Brooks Raley is starting for the Cubs tonight.
This is unique in recent team history. I can't remember a starting pitcher who came to the major leagues with this little fanfare, even though as a sixth-round draft pick three years ago who has had decent minor-league seasons, he should have at least been on the radar. (I know he is for some of you.) He's not on the 40-man roster and hasn't made a single major-league spring-training appearance, as some of the other guys from the minor-league camp have done.
Who's comparable? In the comments this morning, someone mentioned Ryan O'Malley, but he was called up for an emergency start (after virtually the entire staff, including the next day's starter, threw in this game in Houston). It was a great story -- O'Malley threw eight shutout innings the next afternoon after arriving in a rented limo the Cubs sent to Round Rock, where Triple-A Iowa was playing, to pick him up. But he made just one more major-league start.
Who else is like Raley? Someone called up with no ballyhoo who might have a shot at a decent major-league career with what will essentially be a two-month tryout?
I went back a few years. I can't really think of anyone. Sergio Mitre is about the closest comp; he was OK for a while, but the Cubs probably should have traded him away after he threw two great games back-to-back against the Blue Jays and Marlins. His value was never higher. But Raley's situation is unique, I think -- a pitcher who has the chance to come from almost out of nowhere and make a major-league rotation. "Brooks Raley". That's a great baseball name. Now let's hope he can be at least a good major-league pitcher.
DeJesus LF, Jackson CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, LaHair RF, Clevenger C, Valbuena 3B, Barney SS, Raley P
Earlier, Alfonso Soriano was scratched due to a sore right hand suffered when it was stepped on, sliding into second yesterday. He hopes to be back tomorrow.
Denorfia RF, Forsythe 2B, Headley 3B, Quentin LF, Guzman 1B, Maybin CF, Cabrera SS, Baker C, Ohlendorf P
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2012 - Ross Ohlendorf||3-2||10||6||0||0||0||0||37.1||47||27||26||5||18||33||6.27||1.74|
Did I mention this already? Brooks Raley is making his major-league debut. Good luck, Brooks! (Seriously. Go get 'em.)
Ross Ohlendorf last started against the Cubs September 3, 2011 at Wrigley Field. He didn't pitch very well, but the Cubs lost that game due to some shoddy bullpen work. Current Cubs are a small-sample-size 11-for-40 (.275) against Ohlendorf. It seems that every time I find a pitcher with that small a sample vs. the Cubs, there's a home run by Alfonso Soriano involved. Sure enough: Sori, 4-for-12, a double, a triple, a home run.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (check your cable/satellite system for the channel).
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Baseball-reference.com game preview
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Today's first pitch thread will post at 9:05 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 10:05, 11:05 and 11:50 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.