Cubs Roster Profiles: Jeff Beliveau
As the 2012 season approaches, Cubbies Crib is profiling each and every member of the Cubs forty man roster. Today, we are talking about Jeff Beliveau.
The 2011 season was not kind to pitching prospects in the Cubs’ farm system. Outside of A ball, most of the positive stories were derailed by injuries. While we did see some pitchers take majors strides and stay healthy for the season, most of them profile as back of the rotation starters or middle relievers. One guy who bucked that trend very successfully was Jeff Beliveau. Beliveau is a left handed reliever who could replace Sean Marshall in the Cubs bullpen.
Beliveau began the 2011 season in Daytona, but he did not stay there long. He was so dominant against the first 69 batters he faced that the Cubs promptly moved him to Tennessee. As a member of the Smokies, he was even better. He struck out 31% of the batters he faced in Double A and walked just over 5%. His ERA, WHIP, and Opponents Average all dropped when he stepped up to the tougher league. He did give up a career high 1.1 HR/9, but that is just about the only complaint we can make. Beliveau was so good he took the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year as a reliever.
Anything less than a trip to the majors will be a disappointment. He will have a chance to fill the hole left by the Sean Marshall trade out of spring training, but I don’t think he’ll make the cut. Instead, I look for him to spend at least a few months in Iowa refining his stuff against the best hitters in the minors. I don’t think he’ll be there long. Look for Beliveau to crack the majors no later than August and to start fighting for the seventh inning job.