View From The Bleachers

July 30, 2009


Filed under: General — Rob Bukowski @ 5:26 pm

Undoubtedly someone will type up something more about this soon. But the Cubs have completed a trade with the Pirates that brings left handed reliever John Grabow and pitcher (now in AAA) Tom Gorzelanny. The Cubs send Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio, and minor league infielder Josh Harrison.

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today acquired left-handed pitchers John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny from the Pittsburgh Pirates for right-handed pitchers Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio and Single-A Daytona infielder Josh Harrison.

Grabow will be added to the Cubs 25-man roster prior to tomorrow’s game at Florida. Gorzelanny, a native of Evergreen Park, Ill., will join Chicago’s Triple-A Iowa roster.

The 30-year-old Grabow is 3-0 with a 3.42 ERA (18 ER/47.1 IP) in 45 relief appearances for the Pirates this season. He has posted a 2.22 ERA (7 ER/28.1 IP) and a .184 batting average against (18-for-98) in his last 25 appearances during the last two-plus months starting May 24. He has not allowed a run in 22 of the 25 outings, including 11 consecutive scoreless outings from June 24-July 22, covering 12.0 innings pitched.

Grabow has been especially tough in “close and late” situations this season, limiting opponents to a .212 batting average (22-for-104) in those spots. Overall he is limiting foes to a .246 batting average against, including a .234 mark by righthanders (29-for-124) and a .275 mark (14-for-51) by lefthanders.

In 2008, Grabow turned in the best season of his seven-year big league career when he went 6-3 with a 2.84 ERA (24 ER/76.0 IP) in 74 relief appearances with the Pirates. He limited opponents to a .215 batting average (60-for-279), including a .239 mark by lefties and a .207 mark by righties. Overall in seven seasons with Pittsburgh, the six-foot-two, 205-pounder is 20-15 with six saves and a 4.09 ERA (165 ER/363.1 IP) in 390 career relief outings. A native of Arcadia, Calif., Grabow was originally selected by Pittsburgh in the third round of the 1997 Draft.

A 14-game winner for the Pirates in 2007, the 27-year-old Gorzelanny has split the 2009 season between Pittsburgh and its Triple-A Indianapolis club. With Indianapolis, Gorzelanny has gone 4-3 with a 2.48 ERA (24 ER/87.0 IP) in 15 starts. He has a 0.96 ERA (4 ER/37.1 IP) in his last six Triple-A starts beginning June 27 and is 3-2 with a 1.21 ERA (7 ER/52.0 IP) in his last nine starts. Overall with Indianapolis, Gorzelanny has limited opponents to a .228 batting average, including a .195 mark by left-handed hitters.

Gorzelanny enjoyed his first full major league season in 2007 when he went 14-10 with a 3.88 ERA (87 ER/201.2 IP) in 32 starts with the Pirates. He has split the 2008 and 2009 seasons between Triple-A and the majors. He is 3-1 with a 5.19 ERA (5 ER/8.2 IP) in nine relief appearances for the Pirates this season during his big league stint from May 17-June 9.

The six-foot-two, 202-pound Gorzelanny made his major league debut with the Pirates in 2005 and was named Pittsburgh’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2006 after going 6-5 with a 2.35 ERA with Indianapolis. Overall in 76 major league appearances (65 starts) with the Pirates, Gorzelanny is 25-26 with a 4.79 ERA (204 ER/383.1 IP).

Hart, 26, has split the 2009 campaign between Chicago and Triple-A Iowa. He is 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA (29 ER/66.1 IP) in eight appearances (four starts) with the Cubs this season, earning the win this afternoon against the Houston Astros.

Ascanio, 24, has also split the 2009 season between the Cubs and Triple-A. He is 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA (6 ER/15.1 IP) in 14 relief appearances for Chicago this season.

Harrison, 22, is batting .286 (20-for-70) with one home run and nine RBI in 18 games with Daytona this season. He began the year with Single-A Peoria, where he batted .337 (102-for-303) with four homers and 33 RBI in 79 games.

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  • Steve H in SLC

    So who goes into the rotation in place of Hart?

  • Steve H in SLC

    Sorry for the double-post, but I wanted to add that Grabow doesn’t seem to be any better against lefties than he is against righties. So what’s the point of getting him as the additional lefty arm in the bullpen?

  • Seymour Butts

    So how do you think the post game conversation went with Hart?
    “Hey congratulations Kevin, Nice Game. 3rd major league win, way to go. You know take your time getting ready for the bus to the airport, you’ve earned a limo ride all by yourself. Oh, by the way leave all of your blue stuff in your old locker, how do you look in black and yellow? And by the way I’ve got a new joke you can tell your friends and family.”
    A Pirate walks into a bar with a tiny steering wheel caught in his pants zipper. The bartender points this out to which the Pirate replies ” ARRRh, It’s driving me nuts!”
    “You’ll find that funny in about a year, see ya dude.”

