Back on August 11, Pat Hickey (Courier Press) reported that the Evansville Otters (of the independent Frontier League) picked up a power arm by the name of Chris Nunn.
BUT MICHAEL, I might be a fan of baseball, but what does that have to do with the CUBS!?
Well, not five days later, the Chicago Cubs scooped up Nunn from the Otters, and he will reportedly head straight to Double-A Tennessee. Which, if you know anything about the various levels of Minor League ball, is a very challenging first assignment (although, at the same time, given his age, 26, it’s not that crazy).
— Pat Hickey (@patmhickey) August 11, 2017
Nunn quickly scooped up by the Cubs, according to an Otters' press release. He will head to Double-A. https://t.co/wHfxgpiQdw
— Pat Hickey (@patmhickey) August 16, 2017
According to Hickey’s article in the Courier Press (which was actually written when Nunn joined the Otters, not the Cubs), Nunn hadn’t started a game on the mound since he was a junior in college back in 2012 and never threw more than two innings at a time in his four years as a pro (he pitched as a reliever in the Padres system from 2012-2015 after being drafted in the 24th round, ultimately getting just 8.1 innings at the Double-A level, before being released).
But in his Wednesday night debut, Nunn did fairly great while starting for the Otters.
After allowing the first two batters to reach on a walk and a HBP, the 6’5″ southpaw (oh, now it’s starting to make sense) struck out seven straight batters with fastballs reaching up to 98 MPH. Unfortunately, because he hadn’t pitched much before that night, he was on a strict pitch count (75) and was lifted after the 5th inning. Even still, his final line read quite beautifully: 5.0 IP, 3H, 1ER, 2BB, 9Ks.
And then, in hilariously prescient comments after the game, Otters manager Andy McCauley had this to say about his brand new pitcher: “I don’t think he’ll be here very long …. There’s going to be someone, somewhere wanting a (6-5) lefty throwing 97 for strikes.” Little did he know that someone was the Cubs and very long was literally six days.
Reclamation pitchers and lottery tickets rarely work out, but you can do a whole lot worse than a 26-year-old, flame-throwing lefty who is trying out something new on the mound (starting, in this case) to some early success.
So, Nunn will head to Double-A Tennessee and try to hit it big in an organization dying to develop starting pitching prospects.