Phil Rogers's post on Baseball | Latest updates on Sulia
Will the Cubs maneuver to make a pick in the Rule 5 draft on Dec. 6? They have the 2nd pick but
their 40-man roster is full. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have identified pitching as the organizational priority, and Baseball America lists some interesting pitchers who will be available in the draft. Among them are Angels' right-hander Ryan Chaffee -- "94-96 mph fastball with good life and he throws a slider that shows flashes of being a plus pitch'' -- Red Sox right-hander Josh Fields, who is 27 -- "in 2012 he improved his delivery, regained his velocity (up to 97 mph) and sharpened his power curveball'' -- Rangers right-hander Randy Henry -- "dominated in 2012 when pitching out of the bullpen (0.98 ERA at high Class A Myrtle Beach), could fit in a big league bullpen'' -- Royals left-hander Jon Keck -- "big arm (91-96 mph fastball) but his secondary stuff is still raw and he struggles to throw strikes'' -- Rays left-hander Braulio Lara -- "from a pure scouting standpoint; lean, athletic build and an easy delivery producing a mid-90s fastball with good life ... but went just 6-10, 5.71 in high Class A in 2012 -- Phillies right-hander Juan Sosa -- "yet to pitch above Class A but Sosa has some of the best stuff among Rule 5 eligibles with a 92-96 mph fastball and a (plus) curve'' -- and Rockies right-hander Coty Woods -- throws from a low, sidearm slot that gives a little extra deception and life to his 89-92 mph fastball, pitched well in the AFL (3.18 ERA in 11 IP). Baseball America points out that Boston surprisingly protected outfielder Alex Hassan. Perhaps the Red Sox felt the Cubs would snatch him. BA's description of Hassan: "Athletic and patient (.391 career OBP), the former Duke two-way player profiles more as a fourth outfielder with solid speed and a plus arm.'' Whether the Cubs take any of these guys, it's hard to believe they can let the Rule 5 draft go by without taking one, maybe even two or three guys. But they must clear some roster space first if they are going to do that.