Cubs add more arms
The Cubs brought back a pair of left-handers signing Gerardo Concepcion and Zac Rosscup to minor league deals after they were not tendered contracts for the 2017 season and become free agents. The also re-signed Conor Mullee, who was originally acquired on waivers from the Yankees back in November.
Concepcion has pitched in the Cubs organization for six seasons after signing a five-year, $6 million contact in 2012 after defecting from Cuba. A viral infection and back problems hampered his first two seasons and a broken toe limited the left-hander to 59.2 innings in 2014. After reaching AA in 2015, Concepcion went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 17.2 innings of relief for the Smokies to start last season. He was promoted to AAA and continued to have success, posting a 2.60 ERA over 17.1 innings with 17 punchouts. Concepcion was promoted to Chicago on June 21 and made his big league debut against the Cardinals and made two appearances in Miami before being sent back to Iowa. In his return to Des Moines, Concepcion struggled, allowing 30 runs in 24.2 innings with 42 hits and 14 BB. The return of Concepcion gives the Cubs another left-handed arm and if can figure out what went wrong at the end of 2016, could help the Cubs in 2017.
Rosscup missed the entire 2016 season after having arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder in early May. The 28-year-old battled the shoulder issue in 2015 and made three trips to Chicago, going 2-1 with a 4.39 ERA over 26.2 innings. Rosscup made his MLB debut back in 2013 with the North Siders, appearing in 10 games while sporting a 1.35 ERA in 6.2 relief innings. Rosscup bounced between Chicago and Iowa in 2014 but struggled at the big league level with a 1.95 WHIP and a 9.45 ERA over 18 games (13.1 IP). Hopefully, Rosscup can recover and return to help the Cubs if they need a left-handed arm during the season. Rosscup was originally drafted by the Rays back in 2009 (28th round) and part of the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs.
Cubs claimed the 28-year-old reliever Conor Mullee off waivers from the Yankees on Nov. 2 and then didn’t offer a contract for 2017, making him a free agent. The 6-foot-4 right-hander appeared in three games for the Yankees in 2016, making his MLB debut. He was placed on the 60-day DL in August with carpal tunnel syndrome like symptoms. Mullee tossed a career-high 58.2 innings in 2015 at three levels, going 3-3 with a 3.40 ERA in 24 games in AA. 2015 was only the second season he didn’t spend a 60-day stint on the DL—appearing in 14 games in the Gulf Coast League after getting drafted in the 24th round. Mullee, a 24th round pick in 2010, spent seven years in the Yankees system, missing 2011 and 2013 with injuries.
Venezuelan Winter League
Carlos Penalver entered the game in the top of the ninth as a pinch-runner and stayed in to play SS during Aragua’s 3-2 walk-off loss to Zulia. Bryant Flete was used as a pinch runner in the ninth for Zulia.
Dominican Winter League
Chesny Young was 0-for-4 in Escogido’s 3-2 loss to Aguilas and is just 2-for-his-last 18.....RH Juan Paniagua faced two hitters, allowing a fly out and a double during Estrellas 1-0 loss to Licey.
Puerto Rican Winter League
Corey Black improved to 2-0 and dropped his ERA to 0.43 with a scoreless ninth as Santurce won 3-2 on a walk-off in the bottom of the ninth.