Rule 5 Draft Update
The Toronto Blue Jays have designated RHP Randy Wells for assignment.
Wells was selected by the Jays from the Cubs AAA Iowa roster in the Major League phase of the MLB Rule 5 Draft last December, and although he pitched well enough in Spring Training to earn a slot on Toronto's Opening Day 25-man roster, he finally got caught in a numbers game
The Jays now have ten days to either trade or outright Wells, although they actually have to do something with him within eight days because it takes two days for a player to clear waivers.
If the Blue Jays trade Wells to another club, the new club assumes the Rule 5 obligations (player must remain on the club's 25-man roster for the entire 2008 season).
If the Jays can't find a trading partner, they will place him on Outright Assignment Waivers, and if he goes unclaimed, the Cubs will have the opportunity to reacquire Wells for $25,000 (half the Rule 5 Draft price). If the Cubs choose not to reclaim Wells, the Blue Jays get to keep him, and he is automatically outrighted to the minors.
But the Cubs historically always take back Rule 5 players if they get the chance (Dubois, Szuminski, Hagerty, Mateo, Holdzkom, and Campusano), so if they are given the opportunity to reacquire Wells, they almost certainly will.
Also, RHP Tim Lahey was Designated for Assignment by the Phillies last Saturday, and the Phils will need to trade Lahey by this weekend or else place him on Outright Assignment Waivers.
Lahey was the #1 pick in the 2007 Rule 5 Draft, as the Tampa Bay Rays selected the big right-hander from the Minnesota Twins AAA Rochester club. Then immediately after the draft, the Rays sold the rights to Lahey to the Cubs for $100,000 (twice the Rule 5 Draft price).
The rubber-armed Lahey showed some flashes of upside in Spring Training, but he is still a bit raw (a converted catcher, he's only been pitching for two years), and the Cubs didn't have a spot for him on the 25-man roster. So he was placed on Outright Assignment Waivers two weeks ago, just before the start of the regular season.
Lahey was claimed off waivers by Philadelphia (with the Phillies assuming the Rule 5 obligations), but got into no games with the Phillies before being Designated for Assignment last Saturday to make room on the 25-man roster for Brad Lidge, who was reactivated from the DL at that time.
Just as with Wells and the Jays, the Phillies have 10 days to either trade or outright Lahey, but if they don't trade him, they have to place him on Outright Asignment Waivers within eight days, because it takes two days for a player to clear waivers. If Lahey does clear waivers this time, then he must be offered back to the Twins.
And if Lahey was in fact the tentative PTBNL in the Craig Monroe deal, then the Twins will certainly opt to reclaim Lahey, and if that happens, then he can be traded to the Cubs.
One thing to remember about MLB Rule 6 (the rule that governs the disposition of Rule 5 players who are not retained on a 25-man roster) is that if the player clears waivers and his original club takes him back, he is automatically outrighted back to the AAA club from which he was drafted. He is NOT placed on the club's 40-man roster.
So if the Cubs do reclaim Wells from TOR and/or reacquire Lahey from MIN, both would initially be assigned outright to AAA Iowa, and would not have to be added to the Cubs 40-man roster. However, both Wells and Lahey (if they were to be reacquired by the Cubs) would be candidates for recall later this season, and both would likely be added to the Cubs 40-man roster by the end of the season.
It would be nice to have arms like Wells and Lahey at Iowa to provide the Cubs some additional middle-relief depth for later in the season.
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.