Chicago Cubs Claim Hard-Throwing Righty Robert Stock Off of Waivers from the Red Sox

The process of snagging fringe relief arms because they do one or two very interesting things, and then trying to remake them into a great bullpen piece, begins anew. The Cubs have had great success doing it the last two years, and I’m hopeful they can do it again for next season.

This year, the first new pitcher in that vein is Robert Stock, whom the Cubs just claimed off of waivers from the Red Sox.

The 31-year-old righty’s name stood out to me when I saw the announcement, because I knew I’d seen him mentioned before over the years. Now I remember why:

He throws really hard.

That’s the distribution of his fastballs in 2019 by velocity over at Statcast, and as you can see, he cranks it the heck up there. A former catcher who worked his way through multiple organizations over a long minor league career, Stock finally got a shot in the big leagues with the Padres in 2018, and he was really, really good (which is why I was remembering his name – the premium velocity, plus that was the start of a period when we (and the Cubs) were all really scouring the Padres for fringe arms a la Rowan Wick and Brad Wieck). But he struggled in 2019, and then wound up being just so-so for the Red Sox this past year. Scouting the ole stat line tells me that he’s got explosive stuff, but serious control problems. Hey, he’s a 99 mph flamethrower who was available for free – what’d you expect?

As we’ve seen, you get these guys in the door, and you see what you can do. Some will pan out, many will not.

Stock is out of options, and you see guys like him frequently hitting the waiver wire when various deadlines come, as teams are looking to open up 40-man spots and/or trying to sneak a guy through waivers so they can outright him to AAA for one more year. In this instance, it didn’t work for the Red Sox, and we’ll see if the Cubs just keep Stock rostered on through Spring Training, or if they, themselves, try to sneak him through to AAA at some point.

The Cubs 40-man momentarily stands at 38 after the Stock addition, but when some non-tenders become official tonight, that number will go down. We’ve already heard of one coming non-tender for Jose Martinez.

Speaking of which, I can’t help but note that the Cubs are adding their first fringe/development/work-your-magic reliever to the 40-man on the very day they might non-tender a reliever or two. Indeed, having Stock in place today, specifically, could make it more comfortable for the Cubs to risk non-tendering a guy they otherwise like, but will try to sign back at a lower price.

Bonus? Stock has fun on the Twitters:

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

more cubs news

Chicago Cubs Lineup: Still No Nico Hoerner

CUBS LINEUP — Well, the good news is that the Cubs have an off-day tomorrow and Dansby Swanson is targeting a Tuesday return from the IL. So no matter what, this SHOULD be the last day the Cubs middle infield...

Enjoying the Actual Walk-Off, Morel History, Leiter and Neris, Holy Brennen Davis, and Other Cubs Bullets

Despite everything, the Cubs are still three games up for the second Wild Card spot at the moment (and two games back in the NL Central). That's not a going-forward projection, it's just some context. The drama around the call...

How Many Times Has Tiger Woods Won the PGA Championship?

Tiger Woods is a name synonymous with golf greatness. His career is filled with numerous accolades, records, and unforgettable moments. Among his many achievements, his performance in the PGA Championship stands out. But just how many times has Tiger Woods...

The Pirates Can Be As Mad As They Like, But That Call Was Correct

If I were a catcher and wanted to record an out, I would simply not drop the ball. It's a jokey line, sure, but it's also correct in relation to yesterday's controversial conclusion. I think after seeing the replays of...

Wake Up and Watch Shota Imanaga Dominate and the Cubs Walk It Off

The Cubs pulled out a win in the bottom of the 9th yesterday, when Christopher Morel drove in Cody Bellinger to walk it off. The Pirates were undoubtedly displeased about the controversial ending, as it looked like Bellinger had been...

The Cubs Walk It Off on a Weird Play at the Plate!

Whew. That game was kinda dumb, but I tell you, the ending sure was fun. And also weird! So, to set the stage, the Pirates and Cubs' offenses could do nothing all day long. The game was still 0-0 in...

Brennen Davis FREAKING DID IT AGAIN! AND THEN HE DID IT AGAIN AFTER THAT!

