All right, all right. Get out all your jokes up front. “The Cubs answer the Brewers!” “Forget about Yu Darvish!” “Why did the lefty cross the road?”
Source: LHP Michael Roth to the Cubs on minor-league deal. Has ML time with Angels, Rangers.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 26, 2018
Roth, 27, was drafted by the Angels in 2012, and by the very next year, he was in the big leagues. It didn’t last, though, as he’s been an up-and-down guy ever since, mostly as a starter in the Angels’, Giants’, Rangers’, and Rays’ organizations. He was most recently at AAA with the Rays, where it’s conceivable he crossed paths with the big league pitching coach, Jim Hickey, who is now the Cubs’ pitching coach. Or maybe he just had a little knowledge about the guy that pushed the Cubs to pursue him.
Whatever the Case, Roth figures to be AAA depth either for the rotation or the bullpen, and a lottery ticket if the Cubs can ever unlock the talent that helped him reach the big leagues so quickly in the first place.
He’s got a little funkiness to his delivery, with an near-sidearm look (MLB.com):
Performance-wise, Roth has never been a big strikeout guy, and he doesn’t have insanely low walk rates either. Instead, it appears that he’s a contact manager, with good groundball rates and an ERA that is typically (in the minors) much better than his peripherals would suggest.
Also, he posed for a shot like this, so I’m immediately totally on board with this signing: