The last time I was this excited about a trade by the Cubs I thought Randall Delgado was coming to the Cubs, which is why I waited to report this until it was confirmed by the Cubs. Okay, maybe I’m not THAT excited but the fact that I’m excited at all about the return for a Jeff Baker should tell you something. Back when the Cubs traded Jeff Baker the return was to be two PTBNL (Players to be named later), well that deal has been tweaked a bit and it’s for the better. The Tigers completed the deal by sending Josue Carreno (Full name – Josue Marcelo Carreno) a 6’1″, 170 pound 21-year-old right-handed starting pitcher, who MLB.com has as the 11th best prospect in the Tigers system to the Cubs…. for JEFF BAKER. Here is the full report from MLB.com…
Carreno made his full-season debut in 2011, and although his performance was up-and-down, he was much stronger in the second half, with a 3.48 ERA and one strikeout per inning. He cut down his overall walk rate while keeping his strikeout rate constant from the previous summer. Better command of his fastball, curve and changeup could help him become a solid middle-of-the-rotation type, though he had success in a relief role during winter ball in Venezuela last offseason.
Yeah, you read that correctly, the Cubs traded Jeff Baker to the Tigers for a 21-year-old starting pitcher that has the stuff to be a “solid middle of the rotation type” down the road. On the surface this is an absolute win for Theo Epstein and the Cubs, nothing against Jeff Baker, but he doesn’t seem to be the type of player that would solicit this type of player in return. Honestly I’m completely shocked at this return as Carreno now enters a Cubs system that is short on arms and could find himself as a top 10 pitching prospect in the organization.
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This is what playoff baseball is all about, heart-stopping moments that you will remember forever. It doesn’t matter if you are an A’s fan or not, if you love baseball then it’s hard not to get wrapped up in what is taking place out West. The A’s, for the 15th, the 15th! Time this season walked off, that’s amazing on its own, but doing it on the biggest stage, three outs from elimination down two runs, magic. We weren’t sure if we really wanted to cover the playoffs much here as the Cubs aren’t in them, but I think I would regret it if I didn’t share this.
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I wish the Arizona Fall League was closer to Chicago, obviously there are reason’s why it’s not, I’m not a complete moron. I wish it was closer so I could see games because the rosters are made up of some of the best prospects from all over baseball. There are six teams competing in the league, here is the breakdown of Major League team participation.
Cubs players will be grouped with players from the Orioles, Astros, Tigers, and Dodgers to form the Mesa Solar Sox. Click here for the full roster, the Cubs will be sending Javier Baez, Matt Szczur, Rubi Silva, Dae-Eun Rhee, Nick Struck, Tony Zych, Kevin Rhoderick, and Zach Rosscup. The purpose of this league is to get a look at guys, could be guys that didn’t play too much during the season or guys that are ready to jump a level, possibly to the major league level, or are on the bubble for a 40 man roster spot. If they are not added to the 40-man roster they will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft and could be lost to another team. The three players vying for a spot on the 40-man roster are Rhee, Rosscup, and Struck, all others are already on the 40-man roster. So this league is clearly important, it could be make or break for some guys, or it could be an important building block for others.
One glaring omission is Jorge Soler as he didn’t get too much time to play here in the States this year. My guess is that he will be playing somewhere this offseason, most likely a winter league as the organization would like to see him get more 2012 at bats.
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It is our goal here at Born on Third to educate Cubs fans on the talent that sits at the minor league level. With the way that Theo Epstein has molded this franchise it’s clear that the goal is to have as much talent as possible come from the draft and the farm system. Wouldn’t you hate to be that one person that has no idea who just got called up to the Cubs? It makes you look stupid, so don’t look stupid, and learn about the future of the Chicago Cubs here. Today we feature Kevin Rhoderick.
Kevin Rhoderick , or “K-Rod” is a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher from Scottsdale, Arizona. Rhoderick was originally drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 18th round of the 2007 MLB June Amateur Draft from Horizon HS (Scottsdale, AZ). Rhoderick was a stand out at Horizon High for head coach Eric Kisler as he was a three-time all region member and earned all-state honors twice. Kevin’s senior year was a special one as he was named an All-American as he led his Horizon team to the State Championship where they won it all. Instead of signing with the Tigers Rhoderick decided to go play baseball for Oregon State University.
K-Rod made an immediate impact as a Beaver as he was named to the NCBWA Freshman All-American first team, the Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American team, the Baseball America Freshman All-American Second team, and received All-Pac-10 honorable mention, not bad for a Freshman. Rhoderick didn’t have the same success he had as a Freshman during his Sophomore season, although he did have strong conference numbers. Kevin recaptured the magic during his junior year as he once again received All-Pac-1o honorable mention while going 2-2 with a 3.13 ERA with four saves. After his Junior year the Cubs selected Kevin in the 9th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur draft.
On April 8, 2011 Rhoderick made his Chicago Cubs professional debut out of the bullpen for the Daytona Cubs. Rhoderick was stellar out of the pen for the D-Cubs as he tossed 14.1 innings giving up only two earned runs on seven hits. He was missing bats as well as he registered 19 strike outs over those 14.1 innings. The Cubs were also impressed with his performance as they promoted Rhoderick to the Double-A Tennessee Smokies at the beginning of May. The Smokies got much of the same results from Rhoderick as the D-Cubs were enjoying, although Kevin struggled just a bit. This was to be expected as he was only one month into his professional career and already pitching at Double-A. Rhoderick’s biggest issue was command, as he walked 37 guys in 57 innings of work. That was the only issue for K-Rod as he finished the season at Tennessee with a 7-0 record and a 3.47 ERA. I’m not sure Kevin knows what it feels like to get hit hard, as he only allowed 38 hits in those 57 innings of work. The final numbers for K-Rod for 2011 were a record of 9-0 with a 3.03 ERA, with 77 strikeouts in 77.1 innings, and he only allowed a total of 45 hits. After the season baseball america awarded Rhoderick with the “Best Slider” in the system award.
Kevin started this year in Tennessee, and is still currently pitching for Tennessee in Double-A, but if he continues pitching the way he has he might have a spot in the Iowa Cubs bullpen or even the Chicago Cubs bullpen by September. Un-hittable might be an understatement when describing Rhoderick’s 2012 season so far. In 25.2 innings he has only given up two earned runs on 13 hits, he has a 0.70 ERA, and has seven saves. Beyond impressive right now, what’s more impressive is he seems to be cutting down on the walks as he has only walked 12 guys so far this year compared to 24 strike outs. In those 25.2 innings he has only given up one home run, in fact over his entire professional career to date (97 innings) he has only given up four home runs, four! That is a valuable stat for a late inning guy, when he comes in you don’t have to worry about the long ball.
I’m really excited to see Kevin’s progress this year as I think he has a great shot to help this organization and very soon too. One of the Cubs biggest weaknesses is organizational pitching depth, and the bullpen has struggled this year as well. This could be the perfect opportunity for Rhoderick to really get noticed by Cubs brass if he hasn’t already.
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