Daniel Jesus Palencia has the big arm, which accounts for both his meteoric rise from the lower minors to Wrigley, and his mixed results after arriving. Palencia was part of the return for Andrew Chafin two years ago and has already yielded results. He is likely to continue to do so, with increasing facility as his experience grows.
The Andrew Chafin deal is done. He's headed to the A's for outfielder Greg Deichmann and right-hander Daniel Palencia.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 27, 2021
Deichman is a high-on-base corner outfielder who's at AAA. Palencia is a 21-year-old whose fastball sits 97-99 and is in A ball.
Like the star-crossed Nick Burdi, Palencia has the triple-digit heater. But Palencia is a mere 23 years old, has thrown only 145⅓ innings as a minor-leaguer, and hasn’t yet had TJS.
In his first game back off the IL from an ankle injury, Daniel Palencia lights the world on fire and goes 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, SEVEN STRIKEOUTS.— Greg Huss (@OutOfTheVines) August 7, 2022
35 pitches, 27 strikes. Up to 102 with the fastball, low 90s with the slider. pic.twitter.com/Ev4872whWm
He’s slightly undersized for a pitcher at 5’11”, 230, but clearly has the muscle to sling the pill, and just as clearly has the moxie to face down MLB hitters. I’m sure most of us can recall his obvious mound presence when he first pitched — Palencia was NOT intimidated by the big Brewer bats he was facing.
‘‘We’ve been talking about it for a bit,’’ president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said of calling up Palencia. ‘‘Do I think his transition is absolutely complete? No. I think it’s going to take time. He’s still learning how to do the bullpen role and things like that. But we felt like he’s a guy that it was the right time to see what he can do up here.’’ — Maddie Lee.
‘‘My mindset was, ‘I’m a monster,’ ’’ Palencia said after throwing two scoreless innings in the Cubs’ 7-6 victory at American Family Field. ‘‘ ‘I’m going to win this game. See the glove, hit the glove.’ ’’ — Ibid.
Palencia is going to walk some people. Guys that throw as hard as he does usually come with optional control issues, but he mostly keeps it close. The throwing into the net behind home and the 55-foot slider don’t happen very often. And sometimes he’s going to do stuff like this:
Daniel Palencia con Cubs RedSox— VenezolanosMLB (@VzlanosMLB) July 15, 2023
1IP, 1HP, 0CP, 1K: tuve 15 lanzamientos y 7 de ellos por arriba de 99 MPH:
2️⃣ ⚾️ a 101MPH
3️⃣ ⚾️ a 100MPH
2️⃣ ⚾️ a 99MPH
En total lleva 3 relevos 4IP, 0CP, 3K pic.twitter.com/qHHIgbrcTu
He’s going to learn on the job. His lightning journey (from Myrtle Beach to Chicago in two years) and quick-switch into reliever from starter look like a good move so far, and it’s looking like he can throw consistent innings and move in to the circle of trust. Adbert Alzolay has pretty much taken over the closer job, but Palencia can have the 8th as his personal preserve and apprentice the position, in place of Codi Heuer, whose future is as uncertain as a baby’s sense of balance right about now.
En el juego de ayer de los Cubs la decisión fue por partida doble:— VenezolanosMLB (@VzlanosMLB) July 23, 2023
❇️Victoria Daniel Palencia (2-0)
❇️Salvado Adbert Alzolay (9) pic.twitter.com/cT6OGCLpYh
I’d be good with that. Closer depth, catch it. The young Venezuelan has shown that he has the ability to play in the big leagues, and his future seems bright, but it’s up to him to supply the proof of that promise.
I look forward to it. I love when the fastball sizzles like a pan full of frying bacon and thwacks into the catchers mitt sharply enough to echo. How about you?