Don't Expect Moscoso to Find a Home on the 40

The Cubs claimed 29-year old RHP Guillermo Moscoso off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays today

Moscoso had a fine rookie season for the Oakland Athletics in 2011, going 8-10 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP, allowing just 102 hits in 128 IP, with a 38/74 BB/K. He was then traded to the Colorado Rockies along with LHP Josh Outman for OF Seth Smith in January 2012.

Moscoso had a horrible year in 2012, however (6.12 ERA and 1.72 WHIP in 23 games and 50.0 IP for the Rockies, but with a very decent 2.70 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP away from Coors Field), and was demoted to AAA Colorado Springs, where he continued to struggle (6.13 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP in 18 games and 95.1 IP). 

He was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals last November, and then was claimed off waivers again (this time by Toronto) earlier this month. He was ineffective in five Spring Training outings for KC and TOR (12.86 ERA and 2.57 WHIP).

The Cubs probably noticed Moscoso while scouting eventual Rule 5 pick Hector Rondon, because Moscoso was Rondon's teammate on the Caracas club in the Venezuelan Winter League this past off-season, putting up a 3.10 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 29 IP (26 hits allowed and a 7/18 BB/K).  

Moscoso's 2012 troubles might be at least partly attributable to his being an extreme fly ball pitcher, probably not the best characteristic to have if you're playing half your games in the thin air of Denver or Colorado Springs. But even so, why would the Cubs claim Moscoso and waste a 40-man roster slot on a struggling 29-year old pitcher who is out of minor league options?



I suspect that the Cubs claimed Moscoso off waivers and then put him right back on Outright Assignment Waivers an hour later. The Cubs did the same thing when they claimed Luis Valbuena off waivers at the end of Spring Training last year (immediately put him back on waivers before outrighting him to Iowa).

If that is what is happening, it goes something like this:

The Cubs were awarded the waiver claim at 1 PM (Eastern) Wednesday, placed Arodys Vizcaino on the 60-day DL to make room for Moscoso (a player claimed off waivers cannot be Designated for Assignment if the 40-man roster is full), and then placed Moscoso back on Outright Assignment Waivers an hour later at 2 PM (Eastern). The waiver ride takes two days (actually 47 hours), and then Moscoso will either be claimed off waivers by another club (and if that happens, it's just "easy come, easy go"), or he is not claimed and then the Cubs can outright him to Iowa on Friday or Saturday (prior to MLB Opening Day) and still have time to add LHP Hisanori Takahashi (presuming he is the 12th pitcher on the staff) to the 40-man roster. (Scott Baker will almost certainly be placed on the 60-day DL prior to Opening Day to make room on the 40 for Brent Lillibridge).

Moscoso cannot refuse an Outright Assignment and elect to be a free-agent because he has not been outrighted previously in his career, he has not accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time (he is at 1+097 coming into the 2013 season), and he was not a "Super Two" player post-2012, so the Cubs can outright him and not worry about him refusing the assignment.

And then the Cubs will have time to see if Moscoso can get back to where he was in 2011 as he spends the 2013 season at AAA Iowa.

If he does get back to his 2011 form, the Cubs can put him back on their 40-man roster (as long as they do it no later than 5 PM on the 5th day after the conclusion of the 2013 World Series). And if he doesn't get back to where he was, he will be a six-year minor league free-agent post-2013. 

So is he just another One Year Wonder who was exposed once the league got wise to him, or was he a victim of Mile-High-Phobia (as his extreme 2012 home/road splits might indicate)?

All it costs to find out is the $20,000 waiver price.  


AZ Phil,
Have you seen Dontrelle Willis throw this Spring after his injury in the first 3/4 games with the big Cubs? Do you think he will make the Iowa Cubbies? Thanks.

HAGSAG: Dontrelle Willis is indeed pitching in games for the Iowa squad, and he is the one & only lefty presently in the I-Cubs bullpen. (Chris Rusin and Brooks Raley are working as starters, and Zac Rosscup and Casey Harman were moved down to Tennessee a few days ago).

The Gaming...

Wow, PHIL. Its like chess. Except the Cubs have typically been on the wrong end of these moves.IF he was 28 his rookie season, you'd have to say he's "not much of a prospect" anymore. Geez - I wish I had $20K to blow that easily!

