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.

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  • "An MRI taken Monday on the right side of Jorge Soler showed no major damage."

    crunch 40 min 40 sec ago view
  • rare air though if he can keep it under 2. Sounds like Maddon already made up his mind though and Hendricks seems like the sort that would want to earn it. Guessing he gets a quick hook if he's still under 2 after 5 innings.

    Fwiw, he can give up 1 ER in 5 innings (or more) and still be under 2. If he gives up 2 ER, he would need throw 9 IP to keep it under 2. 1 ER in 4 IP would give him an ERA of exactly 2.

    In terms of WAR, it's still Scherzer by a lot (6.4), then Cueto (5.6), Lester (5.5), Kershaw (5.5), Roark (5.4), and then Hendricks (5.1)

    Rob G. 1 hour 54 min ago view
  • Boring lineup tonight in terms of guys trying to reach milestones -- no KB (40 HR), Addy (100 RBI) or JHey (can he keep it going?), and Lackey isn't really going for anything, plus the team has already reached 100 wins. I get the "rest" thing, although they will have 4 days off after Sunday, but....bleh.

    billybucks 2 hours 38 min ago view
  • Agree -- I think you want to keep him on a regular schedule.

    billybucks 2 hours 58 min ago view
  • Ramos torn ACL

    jacos 3 hours 26 min ago view
  • Sure, its not about his record.

    jacos 3 hours 27 min ago view
  • Do you start him Sunday or not?

    @jonmorosi Pitchers w/ sub-2.00 ERA in year of 185+ IP this century: Pedro ’00, Clemens ’05, Kershaw ’13/’14, Arrieta ’15, Greinke ’15, Hendricks ’16.

    Rob G. 4 hours 49 min ago view
  • Yeah -- that would be rough for him. But, Monty is getting people out, he's a lefty and he has experience working out of the bullpen. Hammel? None of the above.

    billybucks 5 hours 44 min ago view
  • even if he's not starting, abandoning hammel would be a bit of a 'screw you.' i think it might be -monty +hammel, but it's speculation.

    either way, someone's gonna be disappointed.

    crunch 6 hours 45 min ago view
  • Joe said he is leaning towards 11 pitchers and 14 position players.

    - 4 starters, Chapman, Rondon, Strop, CJ, Wood, Grimm, Monty. No dice for Cahill or Smith.
    - 3 catchers, Rizz, Zo, Addy, KB, Javy, Heyward, Fowler, Soler, Coghlan, TLS and then Sczcur over Almora?

    billybucks 6 hours 56 min ago view
  • Cubs 3B Jason Vosler made two really bad throws on consecutive AB in the 8th. Fortunately the game was no longer in doubt at the time  

    The first one was a one-hop lob that allowed the batter to reach base on an infield single, and the second was air-mailed so far over the first-baseman's head that it went over the fence and landed in Field #4.

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 31 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Despite the HR, Donnie Dewees is really more of a slash hitter (the HR was an opposite-field line-drive) who can accumulate lots of doubles & triples. He's also a good bunter and can get on base that way, too. Although he was thrown out trying to steal in the game, he's actually a good base-stealer and baserunner.

    Defensively he has plus-range and tracks fly balls OK, so he can play CF, but he has a rag arm that requires the middle infielders to go out further into CF to make relays.

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 32 min ago view
  • I don't know how many of you remember Bobby Knoop, who played 2B for the Angels, White Sox, and Royals back in the day, but he is a coach-emeritus for the Angels, and works with the infielders at Minor League Camp, Extended Spring Training, and Instructs. He's pretty spry for a 77-year old, and he really knows his shit.

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 59 min ago view
  • With a big lead, Chapman was throwing sliders and changeups, something he's reluctant to do in a save situation. (Len and Jim covered this.)

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 8 min ago view
  • Maybe they have a bad owner, I don't know, but they still have players and fans and a franchise, all devastated by this loss of life. Plus, everybody who follows baseball is a fan of a guy like this. It's why I used the word tragedy, which other people throw around but I try to be careful with.

    I'm at an age where I remember old incidents better than recent ones, but I have to go back to Herb Score for something as disturbing.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 24 min ago view
  • That was Dee Gordon's only HR this year. Wow.

    billybucks 8 hours 26 min ago view