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.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?