Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

A couple of new faces showed up on the Cubs’ doorstep yesterday in exchange for outfield Felix Pie – you know, the guy that the whole world knew the Cubs had to trade because he was out of options and out of a spot on the Cubs’ bench.

Considering that, the Cubs made out all right for Pie.

Olson has been a mess in the majors so far, going 10-13 with a 6.87 ERA and 111/90 K/BB ratio in 165 innings spread over 33 starts. However, he’s still just 25 years old and has the stuff to succeed as a mid-rotation starter after posting a 3.12 ERA and 159/55 K/BB ratio in 164 1/3 innings at Triple-A. Command will be the key, because his high-80s fastball isn’t going to overpower anyone. Olson will compete for the fifth starter job that looks like Sean Marshall’s to lose and could end up back in the minors.

Baseball American had Olson as the Orioles’ 6th best prospect in 2007 (the last year he was eligible). Perhaps the most important thing about Olson? The Padres tried to get him from the O’s for Khalil Greene.

A word or two on Williamson, after the jump.

Williamson, 23, spent most of last season in the New York Penn League before a late-season promotion to Single-A. While he has terrific size and racked up 42 Ks in just 29 innings, low-level relievers rarely make it all the way through to the majors.

Williamson had great peripherals last year, but did it as a kind of old guy in a pretty low league. Seems like a bit of a throw-in given his age, but Another Cubs Blog had some very positive things to say:

The guy obviously misses a lot of bats and doesn’t put runners on base via the free pass.  If there’s anything more important than either of those it’s home runs allowed and he’s allowed only 0.4 HR/9 in his professional career.  The ERA does seem a bit high, but I’d pay more attention that WHIP which is outstanding—1.13.  In 2008 the guy had a K/BB ratio of 42/5.  that’s GOOD.  He did give up 1.2 HR/9 at his first stop in Low A in 2009, but that may or may not be an aberration.

If either of these guys, or the three acquired from the Indians for Mark DeRosa actually stick with the Cubs, it’ll be interesting to watch them this season.

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