In a somewhat surprising move, the Chicago Cubs are swapping out relievers today in addition to the Tony Campana move. Marcos Mateo, who has shown flashes of electric stuff, but has struggled to pitch consistently well, has been sent out to AAA Iowa. Taking his place will be lefty reliever Scott Maine.

Maine, 26, was expected to crack the Cubs bullpen out of Spring Training after a solid showing with the big club in 2010, but a couple crummy outings doomed his bid, and he was sent to Iowa to try and reclaim his spot. At Iowa, Maine sparkled on a team that gave up a ton of runs. He’s got a 2.84 ERA in 19 innings with 21 Ks. His WHIP is 1.263.

Mateo, 27, made the Cubs on the strength of his potential. The production never quite met the potential (and it didn’t help that he was exposed in high leverage situations *cough* *last night* *cough*), and he heads out with a 5.74 ERA in 15.2 innings pitched. He struck out 17, but allowed 30(!) baserunners.

  • http://BleacherNation Bric

    So the illegitamate love child of Alfonseca and some 4 fingered chick is on his way back to Iowa. Experiment over. Scott Maine, you’re up. Jeff Stevens, you’re on deck. Rafeal Dolis, you’re in the in the hole. And the joke of the “depth” of the Cubs minor league pitching system continues… Thanks Jim and Tim, for all the pitching depth you’ve provided us.

  • pfk

    Makes you scratch your head when you hear people freak out that Tim W. might leave if Jim H. gets canned.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    And some people think Hendry has done a good job in building his minor league system. It’s average at best. Middle of the pack.

    • Ace

      Given the theoretical financial advantage, the system could definitely be a lot better. But I’m of the mind that the Cubs do have one of the top 10 systems in baseball, even after the Garza trade. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be even better.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    I trust your opinion, Ace. I just based mine on the rankings I see from Baseball America and the like. Most publications put the Cub’s system lower than 15th. As for Hendry trading players at the deadline, while I’d like to see him gone before then, I don’t think it’ll happen.

    • Ace

      Agreed – I just don’t see it.

      As for the prospects thing, I’m largely shooting from the hip. The Cubs were a top 10 system by those publications before the Garza deal, but that was before considering Szczur and Ruby Silva, both of whom are first-round type talents. I just think the publications crushed the Cubs because it was the easy thing to do after the trade.

      But I wouldn’t put too much stock in my opinion, if I were you. I know a fair bit about the Cubs’ system, but not a whole lot about the other 29.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    You’re right about their system being ranked higher before the Garza trade. You also know more about their system than I do. I’m basing my opinion solely on the rankings I read about.

  • roughriider

    Rankings don’t mean anything. Baseball America gets it wrong more than it gets it right.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    So you’re saying that an individual’s personal opinion of the Cub’s system is usually more accurate than publications that have been doing it for years. Good to know. In that case, I believe the Cubs have the best player development system in baseball. World Series here we come.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    The results are in. Cashner reaggravated his shoulder injury. He’ll be out past the All-Star break.

    • TWC

      Coincidentally, the Cubs will be out well before the All Star breakā€¦

    • Ace

      Front page beat you to that one.

  • http://Bleachernation Bric

    Ranking prospects is a crap shoot in every league but none more so than baseball. Even the so called experts like Keith Law don’t have the time or ability to actually grade every prospect personally, with about two hundred minor league and 500 college teams to evaluate (which means about 15,00 games). So you have to take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt.
    However, I do trust the clear “keepers”- the top 100 or 200 prospects. To look at what hendry and Wilken have done is simple: 3 years ago the Cubs were tied for second (K.C was no.1 at 7)with San Fran at five top 100 prospects: Cashner, Vitters, Castro, Colvin, and Lee. Since then Vitters hasn’t gone anywhere, Casher’s been bumped around, Colvin’s been sent down, Vitters is a bust and Lee’s gone.
    Long story short, statistically the Cubs were only able to produce one legit player (so far) out of their top five, which was one of the best in baseball. So how can anyone claim that we have a deep solid minor league system when the biggest names now are Brett Jackson (who plays a position he’ll never find a place to play) and a bunch of other guys who aren’t even ranked? Again- this system has become the Pirates with 4 times the fanbase and payroll. A joke.

  • Curt

    Anyone watching this bs tonight blow this up now fire hendry bench the terrible defense
    Most of them don’t hit anyway how many to
    Dd can u miss a cut off man the freaking errors come
    On put the best def possible are We here to win of play the expensive players damn we stink