Cubs Select Parisi in Rule 5 Draft, Lose Sierra
The Cubs selected RHP Mike Parisi from the St Loiuis Cardinals AAA Memphis club in the Major League Phase of today's Rule 5 Draft.
The Cubs lost no players in the Major League Phase, but RHP Miguel Sierra was selected off the AA Tennessee Smokies Reserve List by the Tampa Bay Rays in the AAA Phase.
The 26-year old 6'3 215 Parisi was selected by the Cardinals in the 7th round of the 2004 Rule 4 Draft out of Manhattan College, and received a $60,000 bonus. The native New Yorker moved steadily up through the Cards system, and was added to the Redbirds 40-man roster post-2007.
He was a rotation starter at AAA Mamphis in both 2007 and 2008, and went 8-2 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.35 WHIP (82 hits allowed and 33/58 BB/K in 84 IP) for Memphis in '08.
He had three ineffective stints (two starts) in the big leagues with the Cardinals in 2008 (8.22 ERA and 2.28 WHIP in 12 games, 37 hits allowed and 15/13 BB/K in 23 IP) before getting optioned back to AAA and eventually undergoing season-ending Tommy John Surgery.
Parisi missed most of the 2009 season rehabbing from the TJS at the Cardinals minor league complex in Jupiter, FL, before getting a bit of game at Palm Beach (FSL) late in the season.
The Cardinals assigned Parisi to the Surprise Rafters in the Arizona Fall League post-2009, and he pitched very well in the AFL. (He and RHP Ian Kennedy were the Rafters top two starters). Parisi made seven appearances (six starts) for Surprise, going 3-2 with a 4.44 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 26.1 IP (6/15 BB/K, only one HR). He made all of his assigned starts, and threw five innings (maximum allowed in the AFL) twice.
When healthy, Parisi is a rotation starter with a full-array of pitches, including a 91-93 MPH four-seam fastball. a high-80's sinker, a mid-80's cutter, a straight-change, and a slow curve. Coming off a solid performance in the AFL, Parisi will likely be given an opportunity to compete for the Cubs 5th starter gig in Spring Training.
Because he has been outrighted previously in his career (post-2008), he can refuse a return to the Cardinals (Memphis) and become a free-agent should he not make the Cubs Opening Day 25-man roster (and presuming he is not claimed off Outright Waivers).
21-year oid 6'5 RHP Miguel Sierra was signed by the Cubs as a 16-year old out of the Dominican Republic during the International Signing Period in July 2005. He spent two seasons pitching in the Dominican Summer League (DSL Cubs) in 2006-07, before being invited to Fitch Park for Minor League Camp in March 2008.
Sierra was one of the top pitching prospects at Extended Spring Training in '08, but he had a disappointing debut season in the AZL, going 2-4 with a 5.28 (57 hits allowed and 13/25 BB/K in 44.1 IP) for the AZL Cubs.
He was back at Extended Spring Training again in 2009 and was not as effective as he had been the previous year. He did get assigned to Boise in June, however, but he struggled there and was sent back to the AZL Cubs (Mesa) in July. He threw better once he was back in Arizona, but the fact that he failed at Boise probably caused the Cubs to sour on him a bit.
Being selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft means Sierra will not be offered back to the Cubs. The Rays have to assign him to their AAA Durham club in Minor League Camp (Spring Training), but he can be sent to any Rays minor league affiliate once the 2010 regular season starts. Given his limited experience and lack of success above Rookie ball, Sierra will likely begin the 2010 season at Bowling Green in the South Atlantic League (SAL).
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.