Today the Cubs added yet another fringe arm to the roster, claiming 29-year-old lefty Alex Hinshaw off of waivers from the San Diego Padres. The Cubs transferred Arodys Vizcaino to the 60-day DL to open up a spot for Hinshaw on the 40-man roster.

Hinshaw pitched in relief for the Padres this year, mostly poorly, putting up a 4.50 ERA (remember, he pitches half the time at Petco) and a 1.536 WHIP over 28 innings. Before this season, Hinshaw spent a few years in the high minors with the Giants after making his debut with them back in 2008 and 2009.

Hinshaw has great stuff, as evinced by his huge K-rate throughout his career. He struck out 36 this year in those 28 innings of work, and his carer minor league rate is a robust 11.1 per 9.┬áHis worst enemy, however, has been his inability to stay in the zone – he’s walked an absurd 6.4 batters per 9 this year, which is only slightly worse than his career minor league mark of 6.2.

Generally-speaking, he’s thought of as a guy who could be a capable LOOGY, but until he figures out his control problems, he won’t have consistent success (that said, he has held lefties to a sub-.670 OPS this year, so I guess that is relative success). The Cubs are likely to let him pitch at AAA for the next week and a half, and then will bring him up in September when the rosters expand to 40. From there, the Cubs will get a solid month to evaluate what he’s got, and decide whether to keep him for 2013.

Hinshaw isn’t young, but, given the upside and the zero risk, I love this move.

UPDATE: Actually, Hinshaw is expected to join the Cubs *this* week, so they’ll have to bounce someone from the 25-man roster to add him. One of the Cubs’ younger bullpen arms could be shuffled back to Iowa to await September roster expansion.

  • nkniacc13

    good cheap move

  • TC

    I heard him on one of the Baseball Prospectus Podcasts awhile back, he seemed like a really cool guy, hope this works out for him and the Cubs

  • nkniacc13

    I’ll be interested to see how much work he and Rameriez get once they get to Sept and are likely called up. Since the Cubs basically have a lottery ticket with each of them it be nice if to see what they can do for the cubs and see if they can be cheap decent signings next year

  • @cubsfantroy

    Makes me wonder who they are going to bounce. I hope it isn’t Beliveau.

    • Njriv

      I really hope not.

  • nkniacc13

    Im guessing its Beliveau or Bowden

  • Picklenose

    Henshaw has pitched a total of 28 innings this year, allowing 43 men to reach base. That is an on-base percentage of .339. For comparison, Manny Corpas has .289 in 32 innings, Travis Wood .299 in 101 innings, Chris Volstad has .338 in 69 innings, and Randy Wells in .427 in 28 innings. Given Petco is a pitchers park and Wrigley is a hitter’s park Henshaw projects to be near Randy Wells territory. (I put the starters in just for comparison.) I am not sure this is a good pickup, but I will hope for the best.

  • Jackalope

    A left-handed Marmol.

  • http://Yes Dude

    He is a good dude. Knew him from his minor league days. He likes good looking ladies and weed.

  • J. Edwards

    Ouch! Brett, that’s rough, dude. You linked to his stats with the words “mostly poorly.”

    I’m not saying it isn’t true. But I feel for my newest Cubbie.

    • J. Edwards

      Also, this might have been a claim to prevent him from going to Pittsburgh and becoming good. They do that a lot with lefties who have control problems.

  • die hard

    Must be a clause in Theo’s contract that compensates him for finding pitchers…otherwise I cant explain this or other such moves

    • Carew

      Our bullpen sucks anyways and the season is lost. Why not give him a shot

    • nkniacc13

      well considering that the cubshavestruggled pitching and they don’t have rally antything ready to come up from the minors and the fact that they are going to have to find a couple arms next year why not make these kind of moves that bascally don’t cost much and gives the cubs a chance to find something useful to them this year or allow them to get them to maybe hold on to them next year and get something of value next trade deadine if they pan out next year. Plus when your not losing anyone off your 40 man thats worth missing it nda makes sense

      • die hard

        what would make sense would be to sign the top 2 free agent pitchers each to a contract worth $40-50 mil over 2 yrs with club option for 3rd at 25% boost in salary….then move Castro to 3B and promote Baez to 25 man…then platoon Soriano and Lahair over next 2 yrs….these moves would get them into contention for last playoff spot..

        • Carew

          I cannot tell if youre kidding…

          • nkniacc13

            my thoughts exactly

            • Cyranojoe

              He’s a troll. Always has been, always will be. Don’t feed the troll.

          • die hard

            Serious as a heart attack…got to do something to avoid last place next year..these would elevate them to at least .500

            • nkniacc13

              which would still not be good enough to make the playoffs

              • die hard

                could be for the last spot

                • Njriv

                  So you want to push Beaz from High A Daytona all the way to the big league club? You don’t see anything wrong with that or how that will hurt his development?

