Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Will Ohman: don't let the door hit ya'

Jim Hendry has made a deal with the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs acquired Atlanta righthander Jose Ascanio for clubhouse cancer Will Ohman and Omar Infante. The 22 year old Ascanio has mainly been used out of the bullpen throughout the Braves system. Ascanio would fit into the mode of the power arm that Lou Piniella likes to stockpile at the back of his bullpen. The 22 year old throws in the upper 90's and gets groundballs with frequency.

Here is what they are saying at TCR about the deal:
He’s #19 in John Sickels latest rankings, a C+ prospect. Out of Venezeula, Ascanio was signed in 2001 by the Braves and has compiled a 3.58 ERA in the minors so far, mostly as a reliever with a K/9 rate of 7.31. The numbers though have slowly improved as he put up a 2.54 ERA in AA last year with a 8.19 K/9 rate at age 22. He even had a cup of coffee with the Braves last year and compiled a 1-1 record with a 5.06 ERA.

Scout.com says “he throws gas” (mid to upper 90’s consistently) but probably needs another season in the minors and although he’s not very big, the ball “just flies out of his hand”. Although the numbers weren’t fantastic in the bigs, he apparently impressed the coaching staff with his stuff.

He was suspended late in the season in 2006 when former Cub killer Jeff Blauser took him out of a game earlier than he liked and Ascanio stormed off the mound. It seems all has been forgiven though. I couldn’t find a thing about his secondary pitches.

This is just my opinion, but this looks like one of those deals that we won't be able to pass judgement on for a few years. We will have to see if the Cubs can develop this kid and get his numbers to live up to his stuff.

Now onto the RF situation. In this mornings Bright One, Gordon Whittenmyer portrays the Cubs as the leader in pursuit of Japanese Outfielder Kosuke Fukudome:

The market for Fukudome could approach the strength of the center-field market that already yielded a five-year, $90 million deal for Torii Hunter. Enough teams -- including the Cubs -- have made preliminary offers to Fukudome that a deal isn't expected until well after the winter meetings conclude Thursday.
WHAT??? Fukudome is about to command Torii Hunter-like money? LMAO. Seems like quite a bit of cash for a player that hasn't played one inning in MLB. Projecting position players from Japan to MLB is not easy. The success rate has been low. I find it interesting that the Cubs are putting so many eggs in Fukudome's basket. But what do I know.

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