Whoever is responsible for the TCR tweet six minutes ago, kudos.

all the funny tweets are by Cubnut....

Forbes ranks Cubs mlb's most profitable team and 4th most valuable (at $1B).

link to the Forbes article...

mlbtr has it's offseason review for the Cubs

and it reminded me that they might get 36 yo Korean born (but Japanese league) reliever, Mr Zero, around the 2nd half of the season. He's rehabbing from a 2nd TJ elbow surgery from July 2012. File that one under a mattress somewhere.

Chang-Yong Lim, RP: $5MM.

ARI has released erstwhile QB and erstwhilier Knuckleballer Josh Booty.

boo...but kinda predictable.

Cubs going after Venezuelan shortstop Gleyber Torres

I'm not sure what the picture slide show has to do with the story on that one.

Gameday says Brett Jackson scored from 2nd on a 6-3 ground out, after walking and taking 2nd base on a fly out to center. Also charged first baseman with a throwing error on the scoring play. Does anybody know exactly how that play went down? Did Jackson round third and go for home on a routine grounder to 3rd, causing the first baseman to throw wildly to the plate? At any rate, it sounds like some exceptional base running savvy by B. Jackson.

Navarro grounded to third. When the ball was thrown to first, Jackson broke for third. The first baseman threw wild back to third, the ball going into foul terrritory, and Jackson scored.

It was a good base running play, but if the throw to third was on the button, he probably would have been out.

for some reason they let taka go 3ip today...he cruised through the first 2ip...not so good so far into the 3rd.

Some great sounds bytes (MLB.TV) from the Cubs dugout after Camp's balk:

"Fucking Christ. Fucking save it. Fucking retarded." Good thing it's spring training.

that should be the team motto. put it on a shirt, charge $20...

I'll Zazzle it right now.

...and the cubs lose their final home game at HoHoKam stadium...

fwiw, their 1st game there was also vs. SEA.

OAK takes over in 2015.

Fictional baseball player fantasy read.

Benny "The Jet" went first...think I'd have gone with Bugs Bunny or Roy Hobbs.

sidd he didn't go 1st is he didn't go 2nd is inexcusable.

...i could buy bugs #1, too.

i can't believe i gave this any thought, whatsoever.


7.05: Tanner Boyle, "The Bad News Bears" (Passan)
Because he grows up and changes his name to A.J. Pierzynski.

"Great pick. Just keep him off Twitter." — Kaduk


fwiw, a.cashner is expected to go to the pen rather than getting the 5th rotation spot in SD.

10ip 9h 4bb 11k 3.60era spring for him.

looks like the Mets should be headed to my Tier 4, Johan probably out for the season with another tear in his shoulder.

That genuinely saddens me, to hear it.  What a joy he was to watch pitch...

Anyone playing 6 degrees of separation: Zambrano, Volstad, Feldman.

Yikes, what a conundrum for the last Rockie roster spot. At now we have Scott Feldman (the poor man's Brandon McCarthy) to kick around.

per Roto...

The Denver Post's Troy Renck hears that Chris Volstad has a "slight edge" over Manny Corpas for the final spot in the Rockies' bullpen.
Volstad entered camp hoping to be part of the rotation, but, given how he's been used, it was clear that he was never really in contention to crack the starting five. He's put up a 3.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 12 spring innings, though, which appears will be good enough to land a long relief gig.
Source: Troy Renck on Twitter Mar 28 - 7:46 PM

Last spamming plug for what once upon a time was an exclusively For TCR People Only yahoo H 2 H league, but is now more... ecumenical.

I have ten, would like to get to twelve players for the still-sorta-TCRer H 2 H league I've run for over a decade.  Be cool and pleasant, stay moderately active (check in at least every other week), and enjoy it as a lower-priority lower-intensity but high-knowledge league.  Lots of stat categories, sabremetrically inclined.

yahoo ID 62369 and password samfuld

Since we have ten, and draft Sunday evening, if you wind up being the 11th and we can't find a 12th, you will get booted so that the rest of us can draft.  So why not find a 12th to bring along with ya?

I would do it but Sunday evening I should be passed out on a beach somewhere.

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.