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I often note that, because I’ve got a youngin’ who doesn’t sleep all that well, I go to bed pretty early when possible (and you often tell me to shut up about it). A Friday night game that ends at 10pm ET offers a perfect time for me to go to bed early. So I did, and I missed quite the explosion of rumors and concerns and theories and speculation about why the Cubs were suddenly expected to call up Welington Castillo, something that broke late last night.

A Geovany Soto injury? A trade? What could it be!?

Actually, it’s relatively mundane (though a bummer): Steve Clevenger has felt tightness in his side, and, rather than risk aggravating the injury, the Cubs are sending him to the DL, and calling up Welington Castillo to hold down the back-up catcher job in the interim.

Castillo, 25, raked in Spring Training like Clevenger, but lost out in the back-up battle for two primary reasons: (1) the Cubs wanted to see him play regularly at AAA, and (2) Clevenger bats left-handed. Clevenger has been great as a back-up, and Castillo has been hitting well at AAA. So, all was working well with the decision, I suppose. Now, hopefully Castillo will get a few starts in his 15-or-so days with the Cubs, and the Cubs can see what they have in him should they elect to trade Geovany Soto at some point later this year. I’m actually really looking forward to seeing Castillo get some games.

  • Stan

    I was one of the first ones to start up the trade-talk and speculation on Twitter last night. When John (@CubsDen) told me it was a possible injury (He said Soto, who looked to jog back awkwardly after the 9th, not Clevenger) my hopes of a trade were crushed haha. It was fun to do however.

    But hey! It made sense! A roster spot needs to be opened up for Dempster. We can’t send Campana down and I don’t think sending Randy Wells back down is the best move to make. I guess more waiting is in store for us…

    • Jay Anderson Jr

      I think the best move is to let Lendy Castillo go and move Volstad to the bullpen. This keep the Wells up, and helps the bullpen also. This is actually not a knock on Volstad as much as I don’t think Wells can pitch in the pen. However, I don’t see a bright future for him as a starter, why not go to the bullpen, reinvent himself and lengthen his career.

      • hansman1982

        Don’t look now by Volstad has a 3.20 FIP on the season. Wells bestest ever FIP? 3.88. Wells is the one who needs to go to the pen.

        He also has a 4.00 K/BB ratio, .8 HR/9, and a 1.273 WHIP.

        In summary, vote no on Prop 32 and keep Volstad in the rotation.

        • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

          I agree, Volstad has pitched much better than his numbers indicate and I wouldn’t worry about him moving forward.

        • Jay Anderson Jr

          As I said before, I could care less about all that. Volstad gives up runs. A lot of runs. Always has. Always will. More then Wells. The games are decided by runs. I don’t ever see Bud Selig tell a team you gave up more runs, but since you FIP is lower and you struck out more guys, I’m going to give your team the win. Volstad need to be sent to the pen. He will never be an average pitcher, better yet, an above average pitcher as a starter. He has great stuff however. If you put him in the Pen, let him go all out for one inning or up to three in long relief I think he could possibly become pretty dominant. At this rate as a starter, hes looking at being non-tendered in the offseason when the upgrading starts.

          • Kyle

            He hasn’t given up more runs than Wells this season. Despite facing much more difficult competition.

            • Jay Anderson Jr

              If you dont get off that AAA BS. Even Theo and Jed know that was all because of the situation Wells was facing. He never pitched that bad in the majors, better yet the minors. His stint in AAA was basicly his training camp. He had to get stretched back out because he was unfairly never given that chance in the spring, plus he was working on things to do that. I willing to bet its not wells that leaves the rotation.

              • Ogyu

                Yea, quit trying to confuse the issue with “facts,” Kyle.

                • ferrets_bueller

                  LMAO! Take it easy on Jay, he’s a Lebron/Heat fan. They don’t do all that well with facts.

                  • Jay Anderson Jr

                    You mean the fact that they sent the sorry Chicago Bulls and the LVP DRose(what a joke of a basketball player) packing, and will do it again this year. BTW, not a heat fan, just a Lebron fan. My team is the TWolves.

      • JulioZuleta

        We’re not going to be any good anyways. I’d like to stash Lendy for ther year. He has an exciting arm, is young, and just became a pitcher 2 years ago I believe.

        • ferrets_bueller

          This. Keep him, send him back to AA/AAA next year, and get a free filthy bullpen arm.

  • Iceman

    Not sure that Wells has done enough not to expect a return to the AAA rotation when Dempster is back next week. IMO best option is to send him down when Dempster returns then DFA Camp when Wood is ready. Best long term benefit to the Cubs is to keep Wells starting (even if it is at AAA), not to stash him in the bullpen. If they wanted him in relief then it seems they would have done it to start the season instead of putting RoLo on the active roster.

    • Johnny

      Can someone explain to me why every time we need to clear a bullpen roster spot people immediately say “Let’s just let go of Camp” or “DFA Camp”? What has Camp done to make so expandable? Yeah he’s gotta 4.5 ERA but thats what people expected coming in. Right now he’s rocking a 3.01 FIP and a 3.42 xFIP, second on the bullpen to only James Russell but he also has yet to allow a run and has an xFIP of 4.56. Camp has arguably been the Cubs best reliever, and he has the most innings out of the pen out of anyone, so I imagine he’s gonna stick around this year. Castillo really needs to go.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        The Cubs want to build Camp’s value in the hopes that they can deal him midseason for a mediocre prospect. Of this, I am certain. As long as he’s pitching passably, they’ll keep him.

