The dog days of summer can take a toll on a pitching staff, especially one that has been shuffled and reshuffled as much as the Chicago Cubs’ has. In order to give their starters an extra day of rest, the Cubs have called-up RHP Dan Straily to make a spot start against the New York Mets at Citi Field tonight at 6:10 PM.
Straily’s start will be Cubs’ fans first opportunity to lay eyes on the rewards reaped from the Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammel trade with the Oakland Athletics back in early July. Straily was a bit shaky with Oakland earlier this year, going 1-2 with a 4.93 ERA in seven starts but he has been significantly better with the Iowa Cubs. In his seven starts in Des Moines Straily is 3-3 with a 3.00.
Early judgments on the blockbuster trade are that the Cubs got the better deal as all three of the players they received (Straily, Addison Russell and Billy McKinney) have showed dramatic improvement since joining the Cubs’ organization. Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, on the other hand, have not lived up to the A’s expectations.
2014 w/ OAK
(Stats per baseball-reference.com)
Jeff Samardzija has been an effective pitcher since the trade but he simply hasn’t been able to win games they way the Athletics had hoped (a problem he had in Chicago as well). Jason Hammel, on the other hand, has been absolutely terrible since the trade and was part of the reason that the Athletics went out and acquired, Boston Red Sox ace, Jon Lester at the trade deadline.
A good start tonight for Straily could go a long way to making him a permanent fixture in the Cubs’ rotation. Straily, 25, has been in the major leagues since 2012 and had decent success before the 2014 season, posting ERA’s of 3.89 and 3.96 in 2012 and 2013 in a very competitive American League West. If Straily can regain the form he had in his first two big league seasons he could be a very solid middle-of-the-rotation starter for the Cubs for the next few seasons. He will not be arbitration eligible until 2016.
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