Goatriders of the Apocalypse

2-Out 2-Strike LaTroy heads West

In a move that will cause much joy for much of the Cubs Blog Army, LaTroy is taking his ball and heading West. It has been reported on the Cubs broadcast that LaTroy has been traded with cash for Jerome Williams and David Aardsma.

This is an excellent trade for the Cubs. LaTroy was finished as a Cub, and regardless of how much talent he had, he was never going to succeed here in Chicago. He was misused and that is unfortunate, but that is all in the past. Now we have two terrifically talented pitchers to add to the mix.

Jerome Williams has not pitched much this year, and has struggled when he has, but in 2003 & 2004 he started 20+ games each year, posting ERA+'s of 130 & 105 respectively, which is pretty nice. This year he only has 16 innings and will report to AAA Iowa for now.

David Aardsma has only thrown 10+ innings in the majors and with little success, but he throws extremely hard and has done well in the minors. He shouldn't be another Andy Pratt. He will report to AA West Tennessee. It is also worth mentioning that Aardsma has the first entry in the Baseball Almanac, right before Hank Aaron. So, if nothing else, it is good PR for the Cubs.

I expect that Williams will take Prior's spot in the rotation when the time comes, and we will probably see Aardsma up in the bullpen one of these days. He should receive the tag of "closer of the future" as of today.

In another move, Prior was disabled and Roberto Novoa was called up. This puts our rotation at Zambrano, Maddux, Rusch, Mitre, and ?. I'm guessing Williams.

Tommy

Hawkins was a scapegoat and on this team any goat is b-a-a-a-a-ad!

James

I'm guessing Wellemeyer after yesterday's performance, Rich Hill or Ricky Nolasco, with Williams and Renyel Pinto on the outside. Regardless, this team has to make the decision pretty quick. We still don't know who will replace Hawkins on the roster, but Cubs.com reports both Williams and Aardsma will report to the minors. Leicester will probably take another trip on the yo yo until they figure out what to do with their fifth starter, which they'll need on Wednesday.

Jason R.

I was sort of the impression that they were sending Williams to AAA just so they didn't have to make a roster move right away. I agree Wellemeyer would be a fine choice, but I just don't see why the would make the trade for Williams at that point if not to play Williams...not that it wasn't a good trade regardless. But I really feel this team is still thinking in the present, so they would try and get someone that would help in the present.

Boilerfan

My money is on Wellenmeyer or Valdez taking the spot start.

10man

Latroy was never really comfortable here. I wish him well in SF. I heard somewhere that Leceister might be the one to take Prior's spot on the roster. Not sure who takes Hawkins spot though...

Jason R.

Alright, I'm wrong. Dusty was saying before the game that Williams has to get in shape before he will be pitching well. But maybe he will pitch for us after the All-start break.

James

Jason... you must have also been under the assumption that he was in the Giants' rotation and pitching well... he was actually on the Giants' AAA team and pitching horribly. He has a lot to prove before I consider him ready to start a major-league game. He's still a big-time talent to have, but it would be worth it to find out if he's hurt before we start pressuring him to take over Mark Prior's starts. Same goes for David Aardsma.

It's not to avoid making a roster move, because they could just plug either one of them into the major-league roster spot Hawkins vacated. They haven't made a move because they don't know who is going to make the start next Wednesday and don't know whether to call up a starter or a reliever. They're definitely not going to call up Hill, Nolasco (anyone from their AA team, for that matter. That team is on fire and they'd be well to leave it that way), or Pinto just to have them replace Todd Wellemeyer as a long reliever.

Valdez could be another story though, and he's someone I haven't fully considered yet even though I was high on him coming out of spring training.

James

10man... Novoa took Prior's spot on the roster. Hawkins spot is still unclaimed. Although there's really no difference.

Jason R.

Thanks for all the info, James. Good stuff. I knew that Williams had struggled this year, I just usually go on the assumption that teams acquiring pitchers will want to show them off. How else did Andy Pratt make the teamlast year?

Plus, there was nobody of note at AAA. Sounds like Valdez or Wellemeyer are a solid bet. At this point, though, I'm just totally guessing.

James

As we all are... I'm just very familiar with the two pitchers we just acquired, so my excitement level is very high. They're not the two best young pitchers in the Giants organization, but they're pretty close. It's almost renewed my faith in the Cubs front office... now go get us some hitting, Master Hendry!

James

Mystery solved... for now. Leicester will join the team in LA, which probably means Wellemeyer will get the start on Wednesday. The pitching staff now looks like this

Zambrano rhp
Rusch lhp
Maddux rhp
Mitre rhp
Wellemeyer rhp

Leicester rhp
Novoa rhp
Bartosh lhp
Ohman lhp
Borowski rhp
Wuertz rhp
Dempster rhp

I am not at all confident in the ability of this pitching staff to hold onto this .500 record going into LA and SD then facing Toronto and Boston at home. If we're still .500 by the end of next week, I'd be very happy.

James

ok... apparently not Wellemeyer, seeing as he just entered the game in the 7th inning relieving Greg Maddux. Leicester would be a bad idea... so would starting any of our final four on three days rest.

Jason R.

Okay, who had John Koronka is the pool? He will make his Major League debut on Wednesday. He has been no-so-good this season, but who knows.

foledog

John Koronka? that's the best we can do? ugh...i think i'm drinking through tomorrow's game

James

Yeah... we were going about this all wrong. The Cubs were full on their 40-man roster before the Hawkins trade (they had to put Nomar on the 60-day DL to fit both Williams and Aardsma), so we should have looked at candidates on the 40-man roster (we can later discuss the merits of DFA-ing Koronka or Rohlicek or Crouthers, who retired, Fox or Soto or... there's sure a lot of schlock on this roster). This eliminates Valdez, Hill, Nolasco, Carlos Vazquez... all of the youngsters. That made Williams, Aardsma, Koronka, and Pinto, the most likely contenders to start on Wednesday as well as Wellemeyer.

Everything I've read says the reason it's Koronka is because he's the most stretched out of the candidates, and that might be true. He's pitched at least four innings in all 10 of his appearances this year and has only failed to pitch at least 5 innings in two of his starts. He's also won three of his last four starts, contributing to shut outs in two of them.

Wellemeyer did pitch some extended innings on Saturday after Prior left, but Baker doesn't want to ruin his bullpen mojo after already losing Hawkins... but one of them will have to ride the Iowa El Train when they call up Koronka. Start placing your bets now: Leicester 3-2; Novoa 5-1; Bartosh 12-1; Field 10-1; Baker... if giving that odds would only make it true, I'd put the whole North of Wrigley Field Bank on it.

I'd be very happy to see Williams pitch brilliantly in his first start with Iowa on Tuesday and then take the next go around for the fifth starter slot on June 6th against Toronto... of course by then we might need him to replace Mitre if he can't re-find his first-start form.

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