Cubs Lose Two Hurlers in Rule 5 Draft
The Cubs lost two minor league pitchers in the AAA Phase of today's Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in Florida.
Players selected in the AAA Phase cost $12,000, and "all sales are final" in the two minor league phases, meaning neither player will be returning to the Cubs.
Morla was one of three players acquired by the Cubs from Oakland a year ago (RHP Jeff Gray and 1B Matt Spencer were the other two) for INF Aaron Miles and C-IF-OF Jake Fox. Morla spent the 2010 season at Peoria, where he went 4-4 with a 4.00 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, allowing 76 hits in 78 IP, with a 20/86 BB/K. I was very surprised that Morla was made available in the AAA Phase and was not protected on the Iowa roster.
Lambert was the Cubs 6th round pick out of the University of Virginia in 2007. He was the Cavs closer in college and was used aa a reliever his first two years in pro ball before being moved to the starting rotation at AA Tennessee in 2009. He was sidetracked by Tommy John Surgery at the end of the 2009 season, and spent most of the 2010 season rehabbing at Fitch Park, before moving up to Daytona in July, where he posted a 1-0 record with a 2.95 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 14 games (21 IP).
There were 48 Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft, and with a 38-man AAA Reserve List limit the Cubs could not put all of their Rule 5 eligibles on the Iowa roster. But I would have thought that both Morla and Lambert had enough upside to be protected on the Iowa roster, making them available in the more restrictive Major League Phase, where the Cubs at least might have been able to get them back next Spring.
The Cubs did make one selection in the Major League Phase, tabbing RHP Mason Tobin from the Angels. But Tobin was subsequently traded to the Texas Rangers for cash, in what was obviously a pre-arranged deal. (The Rangers had the 26th pick. while the Cubs were picking 9th). The Cubs have done this before, spending $50,000 to draft a player (most famously Josh Hamilton in 2006), and then selling the player to the team for whom they made the pick for maybe $100,000 (thereby making a tidy $50K profit).
It's also possible that the Tobin deal could be the pre-cursor to a trade involving Chris Davis.
BTW, the Cubs were able to make a selection in the Major League Phase only because they still had one slot open on their 40-man roster, as Carlos Pena was not officially added to the Cubs MLB Reserve List until after the draft.
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.