        • Johnny

          And I completely agree with that, trust me. I’m just so sick of people immediately saying let’s let go of Camp in late April/Early May when he’s been the Cubs best reliever

      • Iceman

        Personally I said DFA him because he is a middle of the road middle reliever with not much upside. These guys are a dime a dozen. I would rather see what they have in Maine or Castillo and possibly develop a guy that could help the team down the road than lose Castillo or send Maine back to AAA just to keep Camp. However, if Brett is right and the front office thinks he can be someone that could bring back assets at the deadline I can trust their judgement on that.

  • MaxM1908

    Brett,
    2 Questions. First, have you heard anything about Ryan Flaherty? Is it possible the Orioles will return him to the Cubs since he’s struggling a bit? Second, if the Orioles did return him, would he have to join the 40-man roster, or would he be able to be a non-roster minor leaguer?

    • hansman1982

      The question is, if he is struggling with the Orioles do we really want him back?

      • MaxM1908

        Absolutely if we don’t have to add him to the 40 man. We left him off the 40 man because he wasn’t ready for the bigs yet. The Orioles hyper promoted him in order to keep him. If we could return him to Tennessee or Iowa with no repercussions, I’d be all for it.

        • hansman1982

          The dude is going to be 26 by the end of this season. If he wasn’t worthy of 40-man protection, then I don’t think another season or two in the minors is going to do much and I think we need the room there more than we need Flaherty. Then again, I may just share in the front office’s irrational hatred of the traditionally maligned European heritages (like Ben Kerploofekel).

          • bt

            I’m fairly certain that since we lost him because he wasn’t on the 40 man roster, we would not have to add him to the 40 man roster if he is returned.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Without researching (gonna do a post at some point soon on all former Cubs, including Flaherty and Gonzalez), I believe this is how it goes: the Orioles offer him back to the Cubs, they decide whether they want to pay the $25K to get him back. If they do, they put him on the 40-man roster, OR put him on waivers, at which point he might be grabbed by another team with an open 40-man spot. If he clears waivers, he can be put back in the minors, not on the 40-man.

    • Spencer

      I think the O’s may want to keep Flaherty around at least for a little while longer because Reynolds has been absolutely abysmal at third this season. If Reynolds starts hitting, it’ll be interesting to see if Flaherty becomes expendable.

  • MaxM1908

    This probably sounds awful, but I was really disappointed this morning when I woke up and saw that Clevenger was heading to the DL rather than Soto. I know I should have a lot of faith in the veteran, but boy, I would much rather see the Castillo-Clevenger duo for awhile rather than the Soto-Castillo duo. I read somewhere that Castillo may get 2-3 starts per week so they can see what they have in him while he’s up. I wouldn’t mind seeing as much as possible of him while SC is on the DL.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Don’t you think it’s in the best interests of the organization for Geo to play as much as possible to get out of his funk and see if he can put up 2010 numbers again? What do the Cubs have to lose by playing Geo until the trade deadline?

      • MaxM1908

        You’re absolutely right. That’s why I acknowledged how awful it sounds. Basically, I get frustrated watching him struggle, and I’d have more enjoyment watching the young guys compete. So, it’s a purely selfish sentiment.

  • rcleven

    Been watching the catchers on the opposite teams the Cubs have played this year.Only seen one that better than Soto. Unless Clevenger or Castillo can hit with as much or more power than Soto he is a asset to the Cubs. Soto has been crushing the ball but have not been falling in. Be careful what you ask for in a trade.

  • JK

    What the Cubs have to lose by playing Soto is the opportunity cost of major league experience for Clevenger and Castillo. We know what Soto can do. We’ll never know what Clevenger or Castillo can do regularly until they play regularly.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Right, and they can play regularly starting in August 2012 and then continuing into 2013, 2014, and hopefully beyond. 2 more months isn’t going to hurt them.

  • Ivy Walls

    Transparent move, test drive Castillo and project whether a platoon of Castillo/Clevenger will work….Soto moves to TB and soon we will see when Marmol is sold off to SF possibly with LaHair.

  • Stu

    Castillo/Clevenger are the future. Soto will be played until someone who is desperate enough to overpay with a trade. That is how Byrd was traded. Bosox were in a bind and had to give up a decent relief pitcher for a .070 hitter/good defense player in the final year of a contract.

    The front office can probably play this game as long as there is enough revenue coming in. No pressure to mortgage the future to win now, yet.

  • Stu

    What is the trade scenario for Marmol/LaHair to SF? Do we have to bundle to dump the silly Marmol contract? Can we include Soriano?

  • Njriv

    Soto to me seems like he needs a change of scenery, and if not him, his mullet needs to go!

  • ferrets_bueller

    Glad to see Boots getting a chance with the Cubs. Hopefully they give him starts right away.

  • Kyle

    I’m not really ready to declare Castillo/Clevenger THE future of Cubs catchers.

    If we can’t find anything better, sure. But if we want to be a long-term playoff team, those guys don’t exactly project to unassailable starters. More like acceptable placeholders.

    • JustSwain

      What do you see in Clevenger that you don’t like? I just checked out his minor league stats and I’m surprised that he is as under the radar as he is. He’s been a high average doubles machine throughout his entire Minor league career. He has a career .308 average in the minors. The last time we had a catcher hit over .300 was Michael Bar….ohhh I see. Seriously though I’d be interested to hear the source of your trepidation about Clevenger.

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