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. Rotoworld.com.

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.

  • savant

    I have decided that I am starting a man crush on Henry Williamson. This man crush is going to make your previous infatuations with Gallagher, Williams, and Mitre seem silly in comparison. Is there any chance that you have a picture of Henry running on the beach in a one piece red swimsuit?

  • http://www.anothercubsblog.net MB21

    Williamson has a chance to be successful. He’s still got a year or two to go before he’ll be ready, if he ever is, but I like his peripherals a lot. It’s hard to find a guy who strikes people out and doesn’t walk many while doing it.

  • savant

    The low walk rate probably has a lot to do with his slightly advanced age for his league. I usually am not a fan of prospects who are old for their league, but he did a lot of bouncing around from college to college before he signed without pitching very many innings.

  • http://www.anothercubsblog.net MB21

    For what it’s worth, league average age for that league is around 22.6. He just turned 23 in November so he was about league average in age.

  • savant

    Thanks mb, the man crush is now completely out of control.

  • http://www.anothercubsblog.net MB21

    I wouldn’t get too worked up just yet. I think he’s a promising prospect for sure, and one that could rise through the system quickly in 2009, but there’s just so much that can wrong between now and when he may get to the big leagues. Keep that in mind.

  • savant

    All I know is I haven’t felt anything like this since Will Ohmen dominated the Dominican league before elbow surgery.

  • http://www.anothercubsblog.net MB21

    Keep you eye out on Jay Jackson this season as well as Aaron Schafer and Chris Carpenter. Jackson is healthy and very good, but Scafer and Carpenter are both coming off injuries and have tremendous potential.

  • Ace

    Savant, you’re crackin’ my shit up.

    Jackson is in danger of becoming the next Donald Veal of the Cublogoverse in terms of hype. I’m excited to see what he does next year now that he’s thoroughly on the radar.