Crazy Legs Campana Headed to the Desert

Last week, the Cubs outrighted Tony Campana off thier 40-man to make room for Scott Hairston. Today, the Diamondbacks agreed to give up two pitchers for the speedster...RHP Erick Leal and RHP Jesus Castillo. Judging by the quality going out, I wouldn't expect much on the quality coming in, but maybe the Cubs unearth one of those diamonds in the rough. Leal, a 6'3" righty out of Venezuela, will be playing his age 18 season and Castillo is a 6'2" righty also out of Venezuela and will be playing his age 17 season. In both cases, plenty of time for them to learn the "Cubs Way." Nick Piecoro had both of them in a write-up on some of the D'Backs international signings from back in late 2011 that you can view here and see some video. Here are the quotes from the D'Backs international scouting director Carlos Gomez at the time:

Re: Castillo ($250K signing bonus)

“He’s about 6-2, 165, 170 pounds. He’s long, lean and all kinds of projectable. He has a loose, cool rhythm about him, really free and easy. His fastball ranges from 82-89 mph, but he pitches 85-86 right now. I think he has a chance to throw a lot harder. His best secondary pitch is his changeup and the breaking ball isn’t bad. The spin is there, but it needs work and consistency. He gets really good extension, almost jumps off the mound. We think he can start; we see starter’s arm action and delivery from him.”

Re: Leal ($75K signing bonus)

“He’s 6-3, 180 pounds. He has a nice delivery, a nice arm action, and the highlight again is the breaking ball. He’s a kid who can spin it. It’s 74-76 mph already and his fastball is 86-88. He has the physical size, the delivery, a breaking ball and a present, useable fastball for his age. He’s one of those guys who looks like he might have slipped through the cracks. A lot of that same type of guy was going for more earlier in the year. His delivery is pretty balanced, but he drives pretty aggressively out front; he really gets over his front side well. You can tell the extra breaking ball spin he gets is a function of his finish.”

Something is better than nothing and Crazy Legs was always a lot closer to nothing in my in opinion.


Since both Erick Leal and Jesus Castillo are from Venezuela, both will likely pitch for the new VSL Cubs affiliate in 2013.  

BTW, the trade was made right at the 2 PM (Eastern) deadline when the Cubs would have had to place Tony Campana on Outright Assignment Waivers. He could not have been traded once he was placed on Outright Waivers, and it would have been necesssary for the Cubs to place him on waivers today (waiver requests must be submitted by 2 PM Eastern) so that he would either be claimed off waivers or outrighted on Wednesday (the 10th day of the DFA). 

The D'backs must really like Campana a lot. Obviously they would have claimed Campana if he had been placed on waivers, but they couldn't be sure that another MLB with a higher waiver priority (worse 2012 record) wouldn't also put in a claim and get him instead, so they made a "pre-emptive strike."  

Arizona placed RHP Daniel Hudson (TJS rehab) on the 60-day DL to make room for Campana on their 40-man roster.

unless a move is coming or injuries, Campana's got a few roadblocks from ever playing for the D'Backs...certainly a lot tougher than getting playing time for the Cubs.

Eaton, Parra, Pollock, Kubel, Ross..Hinske too.

It's really hard to slot a Designated Runner.

I'm trying to find it, but I recall someone here making a prediction that Camoy would be a good fit on AZ as they are looking for "scrappers" etc. If so, good call! I love this trade BTW,

It was Jacos.

Too lazy to find original comment, but he referred to it in the last post re Jed interview ...

ah yes, by virtue of his limited stature and whiteness, Campana has been awarded the prestigious scrappy honor...Ryan Theriot approved.

Total Members of Scrappy Baseball Hall of Fame:


members that are over 6'0" and/or non-Caucasion:


joey gathright...we saw more of you jumping cars than stealing bases for the cubs

Without knowing their options situations, it wouldn't surprise me if Eaton or Pollock were kept in AAA a bit longer (probably Pollock), giving them the ability to stash Campana as a 5th OF/pinch runner.

