Cubs Sign Interesting Pitching Prospect Dayan Diaz and Other Bullets

dayan diaz astrosYou know what’s fun? “Liking” BN on Facebook, and then telling your friends. You’ll see – it’s like playing peek-abo with a dozen kittens wearing tuxedos.

  • One of the Cubs’ myriad minor league signing/non-roster invites slipped by me (and everyone else) when it happened, so I just now noticed him on the Cubs’ non-roster invite list: 23-year-old righty reliever Dayan Diaz, who’d previously been with the Astros. He’s got a very interesting story: a promising young arm pitching in Venezuela back in 2008 (he’s originally from Colombia), he was set to come over to the States as a 19-year-old. But then an injury took all of his 2009 season and almost all of his 2010 season (it appears to have been Tommy John surgery), so he was back to square one in 2011. At age 22, old for the league but young in pitching, Diaz dominated short season A-ball as a hybrid starter/reliever. In 2012, he was in A-ball, and he tore it up again in relief (sub-2.00 ERA, 10 K/9, 1.200 WHIP), though he’s obviously got some control issues to work on (4.6 BB/9). Because of his long time in the minor leagues, dictated largely by the injury, he was a free agent after the season. In other words, he appears to be more of a “prospect” than a legitimate threat to compete for a spot in the bullpen to open 2013. That doesn’t mean he’s not a very interesting name to watch, though. I bet he got the big league Spring Training invite as an incentive to sign with the Cubs, because there had to be many, many teams interested.
  • Kerry Wood, among other things, talks about what it was like to play in the Steroid Era, and have to deal with insinuations and questions regularly.
  • Former Cubs reliever Manny Corpas, whom the Cubs elected not to keep at the end of the 2012 season, has gone back to the Colorado Rockies on a minor league deal, where he might wind up being a part of their four-man/eight-man rotation as one of the piggyback pitchers (though the Rockies aren’t set for sure on doing that again this year). I remain fascinated by the concept, particular on a team like the Rockies, who might have trouble landing quality free agent starters in the first place because of the ballpark. I really hope they do it again, because I want to see the results over a full season.
  • Carrie Muskat notes that Cubs pitcher Justin Berg is now former Cubs pitcher Justin Berg, having signed a minor league deal with the Rockies.
  • Sammy Sosa is getting a lot of grief because he owns a new company that sells a needle-less delivery system for injections, but I think we probably shouldn’t joke about it too much. The product is designed to help people who need regular shots – like insulin – but who are afraid of needles. That’s actually a pretty laudable product, no?
  • It’s the 5000th day anniversary of the Cubs game in which a team scored in every single inning for the first time in decades. Of course, that team wasn’t the Cubs – it was the Rockies, who won 13-6.
  • Bloomberg Sports (a solid entity, I should note) has a video series on players whose careers were cut short by injuries. Here, you can watch them talk about Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, because you’re a masochist.
  • Speaking of Kerry Wood and video, how about a much happier video? Here’s Wood answering a wide range of questions – baseball-related and otherwise – on CSNChicago:

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

77 responses to “Cubs Sign Interesting Pitching Prospect Dayan Diaz and Other Bullets”

  1. ETS

    That picture looks like a screwball or, at very least, a hard breaking 2 seamer.

    1. bails17

      Most all pitches will look like that right after release. It’s called pronation.

    2. Cooper R

      Could’ve been a circle change

  2. CubFan Paul

    Tough to lose manny corpas (was under team control) in my opinion. He should be much better another year removed from surgery.

  3. Spriggs

    I’m hardly going to recognize anyone in camp this spring!

  4. bubbleshargrave

    hey brett, i love the website and am a daily visitor who rarely comments. while you usually do a fine job of not allowing sentiment to cloud your judgement, i’ve gota say i’m kind of sick of all the sammy love on here lately. he was an obvious cheater who disgraced the game and his organization. just dont get allthe references to him and why don’t the cubs welcome him back? it would seem very obvious from where i stand.

    1. preacherman86

      cheater or not, baseball owes him a ton of thanks! Him and Mark McGwire nearly single handedly brought baseball back into the good graces of this country. It was nearly dead in the water, aside from die hard and religiously loyal fans, following the lockout in the late 90s, and the slugfest that resulted in McGwire bombing 70 and Slammin Sammy ended with 66 brought a new and rejuvenated audience who loved the long ball. Did he cheat? certainly with the corked bat, and possibly with roids, but without those two, we may not be discussing such things as mega-tv deals, or profitability.

