The flurry of roster moves around baseball continues, as teams attempt to set their rosters ahead of today’s deadline. Earlier today, the Cubs lost utility man Jack Reinheimer to the Texas Rangers, but now they’ve made an addition of their own.
The Cubs have claimed southpaw Ian Clarkin off waivers from the White Sox, and Jordan Bastian, the Cubs new beat writer, replacing Carrie Muskat for Cubs.com, adds some context and background:
Clarkin was taken by NYY one pick after Aaron Judge to finish the first round in the '13 Draft. Was dealt to White Sox as part of Robertson-Frazier-Kahnle deal in '17. The 23yo lefty has 3.55 ERA in 81 career games. Has battled injuries.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) November 20, 2018
Clarkin, 23, was ranked as the Yankees 6th best prospect in 2014 and the White Sox 22nd best prospect after the 2017 season, according to Baseball America. At 6’2″ and 215 pounds, he’s a big left-hander, who reached Double-A for the first tie this past season, splitting 68.2 innings up between 10 starts and 8 relief appearances.
He didn’t have great results during that stretch (4.98 ERA, 5.24 FIP), but he did have a 52.0% ground ball rate and posted an even higher 57.9% ground ball rate in a brief stop at High-A earlier in the year. Perhaps the Cubs can squint and see a future ground-ball specialist – whether that’s as a starter or reliever, I’m not yet sure (and maybe they aren’t either).
After returning from a groin injury, Clarkin was more or less moved into relief role by White Sox at AA in mid-July. From then on, he posted a 1.71 ERA over 31.2 IP. His K and BB rates were nothing to write home about, but he got a crapload of grounders & was impossible to hit.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) November 20, 2018
Here’s Clarkin sharing a video of former Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez. It’s irrelevant and if anything will make you feel bad, but it’s funny, so …
— Ian Clarkin (@iClarkin) August 5, 2017
The Cubs 40-man roster should be back at 39 after this (and the Reinheimer) move.