As a total side note, I've tried to defend Towers at times, but they've really taken this "scrappy-tough guy" image ... too far. Hadn't really pondered the makeup of their OF until seeing it right now. It was only last year that they had Chris Young and Justin Upton ... and now, they have 3 guys with very little pop (4 if you include Campana) and two very mediocre OF's.

As for the trade, eh, no big loss, IMO. Campana didn't have much long term value (and it's debatable how much overall value). Yeah, the arms don't look that exciting (although they are interesting enough), but for Campana, it seems like a very nice gamble.

regarding s-crappy...where is Ryan Theriot going to land?

TOONSTER: Adam Eaton has three minor league options left, and A. J. Pollock has two left.

BTW, Tony Campana has two minor league options left, too, so there is no reason why the D'backs can't just stash him at Reno until he's needed, even if it's not until 2014. 

Baseball America's write up on the deal.

Jed Hoyer phone interview on today/tonight's MLB Network's Clubhouse Confidential (MLB Network's SABR-oriented show), fwiw.

-needed pitching this season, waiting for pitching that's already in the system to come up through the system
-feels like they have 7 guys who could be in the rotation
-e.jackson "young" and fits in with what they want to do with their timetable, great stuff, healthy
-timetable is undetermined (run around answer), gave example of 2010 padres as a team that could surprise, "you don't know when it's going to click"
-add more talent every year
-likes what the bjays did this
-soriano works hard, fantastic, mentor, etc...if opportunity arises they "would discuss" moving him

Good to see Garza getting off to a good start.

must give him a $100M extension because he's the default "best SP available"

(sarcasm font)

oh canada...u so crazy.

"Russell Martin is expected to play shortstop for Canada in the World Baseball Classic."

Wes Darvill does not approve

lulz internet.

"Alfonso Soriano has given the Cubs a list of "six or seven" teams that he would be willing to accept a trade to.

Soriano doesn't want to be traded to the west coast, as he said the clubs are in the "east or center" of the country. "[The Cubs] know what teams," Soriano said. "We talked, my agent talked with those guys." The Cubs are reportedly willing to eat about $26 million of the $36 million remaining on Soriano's contract if they receive the right package in return."

per Rotoworld...

Matt Garza was diagnosed with a mild lat strain following an MRI.

Garza will rest for one week before trying to throw again. His first Cactus League start will be pushed back, but it's too soon to say whether it will affect his readiness for the start of the season. Still, all things considered, this is pretty good news for the Cubs.

"It'll be just like making a mid-season acquisition!"

"It'll be just like making a mid-season acquisition!"
Yep, for prospects #99, 100

if you're bored

"'Cubs Facebook' Is the Hot New Twitter Account That Celebrates Outraged Cubs Fans"

and the twitter account

(someome posting actual comments from the Cubs Facebook account)

potential Soriano landing spots speculated by Jay Jaffe

Orioles, Giants, Rangers, Rays, Yankees, Mets

he's perfect for the yanks...he might bring the average age of the team down a little. =p


the COL GM/front office is moving their operations to the player's clubhouse. along with the absolutely stupid pitching thing they got going on, they're moving into the "player's office" and seemingly undermining the manager's authority.

now that they're busy scaring away any SP that might want to sign/play in COL, they're now going to disrupt all the player's space...

at what point do these stupid "experiments" get a GM/front office fired?

c.hurdle getting fired from COL was a blessing in disguise for him. btw, he got a 1 year extension with PIT today + 1 year club option for 2015.

Unless they've changed their minds, they're not doing the "stupid pitching thing" anymore.


that whole process seems like free agent pitcher repellant.

10 minute interview with Theo by Kaplan, including video


Since "Rocket-Man" Tony is gone, who becomes the fastest Cub in the system?

I know we have no Billy Hamiltons, but there must be a couple of speedy prospects? Szczur, Dunston Jr., Reyes, Lillibridge, Logan Watkins, Johnny Andreoli?