            • Tim

              move them to.500? baez would be completely overmatched in the majors right now. baez would move to third, not castro. Lahir cant hit a beachball. id rather let soriano start everyday.

        • nkniacc13

          Seroiusly thats stupid. First Lahair is likely gone to japan next year. 2nd make baez prove himself in AA atleast first. 3rd no TOR pitcher will sign on the FA market for 2 years ith an option for a 3rd. Also who cares about the last playoff spot win the divison

          • die hard

            win the division????!!!!…..Castro will be long gone before that happens

            • Carew

              Aint you a ray of sunshine

            • Chris

              die hard, that’s just nuts. Baez won’t be in AA at the start of next season. And it will be him that moves to 3rd, not Castro. While I don’t think LaHair will be going to Japan, he’s under the Cubs control, I’m hopfeful tha Soriano will be gone. What pitchers would you sign? Greinke? Dempster? Not much going to be available. No, this is going to be a long, steady progression. The last 100 plus years is not on Theo and Jed. They have been on the job less than a full year. If next year’s core players show promise, then maybe you start to dabble in free agency in 2014. Even then, I think that might be a little too soon. This is a rebuild. Signing free agents at this stage is the same crappy way Hendry did things. It’s not time for that yet.

    • Josh

      Because all we need is one of them to pay off and they are all worth it. You look at many good teams and they have at least one guy who has come from the bottom of the barrell

  • art

    most of the time the wind blows in at wrigley. Cell is a hitters park.

  • oswego chris

    with pitchers…and this is why I was not wild about trading Maholm….I would not strictly stick to under 27 guys all of the time…there are many pitchers who don’t figure it out until 29 or 30…then, you still might get 5 good years out of them…the Cardinals have made a living out of it….so give all of these guys a chance…bring back Prior, what do you have to lose?…there is no pitching in the system, and if these take a chance guys pitch well this year and next you have a trade chip…

    • nkniacc13

      I agree especially when you have 40 man spots that your not going to lose much by making these waiver claims. If you can get pitchers that don’t use a 40 man spot all the better but when you need the talent and you don’t have much to lose as well as a 40 man spot why not take a chance

    • mudge

      It hurt losing Maholm, but this is a cold-blooded front office doing what needs done. The seventh inning stretch singer during the Bartman game sang, “And it’s root, root, root for the cha-amps…” and I said out loud to an empty Florida motel room, “That’s a bad sign.” Anybody else take note or remember that? Never did blame Bartman for the ensuing disaster. Prior I just don’t want to see again.

  • Rooster

    Soler Update:

    Good stuff here…Cubs outfield prospect Jorge Soler is off to a torrid pace since being promoted from the Arizona League (rookie) to Class A Peoria. Soler went 4 for 5 with one double, one homer and two RBI Saturday. He is batting .391 (9 for 23) with two doubles, two homers and eight RBI in six games with Peoria. “The best thing he’s been doing is that he’s been paying attention to the pitcher and how they are pitching to him,” Peoria hitting coach Barbaro Garbey told “And his pitch selection has been good, and that will help him a lot. He shows great discipline at the plate and great patience, and that’s why he’s been successful. He will move up a little faster than expected if he continues to have a good pitch selection and the same approach he’s been showing at the plate and using the whole field. That’s the most important thing.”
    (Updated 08/19/12)

    • Dan

      Nice Info!

  • Master Dan

    Umm, what’s a LOOGY?

    • Master Dan

      Lefty One Out GuY , thanks!

  • lou brock lives

    The kid from UVA INF Stephen Bruno 8th round pick in the 2012 draft has been quietly putting up some impressive numbers in Boise this summer. Really like his TB & OBP numbers & his versatility in the infield. Along with the Saunders kid at SS in Peoria both these guys should be getting some ink for being some smart selections by the new FO in Chicago. I like the college kids who have the maturity & experience to contribute more quickly.

    • Drew7

      Hendry liked those college kids too, which is what gave us Fontenot, Theriot, and Barney (though the minor-league pitching is a better example, I think). They are certainly good assets to have, but generally seem to have lower ceilings.

      Hopefully, those 2 work out and can contribute for a year or two to help bridge the gap a bit, but Im a fan of what the FO did this past draft in targeting a lot of young, high-ceiling players.

  • cubsin

    One excellent example of a scrapheap guy who did well is Jamie Moyer. He was 20 games under .500 (34-54) after his first five big-league seasons. He couldn’t find any major league team willing to sign him the next year, so he spent the whole season in the minors. He just retired this year with a career record 60 games over .500 (269-209).

    Current examples with the Cubs include Matt Camp and Justin Germano. Considering that these guys don’t cost us any players, play for at or near the minimum and give our younger prospects more time to develop in the minor leagues. Keep up the good work, boys!

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