The Devil Rays acquired 23 year-old righty Korean pitching prospect Jae-Kuk Ryu today for a couple of minor leaguers.
Ryu was pretty solid at Triple A last year, but the Cubs had to make some room on the roster for new acquisitions. The projection reflects the NL Central, but PECOTA had him posting a 4.71 ERA in 121 innings in 2007. Ryu’s top comparable is pre-surgery Wade Miller, not a bad thing.
The interesting angle to this acquisition, though, is that the D-Rays have added to their stable of villains. Ryu is best known for intentionally throwing a baseball at Ozzy the Osprey back in 2003. The bird, team mascot of the Daytona Cubs, died several days after Ryu nailed it. And this wasn’t a Randy Johnson/Dave Winfield type deal – Ryu tried repeatedly to intentionally peg this thing (click on Johnson’s name to watch his incident). One source even indicates that Ryu was trying to hit the osprey all year long. Ryu sparked quite a bit of outrage. You can click here to read Jeff Merron’s definitive work on athletes abusing animals, including Kevin Mitchell beheading a cat.