Well, that was a short stay. Rosario was picked up by the Cubs barely a week ago, and now he’s already gone. Too bad, because I thought he seemed like a nice addition, and certainly a guy who deserved a shot in spring training if nothing else.
But he’s now with his fifth organization during this offseason, so who knows what the deal with him is.
I wrote in the previous post that the Cubs had to address the terrible K/BB ratio that the pitching staff put up this year, so it’s perhaps not surprising in that light that Beliveau has been DFA’d, since he walks a lot of hitters.
But that said, Beliveau will almost certainly be claimed off waivers, because he’s a big lefty who strikes people out (11.6 K/9 in 314.2 IP in the minors). Frankly, I think he’s worth keeping around, and I’d have cut Chris Rusin or Michael Bowden before Beliveau. Even though he walks a lot of hitters, his K/BB ratio has always been pretty solid (2.91 though his minor league career, with an almost identical 2.89 in his first year in AAA last season). He struggled in his first exposure to the majors in 2012, but not so horribly that he seemed irredeemable. He still struck out 17 in 17.2 IP, so the stuff is plainly there.
I spent almost all season arguing that Beliveau deserved more of a chance, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he found success with some other team. So, I guess I don’t quite get this.
EDIT 12/22/2012: As expected, Beliveau has been claimed off waivers, and is heading to the Rangers.
November 30 is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to players, and the Cubs have declined to offer contracts to Jaye Chapman, Zach Putnam, and Ian Stewart. All three players immediately become free agents.
Chapman was acquired along with Arodys Vizcaino in the deal that sent Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to the Braves, and pitched in 14 games with the Cubs late in the year. In that time, he walked 10 hitters in 12 innings, although two of those were intentional. That’s way too many, but Chapman has walked too many hitters throughout his minor league career, more than 4 per 9 innings, and closer to 5 since he reached AAA. In his favor, he also posts high K rates, 9.6 K/9 during his minor league career, and he’s reasonably tough to hit. It’s a little strange to see someone with his track record let go by a team with as many bullpen holes as the Cubs, although not really surprising, since we’ve seen the Epstein-led front office jettison players with high strikeout rates before when their walk rates are also too high. Still, I’d rather see him run out there than Rafael Dolis, and I expect that he’ll be signed quickly and given a shot somewhere.
Putnam was just acquired as a waiver pickup less than a month ago. I don’t really have anything more to add than what I wrote at the time.
Stewart’s departure, of course, is the big news here. Frankly, I’m surprised, because all indications from the front office this offseason were that they were cautiously optimistic that Stewart’s injury was behind him, and that he’d be a real option at third base again going into the spring. Even still, Jed Hoyer has indicated that they’d be interested in signing Stewart as a free agent, although I assume that’s unlikely at this point. The sad thing is that, as bad as Stewart was in 2012, I’m not sure that the Cubs have a much better option at this point. It’s not like Luis Valbuena covered himself in glory as Stewart’s replacement, and Vitters looked hopelessly overwhelmed when he was promoted late in the season. Stewart’s upside is very average, but average would have been a big step up for the Cubs last year.
This is a surprise, but at the same time not really much of a surprise, you know? LaHair, as we all know, got off to a hot start, was named to the NL All-Star team in July, slumped horribly, and by the end of the season was barely playing. With Anthony Rizzo firmly entrenched at first base, and LaHair basically incapable of playing adequate defense at basically any other position, the Cubs simply had no futher role for him to fill.
He’d probably make a good platoon DH in the American League, but it’s being reported that he’s headed to Japan. I wish him luck, because he was a lot of fun to watch over the first couple months of last season.
EDIT 11/22/2012: As expected, the Cubs have released LaHair, and he’s signed with the Softbank Hawks in Japan.
Corpas was one of many relievers this year for the Cubs that were used primarily in low-leverage situations; in 29 of his 48 appearances, he entered the game when the Cubs were already losing. In that role, he was of course not very good, but then again, very few pitchers in that role ever are, or they’d be pitching in more important situations.
To me, Corpas looked like a guy who probably has legitimate major league talent, but also isn’t quite good enough to have very much value. He’s just good enough to hold a roster spot with whatever team happens to need a reliever at whatever given moment, basically the definition of replacement level. I think he’s wise to refuse an assignment to the minor leagues and ask for his release instead, because he’ll probably land with another team. But the Cubs won’t miss him much.
