From the Wire: Cubs Call-Up INF Chris Valaika and RHP Blake Parker from Triple-A Iowa

The Cubs announced three roster moves Friday afternoon. The Cubs added LHP Felix Doubront to the 25-man roster and officially placed him on the 15-day DL. To take Doubront’s spot on the roster, the Cubs recalled RHP Blake Parker from Triple-A Iowa. Parker was optioned to Iowa prior to Wednesday’s game in order to create space on the 25-man roster for LHP Chris Rusin. The Cubs were able to recall Parker due to the injury to Doubront.

As expected, the Cubs purchased the contract of INF Chris Valaika from Triple-A Iowa, added him to the 40-man roster and recalled him from Iowa.

An update on the status of RHP Kyuji Fujikawa has not been provided.

With the addition of Chris Valaika, the Cubs 40-man roster officially stands at 39 players.

Chris Valaika has played all four positions in the infield for Iowa this season and two games in left field. In 102 games, the soon to be 29-year old (August 14) Valaika hit .278/.344/.423 with 21 doubles, 10 home runs and a .768 OPS.

PrintChris Valaika signed a minor league contract with the Cubs last winter that included a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Valaika made his Major League debut with the Reds on August 24, 2010 after Cincinnati took him in the third round of the 2006 draft.

Chris Valaika played in 22 games at the big league level for the Marlins last season. Valaika put together a .219/.261/.344 line with five doubles and a home run. In 55 games at the big league level, Valaika has his .244/.281/.362 with seven doubles, a triple, two home runs and a .644 OPS.

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  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    Not sure I get the purpose in bringing up Valaika…pedestrian numbers, already 29, and unlike Coghlan there is no history of past success to hint at a possible resurgence.

    Wasn’t there anyone better to bring up?

    • RickinMSP

      I think that is exactly why he was brought up. When they decide it is time to bring up the real prospects (Baez), he is easily disposed of.

      • paulcatanese

        Boy, some future to look forward to.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          What are you meaning there Paul? The Cubs future is beyond bright and I know you wouldn’t deny that. So I guess you mean something specific, what is it? Just curious, I respect your opinion.

          • paulcatanese

            Trying to be nice, I didn’t care for the callous way it was put. That’s all.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Was kind of callous..

        • paulcatanese

          That was meant to mean when the prospects are brought and he would be “easily disposed of.” That’s a bummer for him.

          • RickinMSP

            Sorry for causing offense, I wasn’t intending to be callous. Just meant to point out that Valaika isn’t really part of the future, and will be moved on from quickly when it is time for somebody else to move up. Much like has been discussed with many others on the ML roster, such as Jaye Chapman, Schierholtz, Jason Berkin, Dave Sappelt, etc., in the past couple of years.

          • paulcatanese

            No problem:)

    • Ripsnorter1

      There were no real [Logan Watkins is ready] prospects available [Logan Watkins is ready] to bring [Logan Watkins is ready] up at [Logan Watkins is ready] this [Logan Watkins is ready] time. Baez, [Logan Watkins is ready] and Bryant [Logan Watkins is ready] are not yet [Logan Watkins is ready] ready for [Logan Watkins is ready] Major [Logan Watkins is ready] league [Logan Watkins is ready] action.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        Logan called…he confirmed the restraining order is still in effect. Thought you should know.

      • John_CC

        Someone doesn’t agree with you. I know that is probably a shocker.

      • calicub

        I enjoyed it.

      • Tony_H

        I know with all the hype on Watkins on here, you might think he was a regular starter in Iowa. But he has 246 AB’s. Valaika has 352 AB’s. Even Josh Vitters has more AB’s than Watkins.

        Valaika has better numbers. The only reason I thought Watkins over Valaika is because I really didn’t think they would add him to the 40 man. I think Watkins gets a September call-up and will have a major league career as a utility infielder.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I thought the same. If were going off success there in AAA this season Vakaika has earned it.

      • triple

        Is Logan Watkins as good as “the excellent fielder” that is Ronny Cedeno?

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Valaika has numbers as good as Watkins. Why not his shot?

        • Ripsnorter1

          He’s not a prospect. He’s not the future. He’s a roster filler.