E-MAN: There is nobody to compare to Tony Campana in the organization, but the fastest runners would be (in order of furthest along in development and not including the DSL guys I haven't seen) Logan Watkins, Matt Szczur, Evan Crawford, Arismendy Alcantara, John Andreoli, Rubi Silva, Zeke DeVoss, Pin-Chieh Chen, Tim Saunders, Gioskar Amaya, Trey Martin, and Rashad Crawford, with Szczur probably #1.   

BTW, Szczur hammered LHP to the tune of 458/552/625 with 0 strikeouts and was tied for 7th in walks and tied for 5th in SB in the AFL post-2012 (and the AFL is approximately equivalent to AA), so he could be in Chicago as a RH platoon CF and lead-off hitter sooner rather than later. He really struggles to hit RHP, however. I'm not sure he will ever be anything more than platoon player or 4th OF (albeit a very useful one).

I'm curious as to how everyone thinks the final 25 man will shake out. Phil had something the other day about it, which seemed to be pretty logical to me. But that article noted that the last rotation spot (after Baker comes back) was going to be between Feldman and Wood, with Feldman moving to the bullpen being the most likely move. But in the last week or so, Sveum has been clear that Feldman will be a starter, and Hoyer said something about how he signed with the Cubs because they assured of him a roster spot.

So, one would assume that Wood is going to go to the pen, since he can't be optioned. However, whose spot is he going to take? Not Marmol, Fujikawa, or Villanueva. Probably not Russell, although maybe. I doubt Rondon, after they selected him. Bowden's out of options too and Camp's too good. So maybe it's a bench bat? Valbuena or Sappelt?

I know depth is good and all, but it seems like there are too many guys they like and want than can fit on the 25 man.

Wood will definitely go to the pen when Baker's ready, unless Wood is pitching lights-out, in which case Baker may start in the pen after a tune-up in Iowa, assuming no one's hurt. I don't think any of the Cubs' 7 bullpen probables (Marmol, Fujikawa, Villanueva, Russell, Rondon, Bowden, Camp) can be sent down due to service time, rules, options, or Rule 5. Russell's the one I'm not sure about, maybe Phil can clear that up. It does create an interesting logjam if everyone including Baker is healthy.

I'm hoping to see this improvement from Feldman before banishing Wood to the bullpen so quickly.
Feldman has had an ERA over 5.00 4 of the last 6 seasons, his WHIP is 1.417 career, and he doesn't strike out a ton of batters. Yes, he pitched in Texas, but his career home ERA is 4.40, on the road is 5.24. Ugh. Wood pitched pretty darn decently from a crap team last year
Ah I dunno....whatever I suppose...Lol....

I kind of feel like if Wood shows anything close to what they hope, Feldman will be the one who goes to the pen.

Russell has 3 options

Don't think Bowden or Rondon are by any means players the Cubs will worry much about losing.


bowden is a lot better than his history shows.

his slider isn't very punchy, but his fastball/change combo is nice...having 3 decent pitches is neat. control will make/break him.

seeing as he's not even arb eligable til 2015 he was a steal, imo. he's not got closer stuff, but i like him more than 88mph in a high leverage relief role going down the road.

"This is how you know Theo Epstein is a heartless, calculating bastard. Sure, Campana can’t “hit” or “get on base” or “play baseball” in a major-league sense, but he was so f’n cute."

and with that BP wins the Campana trade anaylsis!

"As the ultimate underdog, Campana connected with the Cubs’ fan base in a big way. During introductions at the team’s annual fan convention last month, Campana might have received a bigger ovation than Ernie Banks. It was really close. Yet, Epstein and his cronies apparently believe that actual organization building outweighs the fact that Campana is the kind of player grannies like to bake for. Cynical pricks"

Snark done right!

i'm still blown away by how many people want to ignore wade davis as a starter as part of that mega-trade.

yes, giving away myers and odorz was something big to give away, but people seem to think davis (and his long-term cheap value under contract) doesn't exist.

some people also seem to not have noticed his curve or cutter in 2012. what he's done with both of those pitches is an eye-opener that's only apparent if you watched him throw them. his cutter is now more deadly than his curve or his scrapped changeup ever was...and he's got a good curve.

i don't even want to hear a peep out of those that ignored him about how surprised they are about what he probably will do in 2013 as a starter. it's practically the most under-reported/under-analyzed part of that trade, and one of the most important parts of the trade given how long he's locked down for at such a cheap price.

