Cubs Claim OF Cole Gillespie

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July 14, 2013 by Ryan S

The Cubs claimed 29-year old outfielder Cole Gillespie off waivers from the Giants last night, and he is expected to join the Cubs Sun. night in Chicago to take on the Cardinals.

A right handed hitter, Gillespie will likely take at-bats against left handed pitching, filling the void left by the Scott Hairston trade to the Nationals.  Until now, the Cubs had carried an extra pitcher on their roster, and a corresponding move will be necessary today for Gillespie to join the Cubs.

So who will it be?  Well, James Russell is the Cubs’ only southpaw in the bullpen, so even with his recent struggles, he is safe.  Pedro Strop and Matt Guerrier have pitched very well since joining the Cubs, and they are also likely safe.

Now let’s talk about Hector Rondon, Kevin Gregg and Blake Parker.  Gregg is obviously safe, he’s the closer and he’s pitched very well this season.  Parker owns a 2.04 ERA and is likely to replace Gregg in a closing role once Gregg is dealt, assuming he is.  Parker has been pitching well in setup roles so far.

Rondon is a rule-five pick, and no matter how poorly he does, at this point, he’s likely to stay with the Cubs.  This is frustrating given that he has performed so poorly virtually every time out of the pen, but it’s the way it goes when you are rebuilding.

This leaves Henry Rodriguez and Michael Bowden.  Well, Rodriguez has pitched in five games for the Cubs, and pitched well in most of them.  His last time out though, he gave up three hits and walked two ending in two earned runs while retiring no one.

Bowden has already been designated for assignment once this season, May 21 when Matt Garza made his return to the Cubs.  Bowden pitched once since his return to the Cubs and just faced one batter, whom he retired.  So who will get DFA’d?

My guess is Bowden, because Rodriguez has an average fastball velocity of 97.1, and Bowden’s is just under 90.  If you designate a guy who can throw that hard (Rodriguez), he will be claimed.  Bowden has already been DFA’d once this season and cleared waivers.  Expect him to clear again.

That’s it for this one, go Cubs!

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