Back on November 19, 2015, the Chicago Cubs claimed lefty Jack Leathersich off of waivers from the New York Mets.
Okay, maybe Jack Leathersich hasn’t quite been at the top of your priority list over the past year or so (there’s been quite a few more important things since then), but he is still a pretty interesting arm.
And now, he’s a pretty interesting arm that will stay in the Cubs’ organization for at least another year. Per Baseball America, the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a Minor League contract with Leathersich, allowing them to keep him in the organization – but off of the 40-man roster – throughout the winter and into next season.
At just barely over 26 years old (with plenty left in the tank, and a solid pedigree), this can be considered a mild, but very real, win.
After slowly making his way through the Mets system (striking out batters like crazy) Leathersich made his big league debut back in 2015 (recording a 26.9% K rate through 11.2 innings pitched). The success led to a 2.31 ERA and 2.79 FIP … and also Tommy John surgery that July.
Since joining the Cubs organization, Leathersich has made stops at rookie ball (to rehab), and eventually both Double and Triple-A. Through very limited opportunities at both levels (10.1 IP at Double-A, 5.0 IP at Triple-A), Leathersich retained his ability to strike batters out at a very high rate (26.7%, 28.6%). He continues to struggle with his command, but as a TJS recoveree, that might be something that’ll come back as he heals and strengthens his arm.
Don’t let me mislead you, though; Leathersich is basically a lottery ticket (but he’s a nice one). He’s shown the ability to succeed at the Major League level and is just barely over one year removed from surgery. With any luck, he’ll heal up even further over the winter (while not limiting the Cubs in terms of the roster), participate in Spring Training, likely head back to Triple-A to begin the season, and eventually make his way into the Cubs’ bullpen. Wouldn’t that be nice?