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?

Well...

 

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.  

Comments

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).

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/03/27/forbes-rate...

link to the Forbes article...
http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2013/03/27...

mlbtr has it's offseason review for the Cubs
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/03/offseason-in...

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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lim_Chang-Yong

ARI has released erstwhile QB and erstwhilier Knuckleballer Josh Booty.

boo...but kinda predictable.

Cubs going after Venezuelan shortstop Gleyber Torres

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-cubs-venezuelan-s...

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.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/big-league-stew-fantas...

Fictional baseball player fantasy draft...fun read.

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

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

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

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

also...

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

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

lulz.

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

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 2 hours 28 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 2 hours 29 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 12 hours 10 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 15 hours 8 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 15 hours 20 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 15 hours 29 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 15 hours 35 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 15 hours 53 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 16 hours 29 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 16 hours 47 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 16 hours 49 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 close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 17 hours 7 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 17 hours 14 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 18 hours 10 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 18 hours 27 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 18 hours 32 min ago view