Goddamn it! that's not the way Jim Hendry ran things!!

I love what KC did to overhaul that rotation.

"When I had Corey Patterson as a young guy, I asked him what his expectations were. It was 30 homers and 100 RBIs. I looked at him as a player like Oddibe McDowell, who played in Texas and hit 10 or 12 home runs. I wanted Corey to keep the ball out of the air, but he was one of those guys who wanted to pull everything. I think he learned, later on, that he wasn’t going to be that kind of player. You have to be patient with the young guys and try to convince them of the best approach. At times, they can end up getting really messed up with their swing."
- Don Baylor

I thought he was putting it together and then he blew his knee out.

Yep. It was horrific when I saw it. He was having "the" breakout year. Cubby Occurance for sure.

I remember feeling exactly the same way. He'd already hit 13 HRs, he'd been maintaining a decent average, and he was stealing bases.

In hindsight, though, he was K'ing 22% of the time and walking 4.3% of the time, and his BABIP was .353 (career BABIP of .296 now). That was the highest HR/FB% he had in any single year (though the next wasn't drastically lower), and he never got close to that 24.9% line drive rate again (unless you count his 30 PA 2009).

The other day I was actually thinking that Patterson's knee injury may have helped the Cubs make the playoffs that year. Kenny Lofton had a higher OPS with the Cubs that year than Patterson did, even with his elevated BABIP.

I think it was just a matter of time before the league adjusted to Corey -- and he couldn't make the counter-adjustments to get beyond that. Once they had developed the book on how to pitch him, he could only get a hit if the pitcher made a mistake. Then, when he started to fail, he began spiraling down and became even worse. I was a big Corey fan -- and it was painful to watch, near the end.

Charlie- I agree with Lofton coming on board, and you were probably right that KPat was lucky for the first half of 2003.

I badly wanted Corey to succeed at the time. The hindsight aspect really only puts the optimism I still have about young players and prospects into perspective.

Just walked past Tom Ricketts on my way back from lunch in the Loop. He was on the phone, so I am sure the Cubs will be announcing a big trade soon.

Tom- "How are the plans for the retractble roof?"

voice on phone marbled but excited

Tom "Exxxxxxxcellllent" much lulz.

"Do you see it!?!?"
"Tell me you see it!!!"

Wow...I knew they got snow in Tucson yesterday, but the pics/video of the fields in Phoenix area covered in snow is mind-blowing.

It's rare enough for Tucson to get snow that actually sticks...for it to happen in Phoenix and actually stick is "woah."

There's a lot of really unhappy/dead citrus in home gardens all over AZ after all of this.

Cubs win 7-3 (White beats blue). Starlin 3 hits plus flashing some leather. Soler hit's a moonshot off Nick Struck. Schierholtz, 2 run HR off foul pole. Bogusevic HR off Dolis. Stewart double, Lake triple.

Plus a Carrie Muskat tweet about Stewart and Vitters both with sore left quadriceps but able to play.

I'm hoping for an AZ Phil eyewitness report. One of the great things in life (those AZ Phil reports).

"Ian Stewart is day-to-day with a quadriceps strain."

doh...supposedly a mild strain, fwiw.

"Josh Vitters was unavailable for the Cubs' intrasquad game Thursday due to a left quad strain."

doh...supposedly day-to-day.

Ian Stewart getting an MRI, Vitters not getting an MRI. Can we read into this how they value each player currently? Quad strains don't really need MRI imaging since it wouldn't have any affect on how it's treated but they are fun to read (at least that's what the radiologists tell me).

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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 7 hours 20 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 10 hours 18 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 10 hours 30 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 10 hours 39 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 10 hours 44 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 11 hours 3 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 11 hours 39 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 11 hours 57 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 11 hours 58 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 12 hours 16 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 12 hours 24 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 13 hours 19 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 13 hours 37 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 13 hours 41 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 14 hours 51 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here:

    QuietMan 15 hours 30 min ago view