the Rangers inspires confidence. He has a 5.65 ERA over 192.2 innings as a starter and is sitting on a 7.11 ERA in 10 outings since coming to Texas in the Cole Hamels trade.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .264 303 41 32 69 10 3 10
Since 2016vs Right .311 433 61 34 122 26 2 18
2018vs Left .254 80 8 6 18 1 1 4
2018vs Right .321 126 17 11 36 5 0 7
2017vs Left .217 100 13 15 18 4 1 1
2017vs Right .262 137 17 13 32 9 0 3
2016vs Left .308 123 20 11 33 5 1 5
2016vs Right .342 170 27 10 54 12 2 8
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
Since 2016Home 6.91 1.77 85.0 4 5 2 5.4 3.7 1.9
Since 2016Away 4.52 1.34 77.2 4 6 0 5.8 3.6 1.2
2018Home 8.38 1.79 29.0 1 2 2 4.0 3.1 2.8
2018Away 1.69 1.13 16.0 1 1 0 6.8 3.9 1.1
2017Home 2.83 1.43 28.2 2 1 0 5.3 4.7 0.6
2017Away 5.19 1.42 26.0 2 2 0 4.5 4.5 0.7
2016Home 9.53 2.08 28.1 1 2 0 7.0 3.2 2.2
2016Away 5.30 1.37 35.2 1 3 0 6.3 2.8 1.5
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Stat Review
How does Eddie Butler compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
93.4 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Once one of the top prospects in the Rockies' system, Butler just hasn't been able to find any success at the major league level. The 25-year-old shuttled between Triple-A and the big leagues all season. Although he posted career-best marks in both K/9 (6.6) and BB/9 (3.0), those numbers were still underwhelming, and when paired with his career-worst 1.8 HR/9, it made for an awful year. The right-hander is only 25 years old, so there's still some room for development, but the window is closing for him. With a trade to the Cubs over the offseason, Butler will be hard-pressed to climb above a swingman role in 2017.
The learning curve for a young starting pitcher is sharp enough as-is before adding a wrinkle like Coors Field into the mix. With a Triple-A affiliate in the PCL (first Colorado Springs, now Albuquerque), Rockies farmhands get a taste of how difficult it will be when they reach the majors, but nothing can really prepare them for Coors. Unfortunately for Butler, the venue didn’t really matter in 2015. He was worse at home (7.28 ERA), but it’s not like his 5.07 ERA on the road was drawing any positive attention. He had four pitches: mid-90s heat, a power slider, a quality changeup, and a show-me curve, but only the slider had even a modicum of success and that was confined to the road. He gets some discount for the venues, but Butler hasn’t really had any success since leaving Double-A (5.80 at AAA, 6.04 at MLB) and without a move away from Colorado, it’s hard not to envision more growing pains given the already-thin margin for error.
Butler received his first call to the big leagues last June, with optimism abounding that he and, eventually, fellow top prospect Jon Gray, would immediately lock down spots in the Colorado rotation for seasons to come. Unfortunately, Butler barely had the chance to showcase his stuff. He fell victim to shoulder soreness following his debut and didn’t pitch for the Rockies again until September, making it difficult to glean much from his uneven three-start sample. That being said, the long-term outlook remains bright for the 24-year-old, whose plus fastball and quality secondary offerings have allowed him to thrive in offense-heavy environments during his minor league career. The Rockies’ need for high-upside starters gives Butler an inside track on an Opening Day rotation spot, but the concerns with pitchers who call Coors Field home still apply. In fact, even if Butler does become the frontline starter the Rockies are banking on, his real-life value would more than likely outstrip his fantasy utility. The righty mostly gets by on inducing weak contact rather than making batters whiff, as his pedestrian 5.2 K/9 rate with Double-A Tulsa last season would illustrate. It remains to be seen if he will change his approach to miss bats as frequently as he did at lower levels of the minor leagues.
Although he entered the past season as a highly-touted commodity within his own organization, Butler concluded 2013 as one of the more coveted prospects in all of baseball, after dominating at three different levels. It was at his last stop, Double-A Tulsa, where he was particularly unhittable, allowing just two earned runs over 27.2 innings, while striking out 25 and walking six. With a devastating three-pitch mix, highlighted by a fastball consistently clocked in the mid-90s, Butler is viewed as a potential top-of-the-rotation starter once he reaches his peak for the Rockies, who have lacked a legitimate ace since trading away Ubaldo Jimenez. The Rockies only have three rotation spots seemingly solidified at the moment, presenting Butler with an outside chance at grabbing a starting gig in the spring, but it's more likely that he opens 2014 in the high minors. If those levels continue to prove unchallenging for him, however, look for the 23-year-old to make his MLB debut at some point this season and remain a long-term fixture.
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Getting stretched out
PTexas Rangers
August 3, 2018
Butler will get multi-inning duty as the Rangers evaluate him as a possible starter, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Manager Jeff Banister wants to get a better feel for where Butler may fit in the team's plans.
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Dealt to Rangers
PTexas Rangers
July 27, 2018
Butler was traded to Texas on Thursday alongside Rollie Lacy and a player to be named later in exchange for Cole Hamels.
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Returns to mound Tuesday
PChicago Cubs
July 24, 2018
Butler (groin) allowed one earned run over two innings in Tuesday's loss to the Diamondbacks, which marked his first appearance at the MLB level since April 19.
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Returns from disabled list
PChicago Cubs
July 24, 2018
Butler (groin) was activated from the 60-day disabled list Tuesday.
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Rehabbing at Triple-A
PChicago Cubs
July 5, 2018
Butler (groin) made his second rehab appearance at Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks over 1.1 innings.
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