4/3 Indians claim Whitenack

The Indians claimed right-handed pitcher Robert Whitenack off waivers on Wednesday. Whitenack, 24, an eighth-round pick in the 2009 Draft, was designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster for infielder Alberto Gonzalez, who was needed when Darwin Barney had to be placed on the DL. Whitenack was 7-0 in 11 starts in 2011 before being sidelined by elbow problems. He eventually had Tommy John surgery. He was in big league camp this spring.

— Carrie Muskat


Thats kinda of funny, in a way. The Cubs released Whitenack on Monday. The Indians claimed him today.
Yet if you look at the Cubs top 20 prospects, Whitenack is listed at 15. What does that say for 16 through 20? lol

ya i am hoping this is more of an oversight than anything… only thing I can see is its one of Hendry’s guys so this FO looks down upon him. Whitenack isn’t going to be anything real special but with our already depleted MiLB pitching depth I would think we would protect what we can

There also could be a lot more info on this release than we know about.

I’m assuming the Cubs didn’t want to rush Watkins to the majors, and considering the black hole at 3B, didn’t want to completely give up on Vitters just yet (but certainly didn’t want to call him up after that abomination last year). Gonzalez is infield roster insurance so that Baez/Lake/Watkins/Villanueva/Vitters can just progress. I don’t really have a problem with the decision. When Baker comes back, they’re going to have to DFA someone else as well – Dolis/Vitters are possibilities, or trade someone off the major league roster (crossing my fingers for Marmol).

I think you are correct RD. I am guessing they have a couple months on the Baker decision.

Agreed. Baker isn’t coming back for awhile, so no need to worry about him just yet. Besides, the easiest thing would probably be to outright Gonzalez when Barney comes back in a couple weeks (or Lillibridge if he continues to play like he did on Opening Day). And I love how bloggers and posters think the Cubs are making a mistake by not calling up Watkins based on limited spring training observations and the people in the organization who have observed Watkins first hand for years are clueless. Yeah, I’m guessing they also thought that Bryan LaHair was a star in the making.

Good points. One clarification though, Barney is on the 15DL which means he’s still on the 40 man roster, so they don’t have to do anything. I’m guessing they’ll leave Gonzalez on the 40 in the minors until they decide what to do about Baker/Vitters/etc… in a couple of months.

I’m assuming that Gonzalez has no options and when Barney comes back they won’t need that many backup infielders. I guess they could send Clevenger down (assuming he still has options) and keep Gonzalez up. Otherwise, they don’t have to fill all the 40 spots on the roster, so they could go with 39 for awhile and see what happens.

As for LaHair, having a good two months does not make you a star. And really, Paul Goldschmidt had much better numbers than LaHair by the time it came to pick the all-star reserves, so he should have gone instead of LaHair. But I’m sure LaHair is fine. I mean, why would he want to be like Paul Goldschmidt, a good player with a new 5-year MLB contract when he’s eating sushi making a fraction of that amount in the Japanese leagues?

haha Lahair a “star” NO …. he played very well for half a season… I don’t call that a star… maybe you called him a star when you tucked him in at night but im hoping it was just to bolster his confidence

also more I read about Whitenack the more I was ok with the release… jsut coming back from TJ… and his velocity was WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY down… not all TJ surgeries are successes and come with risks

Sounds to me we all would at least agree that Epstein is handling the minor league system pretty well and we should give him the benefit of the doubt regarding Whitenack. So far only the Stewart deal is kind of a lemon and although I would prefer to have Colvin and DJ instead of a few of the guys currently on the roster it was reasonable gamble that may never pay off. So I think Epstein is deserving of “knowing what he’s doing” regarding Whitenack. Still, ironic that Whitenack is recovering from Tommy John surgery….sounds like the type of pitcher Epstein is going after!!🙂

joeydafish, excellent post. Until the last line. lol

Well….that does seem to be a way of doing business….no? Just kidding.

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