Tomorrow night, AAA lefty Brooks Raley will be called up to take Matt Garza’s spot in the rotation, at least temporarily. Given Garza’s uncertain time table for return, this could be a one start deal, or a multiple start look. Indeed, if Raley looks good, the Cubs might figure out a way to keep him up and in the rotation even after Garza returns. The Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 39 right now, so, absent another move, the addition of Raley should bring it to an even 40.
Raley, 24, started the year at AA Tennessee, putting up a 3.51 ERA over 8 starts before getting promoted to Iowa. There, he’s started 14 times, posted a 3.62 ERA and 1.402 WHIP (both pretty good for the PCL), and was the Cubs’ minor league pitcher of the month for July. His K/BB ratio has gotten better as he’s progressed through the system, reaching a solid 2.46 with Iowa.
He was drafted back in 2009 out of Texas A&M in the 6th round, and the Cubs paid him way over slot to get him to sign as a draft-eligible sophomore. In other words, the Cubs liked what they saw back then. His ceiling is no higher than a 4th or 5th starter type, but it’s nice to see him getting a look in advance of 2013. As with many of the other young players making their debut this year, the Cubs would like to know what they have going into the offseason.
One final note on Raley: when the Cubs’ minor league camp broke this Spring, and players were sent out to their individual teams, Raley was held back a couple extra days. One reason why? The Cubs’ brass wanted to get an extra look at him.