The Cubs signed 29-year old righty starting pitcher Edwin Jackson to a 4-year, $52 million dollar deal. Jackson has outstanding stuff and a lot of teams have thought they could mold him as a pitcher and have failed. Jackson has pitched in 10 games (all starts) so far this year for the Cubs and he is 1-7 with a 6.11 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. Jackson has given up 61 hits and 22 walks while whiffing 52 batters in his first 53 innings so far this year, so he needs to tighten up his control a bit. Jackson has pitched better at home this year, where he is 1-3 with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Jackson’s deal is already looking like a HUGE mistake for the Cubs.
The Cubs have placed 37-year old righty reliever Shawn Camp on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right big toe. Camp has pitched in 20 games (0 starts) for the Cubs so far this year and he is 1-1 with a 7.56 ERA and a 1.92 WHIP. Camp has given up 26 hits (4 homers) and he has walked 4 batters while whiffing 12 of them in his first 16 2/3 innings this year, as he has been getting hit really, really hard so far this year. The Cubs have called up 25-year old righty reliever Rafael Dolis to replace Camp in the pen. Dolis pitched in 2 games (0 starts) earlier this year and he was 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He has also pitched in 12 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball for the Cubs this year and he is 1-0 with 1 save, a 5.40 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. Dolis can’t be any worse than Camp has been so far in 2013.
The Cubs have claimed 24-year old righty reliever Eduardo Sanchez off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals. Sanchez has pitched in 9 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball for the Cardinals so far this year and he was 0-0 with 1 save, a 3.72 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Sanchez has pitched in 43 games (0 starts) in his first two years in the majors and he is 3-2 with 5 saves, a 3.40 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. This could turn out to be a steal for the Cubs as Sanchez was lights out for the Cardinals as a rookie back in 2011.
The Cubs have designated 26-year old righty reliever Michael Bowden for assignment. He pitched in 14 games (0 starts) for the Cubs this year and he was 1-2 with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Bowden pitched in 44 games (0 starts) in his two years with the Cubs and he was 1-2 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. I don’t see any way that Bowden clears waivers, so the Cubs should try to deal him and at least get something for him.
29-year old righty starting pitcher Matt Garza is going to return to the Cubs’ starting rotation early next week. He has pitched in 4 games (all starts) in AA+AAA-ball so far this year on a rehab assignment and he is 1-1 with a 1.17 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. Garza has pitched in 49 games (all starts) in his first two years with the Cubs and he is 15-17 with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. The Cubs will move 29-year old righty Carlos Villanueva to the bullpen. He has pitched in 8 games (all starts) for the Cubs so far this year and he is 1-3 with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.
Righty starting pitcher Dennis Lamp pitched really well in 1978 for the 79-83 Chicago Cubs, but they just didn’t give him much run support. Lamp pitched in 37 games (36 starts) for the Cubs in 1978 and he was 7-15 with a 3.30 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He pitched in 127 games (108 starts) in his four years with the Cubbies and he was 28-41 with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. Lamp had a long career in the majors after leaving the Cubs, but he was just an average pitcher overall in his career.
27-year old lefty swinging Luis Valbuena and 37-year old righty swinging Cody Ransom have formed a solid platoon at 3B for the Cubs so far this year. Valbuena played in 31 games for the Cubs last year and he was 25 of 92 (.272 avg, .874 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 5 homers, 13 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Ransom has played in 14 games for the Cubs since they signed him and he is 13 for 40 (.325 avg, 1.036 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 3 homers and 5 RBIs. The Cubs hope that Valbuena and Ransom keep up the good work as they need all of the help that they can get offensively.
The Cubs got 21-year old righty swinging 3B Christian Villanueva from the Texas Rangers in the Ryan Dempster deal last July. Villanueva came into this season as the Cubs’ #12 prospect according to Baseball America. He has played in 29 games in AA-ball so far this year and he is 22 for 108 (.204 avg, .567 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 1 homer, 16 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. He has now played in 339 games in his first five years in the minors and he is 344 of 1,246 (.276 avg, .770 OPS) with 179 runs scored, 34 homers, 206 RBIs and 56 stolen bases. The Cubs have a glaring hole at 3B, so Villanueva could get his first shot at the show in 2013…..it he starts hitting the ball soon.
30-year old righty starting pitcher Scott Feldman has been solid so far this year. I thought the Cubs were a little nuts when they signed Feldman to a 1-year, $6 million dollar deal last winter. After all, Feldman pitched in 29 games (21 starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 6-11 with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. But, he has looked good so far in 2013. Feldman has pitched in 6 games (all starts) for the Cubs so far this year and he is 3-3 with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Feldman has only given 27 hits and 14 walks while whiffing 27 batters in his first 36 2/3 innings this year, which is impressive. Here’s to hoping that Scott Feldman keeps up the good work for the Cubbies in 2013.
The Cubs have dealt 30-year old righty swinging infielder Alberto Gonzalez to the Yankees for either a player to be named later or cash. Gonzalez played in 11 games for the Cubs this year and he was 5 for 23 (.217 avg, .661 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer and 2 RBIs. Gonzalez has played in 413 games in his first seven years in the majors and he is 221 of 916 (.241 avg, .597 OPS) with 94 runs scored, 4 homers, 87 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. This isn’t much of a loss for the Cubs moving forward.