          If you want him, that’s fine by me. : )

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            We really don’t know what he is Rip. How much have you seen him play? He is older and probably is nothing. But he’s played well in AAA. And it’s not like Watkins is a super prospect that is being blocked. He’ll get his shot soon enough. But either one would be a bench player most likely next year and beyond. Let him up first. Watkins comes later. It’s a judgment call I guess and I think its hard to second guess with any vigor.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Tom, Tony and I all think he earned it. Rip and some others think it should have been Watkins. Either way it’s not a no-brained bad decision or anything. A judgment call. And I guess they gave it to the vet who’s had a better season. No biggie either way.

    • chuckleberry74

      I think it was kida nice of them to bring up Valaika. Having spent the majority of his time in the minors and being a 3rd round pick like 8 years ago, getting some time in the ML will earn him some decent coin before going back to being a minor leaguer and making no money. Besides, he plays all IF positions and could maybe showcase himself into a spring training invite next year with the Cubs or another team. He’s not a terrible player.

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  • John_CC

    Any thoughts on why not Watkins…Tom, Neil?

    And I am fine with giving Valaika a shot, but it is curious.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      yep…same question I have. Rip also it seems.

      • John_CC

        Actually you didn’t ask.

        Valaika was super hot earlier, he earned a call, maybe his last chance. What does it hurt?

        I’m just wondering what the deal with Watkins is.

        • JasonOfTheBurbs

          I didn’t say I asked…I give you full credit for positing before me.

          But I was wondering the same thing. It doesn’t “hurt” as much as seems utterly short-term and pointless when maybe Watkins would be a better long-term solution as a utility guy, so why not get him up and see how he adapts to mlb pitching…that was my though.

          • John_CC

            I got ya. But as Tony just learned us, Watkins might not be all that. I didn’t know he hadn’t been playing much.

            I think Rick is on to something.

          • Tony_H

            He has been playing a lot, but Valaika has been in the lineup all year and been the good soldier. He deserved the call-up.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Agree totally. He’s been better. He’s earned it.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            It’s not a significant call unless Baez is in the table. So who really cares either way? But numbers wise, Valaika has earned it over Watkins.

          • John_CC

            I agree Tony. Valaika earned it, I was calling for him back when he was hot and Barney was cold.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Here’s a real head scratcher….

    Sam Fuld was the only Major League player being offered by any of the teams interested in Tommy Milone, which is why the A’s swung the deal with the Twins to provide immediate outfield help given Coco Crisp and Craig Gentry‘s injury problems.

    Nate Schierholtz would have been a great trade just to get rid of him.

    • John_CC

      First, Beane was looking for CF to play while CoCo is down. And I don’t think he’d be much interested in Schierholtz (seems like no one is).

      • Ripsnorter1

        We have Ruggiano to deal for a SP for next year.

  • Tony_H

    Congrats to Valaika on his call-up! Well deserved!

    Also very creative in getting Parker back up.

    • triple

      Some might even say that adding Doubront to the 25-man roster so they can bring Parker back before 10 days was GOOD ROSTER MANAGEMENT…. oh, and I think that is what you were saying.

      • Tony_H

        I would say that! I never thought of it.

      • Tom U

        Bravo!

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        There have been many moves that a good reply would have been “good roster management.” But we never see that.

        Is it possible these guys are really good at their jobs?

  • Tom U

    I am a fan of Logan Watkins and I believe he will be a fine addition to anyone’s major league roster.

    Valaika has been a good soldier and done everything asked of him. He deserves the promotion.

    Watkins’ time will come.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Think Watkins will be our utility guy for the next 5 years? Or will someone want him as a starter?

      • Eugene Debs

        I doubt Watkins will have much of an MLB career. He’s a sub .270 hitter in AAA, where he has quite a few appearances. Physically, he’s not that gifted. Light results + light physical presence = he’d better have “intangibles.”

        I hope I’m wrong, but we have better options with a last place roster. So, as talent rises to the MLB level and ownership finds some change in the cushions to spend on free agents, Watkins will move on and hopefully prove me wrong with a decent benching role on the Twins or Rockies.

      • chuckleberry74

        Who was that guy who was our starting SS before Castro? Watkins is definitely better than him.

    • Bredstik

      Agreed. The Cubs must think somewhat highly of Valaika, as not only did they just use a forty man roster spot on him, but he batted cleanup for Iowa most of the season. He’s the guy who was batting between Baez & Bryant for that stretch.

      His being able to play all 4 IF positions is probably quite valuable right now also, as the Cubs just traded away their backup SS (Barney), backup 2B/3B (Bonifacio), and sent their backup 1B to Iowa (Olt).