Cubs Acquire Henry Rodriguez from Nats
The Cubs have acquired 26-year old Venezuelan flame-throwing RHRP Henry Rodriguez from the Washington Nationals for minor league RHP Ian Dickson.
Dickson was the Cubs 35th round draft pick out of Lafayette College in 2011, and was used as both a starter and a reliever at Kane County this season, posting an ugly 6.88 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 35.1 IP and 11 Games (3 GS). He was a candidate to get demoted to Boise (and probably released post-2013) if he hadn't been traded.
Rodriguez was Designated for Assignment by the Nats on June 4th to make room on their 40-man roster for LHP Ian Kroll, so they had until Friday (6/14) to either trade him, release him, or send him outright to the minors. However, because it takes two days to get a player through waivers, Washington really only had until 2 PM (EDT) Wednesday (today) to trade him. (He was NOT placed on waivers, otherwise he could not have been traded).
Despite the 102+ MPH fastball, Rodriguez has struggled big-time with control this season (16 BB in 18 IP, and a career 98 BB in 144.2 IP), and that's probably why the Nationals lost their patience with him.
Rodriguez is out of minor league options, and he will be (first time) eligible for salary arbitration post-2013. NOTE: Darwin Barney, Cody Ransom, James Russell, Jeff Samardzija, Nate Schierholtz, Luis Valbuena, and Travis Wood are the other players presently on the Cubs 40-man roster who will be arbitration-eligible post-2013 (and Julio Borbon will probably be eligible for salary arbitration as a "Super Two").
The Cubs will need to drop a player from the 25-man roster when Rodriguez reports, and that will probably just be a matter of placing RHP Zach Putnam (sore elbow) on the 15-day DL.
RHP Eduardo Sanchez (who was Designated for Assignment to make room on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster for H. Rodriguez) does NOT have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted (he has not been outrighterd previously in his career, he has not accrued three years of MLB Service Time, and he was not a "Super Two" player post-2012). However, if he is outrighted he would automatically become an MLB Rule 55 minor league FA (so-called "six-year minor league free-agent") at 5 PM on the 5th day following the conclusion of the 2013 World Series, unless he agrees to a 2014 minor league successor contract prior to the deadline, or is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the 2013 MLB regular season.
C-1B-3B Steve Clevenger (strained oblique) is eligible to be reintstated from the Cubs 60-day DL tomorrow (Thursday 6/13), and as much as Manager Dale Sveum likes the flexibility provided by having a 3rd catcher on the roster, it does not look like there will be room for Clevenger on the 25-man roster at this time. So look for the Cubs to reinstate Clevenger from the DL and then option him to Iowa. (He will get recalled if anything happens to Welington Castillo or Dioner Navarro, or whenever Navarro gets traded), Another player will need to be removed from the 40-man roster when Clevenger is reinstated, and that could very well be (that man) Putnam again, who could be transferred to the 60-day DL after spending one day on the 15-day DL.
MLB Article XX-B free-agents signed to Major League contracts after last season received automatic "no trade" rights through June 15th, so therefore Scott Baker, Shawn Camp, Scott Feldman, Edwin Jackson, Carlos Villanueva, Dioner Navarro, and Scott Hairston can be traded without having to give their permission beginning this coming Sunday. NOTE: Carlos Marmol and Alfonso Soriano also have "no trade" rights, but their "no trade" rights are contractural (Marmol through the 2013 season, and Soriano through 2014).
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?