The Cubs added a player to the system with the second pick in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft. The Cubs took right-handed pitcher Hector Rondon from the Cleveland Indians in the Major League phase of the draft. The Cubs also lost a pitcher, 22-year old right hander Starling Peralta. The Diamondbacks selected Peralta in the Major League phase and will have to remain on Arizona’s 25-man roster throughout the year or he can be offered back to the Cubs. Peralta has not pitched above Class-A ball.
The Cubs lost three players in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft. The Astros selected outfielder Michael Burgess with the first pick. The Cardinals took infielder Matt Cerda and Toronto selected right hander Alvido Jimenez in the minor league phase. The Cubs lost four players (two pitchers, an infielder and an outfielder) and picked up one in Thursday’s draft.
With the addition of Hector Rondon and once the signings of Kyuji Fujikawa and Nate Schierholtz are made official, the Cubs 40-man roster will stand at 40 players. Hector Rondon has struggled with injuries over the last three years. Rondon had Tommy John surgery in 2010 after being named the Indians’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2009. According to Baseball America, Rondon is healthy and throwing hard in Venezuela. The right hander turns 25 in February (February 26, 1988) and pitched in just two games (four innings) last season at the Double-A level.
Rondon missed most of 2012 after needing a second elbow surgery. When healthy, he shows good command of a low-90s fastball and tops out at 96.
The Diamondbacks selected the 22-year old Starling Peralta from the Cubs. Peralta has not pitched above Class-A ball and while he has a big arm, reports are that is very raw. Peralta was 5-8 in 20 games, 17 starts, last season with Peoria. In 99 1/3 innings, Peralta struck out 86 and walked 42 while allowing 80 hits (3.44 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP).
More on Peralta from Baseball America: Peralta’s stuff picked up in 2012 as once 88-92 mph fastball now sits 92-94. He pairs that with a slider that shows flashes of being a plus pitch. Held RHB to .613 OPS in 2012, which may help in likely move to bullpen if he’s going to stick.
The Cubs lost three players in the minor league phase: Michael Burgess, Matt Cerda and Alvido Jimenez.
The Cubs acquired Burgess from the Nationals in the Tom Gorzelanny deal. Burgess was selected by the Astros after putting together a .259/.350/.422/.772 line with 22 doubles and 10 home runs for the Smokies last season.
Matt Cerda was taken by the Cardinals after hitting a combined .241/.374/.317/.691 in 111 games for the D-Cubs and Smokies last season.
Toronto selected 21-year old right hander Alvido Jimenez in the minor league phase. Jimenez posted a 3-4 record in 15 games with the AZL Cubs (rookie ball) last year (2.64 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP)
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