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).
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, AJackson, Castro, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.