Well, if the Royals really want him…
There’s just nothing that Volstad did well in 2012. He couldn’t strike anyone out, he walked too many batters, he gave up lots of homeruns. Starting pitchers in the majors post a quality start 51% of the time; Volstad managed 5 in 21 starts. He got hit hard and hit often, and almost never gave the Cubs a chance to win the games he started. Just for good measure, he also allowed base stealers to be successful 90% of the time.
The Cubs will be better off without him, I don’t think there’s much doubt about that, and I’m really puzzled as to what the Royals see in him. As far as the Cubs are concerned, though, the only silver lining is that Carlos Zambrano had an awfully forgettable year himself with the Marlins, making the question of whether the Cubs would have been better off with him essentially moot. I’m just glad that the Cubs can now put the whole issue behind them and move on.
I’m a little surprised by this for a couple of reasons, not least of which is that Recker seemed like a good candidate to challenge Steve Clevenger for the backup catcher spot in the spring. Clevenger had a terrible year after a hot start, and while Recker isn’t exactly an All-Star in the making, he seems roughly the equal of Clevenger at this point. He may even be better, since he has more power, and given Clevenger’s defensive struggles.
Additionally, this leaves the Cubs with only two catchers. Of course, they have all winter to find a third, but it looks to me like there’s more deadweight on the pitching staff right now than there is at catcher. Recker obviously doesn’t fit into the Cubs’ long term plans, but neither do guys like Jason Berken or Justin Germano, and at least Recker fills a need for now.
EDIT 10/26/2012: Unsurprisingly, Recker did not make it through waivers, and he has been claimed by the Mets.
As I’ve noted before, Maine deserves a longer look than he’s gotten, and I can’t imagine that Maine will clear waivers. Who doesn’t want a lefty with his strikeout numbers? So it seems very likely that the Cubs will lose him, and for what? To audition Alex Hinshaw (who, incidentally, got creamed last night against the Brewers), a pitcher with the same weaknesses as Maine, but with an even worse track record? I don’t really understand that.
Obviously this won’t make much of a difference in the long run, and equally obviously, there could well be factors at work here that I don’t know about. But from a strict performance standpoint, Maine is a better pitcher than Hinshaw, and one that I wouldn’t be so eager to lose for such a seemingly pointless reason.
EDIT 8/30/2012: As I predicted, Maine did not clear waivers, and has been claimed by the Indians. There was just no way that there wasn’t going to be some other team who wanted him for free – if some other team had put him on waivers, the Cubs probably would have put in a claim.
But it is what it is, and Maine is now with Cleveland.
Is this the last we’ll see of Koyie Hill? I thought that last year was, but the Cubs’ absurd bad luck with catcher injuries put the franchise in the one situation where bringing Hill back was justifiable. He predictably was awful, with an OPS+ of 5 (yes, 5 – not a typo) in 39 plate appearances, the result of a .179/.179/.205 batting line.
It’s not clear what the result of his assignment will turn out to be, but I’ll be a little surprised if he isn’t simply released. It would be shocking if he was claimed on waivers – he had managed only a AA gig before the Cubs came looking for him – and with Geovany Soto’s return looking imminent, the Cubs will once again have solid depth at catcher. It took some pretty unlikely circumstances for Hill to be needed in the first place, and absent similar circumstances, I don’t see what need the Cubs have for him, even in the minors.
I’ll update here when his status is reported.
EDIT (6/17/2012): The Cubs outrighted Hill to Iowa after he cleared waivers, but Hill has the right to refuse a minor league assignment if he chooses and become a free agent. That is exactly what he has done, although it’s hard to understand why, given that Hill was playing in AA when the Cubs acquired him. It’s hard to believe that there’s a better job out there for him than a AAA assignment now when there wasn’t in the offseason, but either Hill thinks there’s a better job out there for him or he’s retiring. Either way, though, he’s no longer in the Cubs’ system.
The Cubs needed to remove someone from the 40-man roster in order to clear a spot for Blake DeWitt, and it looks like Gaub was the guy. As I’ve written before, Gaub racks up impressive strikeout totals to go along with cringeworthy walk levels. If Gaub were a little younger this would be a headscratching move, because guys that strike out 12 batters per nine innings don’t just come along everyday, especially when they’re lefties.
But Gaub will be 27 in a few weeks. So I can only assume that the front office and their scouting department didn’t see Gaub figuring out his control any time soon. It’s a shame, really, but a team that already has guys like Scott Maine and Jeff Beliveau on the roster probably can afford to get rid of Gaub.