You all know how I feel about the Rule 5 Draft. Despite some players becoming useful major leaguers, the Cubs haven't had any of their choices over the last few seasons do anything significant. Tim Lahey. David Patton. Michael Parisi. You might not even remember some of these guys.
And then there's Lendy Castillo, who the Cubs chose in the 2011 Rule 5 draft from the Phillies. As you likely know, a player chosen in this way has to stay on the 25-man roster for the entire season, or be offered back to his original team for a small price. (That, incidentally, is how the Cubs got Randy Wells back after he was chosen by the Blue Jays in the 2008 Rule 5 draft. Wells pitched in just one game for Toronto and then was offered back to the Cubs. While his career is now over, he did pitch decently for the Cubs for a time.)
Anyway, there's a way to get around that "all year" rule -- after 90 days, the acquiring team can stash the player on the disabled list. There have been all kinds of stories about trumped-up injuries. Lendy was placed on the DL May 16, 2012 (retroactive to May 12) with what was called a "strained groin." He was activated again in mid-August and pitched in three games in August and three in September.
Having said all this, last year's pick, Hector Rondon, might actually turn into a decent middle reliever. But it's like throwing darts in the dark; most of these guys never make it. I'm glad the Cubs won't be participating (at least not in the major-league phase).
Apparently, the Phillies filed some sort of grievance over this:
Phillies challenged how long Castillo, who was #Cubs rule 5 pick, was on DL— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) December 5, 2013
And the result of this grievance (not sure if it was settled by arbitration, or simply dropped after the Cubs agreed to this):
Phillies will get Rule 5 pick from Cubs to resolve dispute over how long Lendy Castillo was stashed on DL.— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) December 5, 2013
Which is perfectly fine with me. As I've said, I think doing this is mostly a waste of a roster spot -- it certainly was when David Patton was retained, and Lendy, who had a good arm but little command or control, was a similar waste. And if teams are using fake injuries to keep players, that kind of thing ought to end. It's kind of surprising that the Phillies filed this grievance -- it's not as if they wanted him back or anything. But there you have it.