This guy. What do I even say? I was already kinda buzzy when Brennen Davis homered again - a grand slam - for the fifth time in six games, and sixth time in eight games. THAT IS RIDICULOUS. https://twitter.com/IowaCubs/status/1791967453888598441 Truly...

Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 1, Pirates 0 – May 18, 2024

What matters most is that the Cubs won the game. And it was a fun ending, too. So I'm happy. But I also do feel a little frustrated - or concerned might be the better word - as I'm sure...

Pre-Gamin’: Pirates at Cubs (1:20 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

CUBS LINEUP — Losing to the Braves (and then Jared Jones and Paul Skenes), when you have 10 people on the IL, including your entire middle infield, is not really that concerning to me. It sucks and banking losses is...

REPORT: Cubs Trade Richard Lovelady to the Rays

When the Chicago Cubs traded Jake Slaughter to the Seattle Mariners for reliever Tyson Miller, they needed to open a spot on both the active roster and the 40-man roster. They did that in one move by designating reliever Richard...

Latest News

NFLPA Rookie Premiere 2024, Caleb and Rome, Early Fantasy Rankings, and Other Bears Bullets

Wrapping up a weekend of shenanigans with dog-sitting duties. We're going to have walks, belly-rubs, and movie naps today. I'm looking forward to it. But first, I've got to push these BN Bears Bullets across the finish line. Check it...

Chicago Cubs Lineup: Still No Nico Hoerner

CUBS LINEUP — Well, the good news is that the Cubs have an off-day tomorrow and Dansby Swanson is targeting a Tuesday return from the IL. So no matter what, this SHOULD be the last day the Cubs middle infield...

Derrick Jones Jr. Bet on Himself, Julian Phillips’ Upside, Sky Get a Win, and Other Bulls Bullets

The Chicago Bulls could have really used Derrick Jones Jr. this season. When we consider the number of injuries this team suffered at the wing position, the springy forward would've filled a big hole. His defensive versatility could've helped take...

Braves vs. Padres Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Sunday, May 19, 2024

The San Diego Padres (23-24) are the underdogs on the moneyline (+101) in Sunday's contest versus the Atlanta Braves (26-15). Game time is set for 7:10 PM ET on ESPN. The Padres are favored against the spread in this one...

Enjoying the Actual Walk-Off, Morel History, Leiter and Neris, Holy Brennen Davis, and Other Cubs Bullets

Despite everything, the Cubs are still three games up for the second Wild Card spot at the moment (and two games back in the NL Central). That's not a going-forward projection, it's just some context. The drama around the call...

Top Player Prop Bets for Knicks vs. Pacers Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 7 on May 19, 2024

Bookmakers have listed player props for Jalen Brunson, Pascal Siakam and others when the New York Knicks host the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday at 3:30 PM ET.How to Watch Knicks vs. PacersDate: Sunday, May 19, 2024Time:...

Braves vs. Padres Probable Starting Pitchers – May 19

The San Diego Padres (23-24) play on Sunday in Atlanta against the Atlanta Braves (26-15). First pitch is at 7:10 PM ET.This contest's pitching matchup is set, as the Braves will send Bryce Elder (1-1) to the mound, while Yu...

Oilers vs. Canucks NHL Playoffs Second Round Game 7 Prediction: Odds, Picks, Best Bets – Monday, May 20, 2024

The bookmakers prefer the visiting Edmonton Oilers (-142) over the Vancouver Canucks (+120) when they face off on Monday, May 20 at 9:00 PM ET.Watch the NHL on Fubo!Oilers vs. Canucks Favorite, Moneyline, TotalFavorite: Oilers (-142)Underdog: Canucks (+120)Total: 6Best Oilers...

The Pirates Can Be As Mad As They Like, But That Call Was Correct

If I were a catcher and wanted to record an out, I would simply not drop the ball. It's a jokey line, sure, but it's also correct in relation to yesterday's controversial conclusion. I think after seeing the replays of...

Wake Up and Watch Shota Imanaga Dominate and the Cubs Walk It Off

The Cubs pulled out a win in the bottom of the 9th yesterday, when Christopher Morel drove in Cody Bellinger to walk it off. The Pirates were undoubtedly displeased about the controversial ending, as it looked like Bellinger had been...

more cubs news