SO, ABOUT LAST NIGHT

Chris Rusin, called up from AAA after being named a PCL All Star, made his season debut. He allowed a pair of home runs and left after just over three innings of work. He was pitching on short notice and short rest, so not much can be read into that. He will probably fit into the rotation for the rest of the season going forward as guys begin to move, but for now, I look for Carlos Villanueva to get stretched out and take that spot. Another interesting player of note is / was Josh Donaldson. You probably would not have remembered him before Len and JD talked about him in the game, but he was the third of three players who were sent to the A’s in the Rich Harden deal, with Sean Gallagher and Eric Patterson being the other two. Donaldson, a former catcher, wasn’t really considered much of a prospect at that point. He had some potential, but I looked at him a lot like the way I look at Steve Clevenger now, a guy who can probably fill a role in the Majors adequately, but nothing special. Basically a replacement level guy. This year he’s exploded and will probably be the All Star representative for the A’s. He took Rusin deep to left in his first at bat and it was a no doubter. Sometimes you win some in the deals and sometimes you don’t. I’d have to go back and look, but I’d still venture a guess that the Cubs have more win shares out of that deal so far. Down the road may be a different story.

Tonight’s game will see Matt Garza look to continue to increase his trade value as he takes on big, fat, Bartolo Colon, who is hot as fire right now.

TRADE DEADLINE COMES EARLY?

It felt very much like the trade deadline was here well before the July 31st date. My phone buzzed with an e-mail that the Cubs had traded Carlos Marmol to the Dodgers and I didn’t really bat an eye because I knew it was coming. Just seconds later the phone buzzed again and I was quite surprised to see the Scott Feldman deal. Just as I had put up a post talking about both, the phone buzzed one last time letting me know that a third move had been made. When all was said and done, where do we stand.

Gone are Marmol, Feldman, Steve Clevenger, and Ronald Torreyes. In exchange, let’s take a look at what comes back.

Matt Guerrier – Like Marmol, he was designated for assignment a few days ago. The move is basically a swap of pitchers that neither team wants. The Cubs save a slight amount of salary and the Dodgers get a guy they can try to fix and if not, get rid of. I don’t expect Guirrier to be around for long.

Jake Arrieta – Basically a starter with some command issues that, according to Keith Law, may be better suited for a late inning role. We’ll see what the plan is for him.

Pedro Strop - What scares me here with Strop is the quote from Law. “Strop is just a hard-throwing reliever from the Carlos Marmol school of relief pitching — let it go and don’t worry about where it ends up” Let’s hope we have better success with him.

Also coming along were international signing bonus money. When the day ended, the Cubs increased their bonus pool allotment by $963,000 to a total of $5,520,300. With that, they signed:

# 2 Prospect – Gleyber Torres (SS) – $1,700,000

# 16 Prospect – Erlin Moreno (RHP) – $800,000

NR – Jefferson Mejia – (RHP) – $850,000

There are also rumors that the Cubs will sign the # 1 prospect, Eloy Jimenez (OF) out of the Dominican Republic. We’ll have to wait and see.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

In case you missed it, here is what stories are in the headlines around Major League Baseball.

  • Homer Bailey tossed a no-hitter last night against the Giants. The interesting note is that he tossed the last no-hitter of the season last year and the first of the season this year. The last player to throw one and then throw another before anyone else in the Majors was Bailey’s idol, Nolan Ryan
  • Johnathan Papelbon thinks that Yasiel Puig being considered for the All Star game is a joke. “The guy’s got a month, I don’t even think he’s got a month in the big leagues. Just comparing him to this and that, and saying he’s going to make the All-Star team, that’s a joke to me”. I have always maintained that the All Star Game is a showcase game and should be treated as such. Last year guys like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, even if they were just onto the scene, deserved to be there, and this year it’s the same for Puig
  • In case you didn’t figure it out from the section above, yesterday begin the international signing period. You can track the top 30 players and where they sign here.
  • Milton Bradley has been sentenced to more than three years in jail. Good for him. Have fun in there. You’ll fit right in since most people in jail blame others for their problems.

 

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail