You already know how I feel about Juan Pierre. What’s the deal with the three pitchers the Cubs shipped over to get him?
Renyel Pinto is a 23 year-old southpaw with a plus changeup and 94 mph fastball. While ranked the Cubs’ 6th best prospect by Baseball America before the 2005 season, he’s now dropped out of the top ten. If you look at Pinto’s numbers the last couple of years, he’s mastered Double A but can’t crack Triple A. However, he’s gotten only about 30 innings in Iowa as an opportunity. Pinto prevents home runs well and strikes people out, but is a bit generous with the walks.
Ricky Nolasco is a 23 year-old righthander with a low 90s sinker and a good curveball. Nolasco was ranked just 19th among Cubs prospects before the ’05 season, and was upgraded to 7th overall after this performance in Double A this year. The Cubs pushed him up to Iowa for 40 innings in ’04 and he didn’t fare well. Nolasco has pretty good control and nice strikeout numbers. He was to be sent to the Rangers for Rafael Palmeiro in 2003, but Palmeiro vetoed the deal.
Cubs fans might be a little more familiar with Sergio Mitre, as he’s thrown 121 uninspiring innings in the big leagues. Mitre has looked OK at Iowa, but has been never been able to translate success save for a brilliant 16 inning stretch this year. He might be able to crack the back end of Florida’s rotation in due time.
To sum it up, the Cubs didn’t really give up any can’t miss prospects in this trade.