    2. MichiganGoat

      So if we suspect someone without any concrete evidence then we have the power to convict? Hmmm I guess the legal system and democracy has changed while I was napping. Good to know.

      1. Paul Popovich rules!

        Concrete evidence is only required in legal procedings. The court of public opinion is a free for all.

        1. DarthHater

          And we have torches and pitchforks, too! So, watch out, Goat! ;-)

        2. MichiganGoat

          And know we know why public opinion has no legal importance is so often wrong.

        3. MichiganGoat

          And the legal term Slander comes to mind when discussing a public opinion that attacks a person’s character.

          1. DarthHater

            You might as well let that term pass right on through your mind, Goat. Cuz you’re never going to make a charge of slander stick to a blog discussion.

            1. MichiganGoat

              True ;) … Wait this isn’t a legal preceding (I’m learning a lot today) just wanted to make the point that public opinion is absolute without consequences. But yeah you are correct

            2. Internet Random

              If it’s a blog, it’d prolly be defamation.

              But if it’s couched in terms of “opinion”, it’s prolly a losing case.

              1. DarthHater

                Nothing that Joe Q. Random-Idiot says about steroid use on a discussion thread of a baseball blog is ever going to amount to actionable defamation of a professional baseball player.

                1. Internet Random

                  Define “actionable”.

                  1. DarthHater

                    Capable of surviving a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.

                    1. Internet Random

                      Then I disagree.

                      If all elements are alleged, there’s no reason that a suit derived from a blog shouldn’t survive.

                      That said, I do think that such a suit ultimately prevailing would be very, very, very rare.

        4. Internet Random

          Yep. People are free to believe that the earth is flat, that smoking while pregnant is good for the fetus, and all sorts of other goofy crap. Stupidity is not a crime.

  5. gocatsgo2003

    RE: Sammy Sosa’s Current Business Choices

    It would be laudable if he were in any way experienced in the field or otherwise qualified to run a biomedical company, aside from some more illicit “experience” he may have gained with injection-based “medications.” As it stands, his interest in such technology without any of the requisite background makes the entire situation entirely laughable and something I wish I could make up but know I’m entirely not creative enough.

    1. MichiganGoat

      He’s more the primary investor and face of the company. It is highly backed and supported by medical professionals, if you’ve ever had to deal with regular injections a needless option would be a nice change.

      1. gocatsgo2003

        True, but if Sammy just wanted to make money off of this endeavor, wouldn’t it be smarter to be a behind-the-scenes investor rather than the face of the company, given the ridiculoue his association may generate?

  6. EQ76

    “needle-less injection systems have been very, very good to me”

  7. BubblesHargrave

    I just think we forget sometimes the effect steroid use by athletes has had on young people, some of which have even died. The example is so poor. I can’t see the above comment about us not joking about his company and being lectured for it. You leave your own legacy, and Sammy left his with a reputation of steroid use. It’s just an obvious reality that his being tied up with a company related to needles is going to get a lot of grief.

    1. MichiganGoat

      So when somebody tries to do something that helps millions of people we should mock him because we suspect he did something he was never found guilty if doing? I guess that is your right but it’s not exactly the high road you wanted Sammy to take.

  8. BubblesHargrave

    If he wasn’t guilty, why are most of the commenters on here making fun of his new company? And golly how’d he hit all them homers? And why’d he play brain-dead before congress?

    1. MichiganGoat

      Again you are applying guilt based on thin evidence and your own assumptions- the legal system surely agrees with this tactic, so I guess you’re right. So I apologize lets attack and make fun of the business he has invested in.

      1. Hee Seop Chode

        Are you implying that at no point did Sammy Sosa take any performance enhancing drugs, and that he is the best pure power hitter since Babe Ruth?

        1. MichiganGoat

          No I’m saying he was never found guilty of violating any rules. Yes his names showed up on that 2003 “anonomious” report but he never was found guilty of using anything other than a corked bat. My point is that everyone is finding him quilty without any true evidence and without him admitting guilt and if we are going to definitively say someone is guilty and unworthy of the HOF and deserves ridicule for associating himself with a beneficial products then baseball needs to serious look at the hypocrisy they are supporting. The hall and baseball is full of questionable players that allegedly too a myriad of substances yet this PED debate has been decided to be the worst offense ever and the whole era needs to be forgotten and ignored. The day Sosa admits to the use or solid evidence arises I cannot single him out just because he was more successful than everyone else in baseball that used PEDs. Yes I’m not naive and would bet on him taking PED vs betting that he was clean, but that entire era was dirty with enhancing drugs do unless you want to exclude Maddux and all the other apparent “clean” players (and not sll PED turn you into HR beast) I say either they all go in based on their numbers or nobody goes in.