  • Jeff Smardjza

    Hey…anybody… can I start a game now and then…Sheesh, I could have been a wideout for chrissakes.

  • Seymour Butts

    Don’t be surprised if Marshall goes into the rotation.

  • Doc Raker

    I don’t see the value in the trade. Hart is solid. Marshall is looking very good, I would like to see him in the rotation. At least Hart will be pitching in the big leagues for sure now.

    I don’t know about giving away a solid young starter for a lefty bullpen arm. It is nice to have so many good arms, Hendry and the organiztion has done well in that regard.

  • Steve H in SLC

    Don’t be surprised if Marshall goes into the rotation.

    I think this is a good idea, but if the point was to add a lefty arm to the bullpen, I would think they’d keep Marshall there, too, especially since he’s pitched so effectively in inherited-runner situations.

  • Tim M

    More than likely, Marshall will be put into the rotation, until Lilly gets back. Then we’ll have 2 lefties in the bullpen for Lou to play with. Then again…with so many Cubs getting injured, I wonder who will be the next to get hurt…and who will take his place.

  • Mastrick

    I would describe this as a good trade. The Cubs gave up a little value but they got a whole lot of value in return. We got a quality reliever who is lefthanded; the fact that his splits aren’t dominant against lefthanders means he gets everybody out. I’m definitely cool with that! Marshall has earned his spot in the rotation and now we have two lefties out in the pen; if someone gets hurt then Gorzelanny gets a shot and he did awful well in 2007. Good trade Hendry.

  • Mastrick

    Imagine if you’re Grabow or Gorzelanny – you get called into the manager’s office and told you’re going to be traded to the Cubs. You are going from a perennial losing team to a contender, from a team where the the few fans who attend read the bulldog edition of the newspaper to a team that sells out every game.

    You try to show disappointment to the manager but inside you’re about to explode out of your skin because you want to call your wife and best friends and tell them the good news. The Cubs should give both of these guys days off tomorrow because they will likely have hangovers.

  • Tommy

    That scenario has played out in Pittsburgh a plethora of times in the last couple of years. I feel sorry for Pirates fans. We’re pretty spoiled here.

  • Josh

    I don’t understand the trade.

    (Funny side note, the Cardinals announcers were referring to the Pirates as the Cubs’ farm team tonight.)

  • MJ

    Hart, and average starter. I didn’t see him sticking here anyway. Ascanio, Lou’s whipping boy. Not going to be back up.

    I think the trade was a wash. Hendry got arms for the pen, and lefties, which is what the Cubs need. If anything, it makes the pitching deeper.

    I do feel bad for Pirates fans. I have no idea what the heck that organization is doing. At least Hendry is trying to put winning teams on the field, that organization just doesn’t seem to care.

  • sherm

    I think it was a short term trade for Grabow, but Gorzelanny is the long term prize. He’s got more upside than Hart. All in all, a very safe trade.

  • Doc Raker

    Grabow will be a free agent after this year. Gorzelanny was in AAA in the Pirate organization which is like being in Peoria for the Cubs. I liked Hart, he seemed to have …heart if you will. Like all trades, time will tell.

    I like the Cardinal announcers on that one. That’s why I like listening to the opposing broadcasts, they give you the real scoop, what people in the game are really talking about. The home town announcers usually sugar coat things for the home town fans.

    I think Hendry missed an opp with Freddy Sanchez, he would have been a nice addition to the line up.

  • Seymour Butts

    I like the Cardinal announcers on that one. That’s why I like listening to the opposing broadcasts, they give you the real scoop, what people in the game are really talking about. The home town announcers usually sugar coat things for the home town fans.

    You do realize that one teams away announcers are another teams homers don’t you?

  • Doc Raker

    Seymour- The opposing announers give you the real scoop on the Cubs, they still sugar coat things for their own team. Is what I meant.

    Have you tried listening to the opposition?

    I find the Brennaman’s in Cinci very entertaining and very honest for both teams. They seem fed up with the organization, Dusty and losing in general. Very refreshing.

    Mark Grace is petty good with the Dbacks. When they went into to St Lou they were making fun of all the mustaches the Cardinal players are wearing. They had one shot of a Cardianl player who is having trouble growing his mustache out and Gracey says, ‘you got to take a sharpie to that thing, that is aweful, ain’t gettin it done.’

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