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

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Except that he gave up Russell and McKinney for a half-season of Hammel...

  • Beane cam at least point and laugh at Hammel.

  • The genius Angelo traded Olsen at Martzs request

  • Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"

  • To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.

  • HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.

    Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.  

  • "they just fade away"

    (Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)

  • Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.

  • I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.

  • AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?

  • He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.

    Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.

  • I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.

    I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).

    Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.

  • "What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "

    As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.

  • Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.

    Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer

  • Hahahahaha

  • -0.3 WAR in 7.1ip last year...

    -3 WAR projected over the course of a season.

    the cubs just added an all-star reliever's worth of work by losing b.schlitter.