    2. DarthHater

      “If he wasn’t guilty, why are most of the commenters on here making fun of his new company?”

      The internet as lie detector. Hmm, interesting theory. I think I’ll test it in court next week. Hopefully, one of you will be around to bail me out when I’m jailed on a contempt charge.

  9. BubblesHargrave

    Besides, he was found guilty, did you forget about this “:Keep that in mind as you consider the New York Times report that Sammy Sosa is one of the 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in baseball’s 2003 survey testing because the news should not be met with an indifferent yawn, as if Sosa is just another in a long line of Hall of Fame-caliber talent biting the dust: Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and now Sosa, all in the first half of the 2009 season alone. Instead, this news should be greeted with the kind of outrage reserved for the worst breaches of trust because you, Mr. and Mrs. Fan, have been taken for a very special kind of ride.” from espn.com

    1. MichiganGoat

      First the 2003 report was never suppose to go public and those players never had the opportunity to appeal th findings- so no that is not proof.

      Second- citing ESPN is one of the worst forms of evidence one can provide, well I guess if you believe in the truth of the BaylESPN then debating this topic with you is useless since you’ve been taught the wrong definition of the word debate.

      1. BubblesHargrave

        Hey Michigan, have you ever been to Holland, MI with the dutch windmill and the tulips and everything? It looked like a cool place to vacation.

  10. BubblesHargrave

    I wasn’t tying to debate anyone. I just feel that all the evidence supports Sammy’s guilt and we shouldn’t be lectured for poking fun at his new company when it’s just a way people are expressing their disdain for steroid use. I feel dissappointed by the watering down of the steroid era by so many, including some on this site. The Espn quote was one of many similar ones that i could have used.

    1. DarthHater

      Goat just loves to lecture. The proper response is to poke fun at him. ;-)

      1. MichiganGoat

        Then I retort with passive aggressive banter – ;)

        1. DarthHater

          and all is well in the world…

          1. MichiganGoat

            Precisely goats, siths, and people living in harmony.

            1. TWC

              Oh, come ON, MG! The plural form for Sith is Sith.

              1. MichiganGoat

                ;) yeah it wasn’t clearly stated in the BN style guide so I went to default.

              2. Internet Random

                Ssshhh. Can you believe that loser?

                1. Internet Random

                  Sorry. That should have read “passive-aggressive loser”.

                  1. MichiganGoat

                    That’s right don’t forget it

  11. Crazyhorse

    That is really Cool , many people don’t realize the stress that might be associated with needles not to mention that accidental pricks and or punctures and special disposal requirements of needles. Its a wonderful project hopefully its a medical application that will have far reaching benifets for all people.

    1. MichiganGoat

      Yes needles suck – I have to give myself three interferon injections weekly and my legs and arms are full of red spots (that do go away after a few weeks) and they are a mild annoyance I’d love to get rid of but a small price to pay for the benefits but if I could do without them I’d gladly sign up. Regardless of who is supporting the technology

      1. DarthHater

        Hopefully, this isn’t part of that DARPA super-goat project I read about . . .

        1. MichiganGoat

          I wish it was that and not the daily routine of living with MS.

  12. Carne Harris

    I gotta admit the context of those Sosa pictures completely turned me off them. It’s true celebrities do all kinds of crap they have no business doing (otherwise Wilford Brimley would only do ‘stache and whip closet commercials), but if you’ve got a history of doping, you should be bright enough to stay away from Injex: a needle free injection system. Saying he wants to help people like himself who don’t like needles is good PR but nothing more, and I’m guessing he got over that some time around 1998. At best, it’s bad judgement, at worst, it’s capitalizing on something he should be ashamed of.

    1. Crazyhorse

      ,You do not like Sosa that mush is clear and you are entitled to your opinion. Your above statement, he is damned either way, Seems like he left baseball and is doing things with his life that will make people feel good and if he earns a few bucks along the way- nothing wrong with that Mister. but once again, it was cool to read about Sosa and his current events.

      1. Carne Harris

        “You do not like Sosa that mush is clear”

        Not too clear I hope because it’s not true. I hate cheating and think it’s a bad idea he’s involved with this product, but I can dislike some of his behavior without disliking the man.

  13. Kyle Levier

    I’m liking that signing. Good arm action, great stuff. Needs a bit touched up, but I could see him as a mid/late inning guy out of the pen.

