The Cubs acquired AA pitcher Adam Harben
from the Minnesota Twins to complete the Phil Nevin deal from last week. They also called up
pitcher Jae-kuk Ryu and catcher Jose Reyes. To make room on the 40-man roster for Harben, the Cubs also put Jerome Williams on waivers and he was claimed by the Oakland Athletics. Sayonara Sir Williams!
Harben was a 15th round pick of the Twins back in 2002 out of community college in Arkansas. Scout.com had him at #11 in their pre-season Twins prospect ranking but dropped him down to #38 when they revisited
the list mid-season. Harben recently turned 23 and finished his AA season going 4-9 with a 3.96 ERA with 74K/67 BB/5 HR in 122.2 IP. I believe he's been shuttled between the pen and the rotation. Judging from his splits this year,
he's pretty decent at getting righties out (.197 BA against) and keeps the ball on the ground (2.03 GO/FO ratio).
Harben once threw in the high 90's, but his velocity starting taking a dip in 2005 and he throws in the low to mid 90's. He also features a slider and a change, both of which he seems to have trouble commanding.
Sounds like he's about what you'd expect for an aging, one-month rental. A kid with some upside and tools, but all kinds of trouble putting them together. He was expected to go to the AFL for the Twins, so we'll see if the Cubs do some switching around.
This will probably have to suffice for today's preview. Stupid job getting in the way. It's Juan Mateo versus Victor Santos. A loss and the Cubs take over last place in the division. Yeah 2006!