The Chicago Cubs recently acquired the Rockies former top pitching prospect Eddie Butler. Senior vice president of player development Jason McLeod thinks they have something in the 25-year-old pitcher.
The Chicago Cubs have made a pretty good living on signing pitchers with strong pedigree but numbers that don’t match. Chris Bosio and the Cubs pitching system from top to bottom have done a fantastic job revitalizing guys that looked to be on their last leg. So with Eddie Butler, could the Cubs have scored something special that nobody else even knew was there?
The first thing to remember about this is that Butler is just 25 years old. Even if he ends up a “work in progress”, there’s still time. Even if Bosio and the staff can turn him back into a reliable fourth or fifth starter? That’s a win for the Cubs. But Jason McLeod sees even more potential in Butler, as he told 670 The Score.
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"“For us, it was certainly a guy we felt fit a lot of what we needed, which was upper-level starters that can come up and start in the major leagues. Obviously, we feel really confident in our pitching infrastructure — with (pitching coach) Chris Bosio, the guys in the big leagues and our pitching coordinators in the minor leagues — that this was somebody we could get as a buy-low that still has that big stuff that he had coming out of the draft.”"
One man’s “trash” in another man’s treasure
With such a concern on pitchers and the draft, the Cubs have done a splendid job of “picking up the pieces” where other teams might give up. Butler hasn’t lost the stuff he had when was drafted, but Coors Field wasn’t good to him. You could say that it’s Colorado–but his minor-league numbers haven’t been that much more impressive. While he boasts a 3.33 ERA in his MiLB career, the last two years have been a struggle.
You could pin that on being shuttled back and forth between the minors and Colorado–finding it tough to be consistent. It could also be an organizational issue. The Cubs have found their niche in taking “cast-offs” for lack of a better word and turning their careers around. I can’t imagine developing pitchers for Coors Field is a lot of fun.
"“He’s a perfect change-of-scenery candidate,” McLeod said of Butler, “and someone — not to throw Jake Arrieta on him by any means — but someone that has the pedigree of having big stuff, being worthy of that pick.”"
The Cubs staff will get a look at Butler soon as he’ll report to camp soon.Pitchers and catchers will report on February 14. It will be a full bullpen in Mesa as the Cubs will have near 40 pitchers in camp. But as the old adage goes–“you can never have too much pitching.”