    1. Toby

      I’d love to see the effect of a different set of pitching coaches will have on this kid.

  14. Boots2asses

    if upton passed on the Mariners i dont think he will accept a trade to the cubs

    1. Smitty

      His not trade list is most likely hand picked by his agent. His agent probably thinks that those four teams are going to be the most likely to make a move to get him. This gives Upton and his agent the ability to say no I am not going there unless you extend me. It is all a leverage ploy. Seriously, why wouldn’t you want to come to Chicago or go to Boston when you are willing to go to KC, Houston, Miami, etc.

      1. Crazyhorse

        Some people might want to play in Texas cause they have no state income tax, but your premise is correct leverage and until he comes out and say hell no to Chicago- we can only assume its a leverage ploy.

  15. Chase S.

    Milton Bradley is relevant in sporting news today only for different reasons. Dude is facing up to 13 years of jail time for abusing his wife.

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/01/11/milton-bradley-charged-with-domestic-abuse-faces-13-years-in-jail/

    1. hardtop

      not surprised in the least. what a fool. someone else is always to blame for his frequent and continued failure. i cant wait to read the press release on this one: how much you wanna bet he blames his wife?

      “If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day; you’re the asshole.” i heard that on some tv program my wife had on the other day. the quote fits Bradely to a tee.

      1. Chase S.

        In the article I linked it says his lawyer is claiming that his wife is making everything up. Will be interesting to see what happens.

  16. Bfox75

    I loved Sammy Sosa. The only way to look at the steroid is simple. If marijuana was legal, then years later it became illegal, could the people who used be arrested? The answer would be no and it’s a shame that people don’t realize how much they brought the game back. Baseball owes them a lot and I personally would like nothing else but to see Sammy voted into the hall and also have his jersey retired. My 2 cents gentleman and go cubbies.

    1. Bill

      But steroids were never legal (unless proscribed by a doctor), so I’m not sure your analogy works. Taking steroids was as illegal as using cocaine. If caught, they would have warranted a suspension.

      I would have to see guys like Sosa inducted into the HOF. Sosa was an avg MLB before he started juicing. At least guys like Bonds and Clemens can make a good argument that their numbers were HOF worthy before they started juicing. Sammy’s numbers are pretty much entirely due to steroids.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        One, Sosa was well above average for most of his career. What kept his total numbers low was injuries: but he posted good OPS from 1993-1996. His big drop in 1997 was not due to lack of power, but an extremely low BABiP. Two, when did Sosa start juicing? I didn’t know that we had a date. Moreover, what changed was not so much Sosa’s power, but his walks: he stopped swinging at everything and all aspects of his batting improved. Three, re-write your first sentence and replace it with “amphetamines.”

        1. Bill

          Amphetamines were supplied by the teams. Steroids weren’t. It’s my understanding teams would put a big jar on the table, with the greenies in it, and they could take what they wanted. No one was hiding they were taking amphetamines. If players thought taking steroids was ok, why didn’t they admit it? Why weren’t they doing out in the open? Why the secret? They are different.

          Believe what you want, but prior to ’98 he never hit more than 40 HR’s, then he hits no less than 40 over the next 6 seasons. Please, if you think this wasn’t steroid aided then you are naive. It’s true, Sammy, could have been juicing before that, but he certainly was juicing by ’97-’98. Do you think it’s an accident his walks went up? It wasn’t just because he was laying off that outside slider (he still was striking out as much as ever, thanks to that slider), but rather he was hitting the HR’s so people elected to pitch around him rather than pitch to him. If he wasn’t juiced, they wouldn’t have walked him.

          Depending on when he juiced maybe he was better than avg, but he certainly wasn’t anyone who was headed to the HOF before he juiced. His BA, OBP spiked the same year (and years after) he started hitting the absurd number of HRs. His BA, OBP weren’t very good before ’98. It’s pretty safe to say by ’98 Sammy was juicing and he was getting some good stuff.

          How many guys hit 40+ HRs during this era and how many hit them now? You even have smaller ballparks now. What’s changed? Drug testing.

  17. justinjabs

    He wasn’t a great pitcher but somewhat sad to see Justin Berg go. His hometown is Elcho, which is where the camp I’ve been working at for 6 summers is located. Dinky little town in Wisconsin, all they have is an ice cream shop.

  18. Pitching Flurry Continues: Dayan Diaz Signed - Cubbies Crib - A Chicago Cubs Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More

    […] Cubs have signed Dayan Diaz as discovered by Brett over at Bleacher Nation. Diaz will receive a minor league deal with an invite to spring […]