While I sift through minute after minute of digital audio “tape,” I’ll let you have at it here. As you know, the Cubs traded right-hander Ryan Dempster to the Texas Rangers for a pair of minor-leaugers: right-handed pitcher Kyle Hendricks and third baseman Christian Villanueva. Both players played this year at Class A Myrtle Beach.
Hendricks, 22, was an eighth-rounder in 2011. He is 5-8 with a 2.82 ERA in 20 starts, earning midseason all-star honors. He struck out 112 and walked 15 in 130.2 innings. Villanueva, 21, is batting .285 with 19 doubles, 1 triple, 10 homers and 59 RBI in 100 games. His OBP is .356, and the slugging is .421 (.777 OPS).
A few quick things and then I’ll be back later. I check in to answer any of your questions:
--Both the Cubs and Dempster said there were no hard feelings over the Atlanta deal that wasn’t. In fact, GM Jed Hoyer said Dempster hung around the Cubs offices today so he could keep track of trade talks. Maybe they didn’t want to let him out of their sight.
--If the Texas deal hadn’t happened, Hoyer said Dempster likely would be a Cub now. The Cubs and Dodgers went deep in their talks but could not get a deal done.
--Casey Coleman starts tonight. For now, he and Justin Germano will fill the roster spots of Paul Maholm and Dempster.
--Matt Garza probably won’t pitch until next Tuesday at San Diego. His wife is giving birth today, and the Cubs want to get him another side session or two.
--Manager Dale Sveum says he’ll split the catching duties more or less 50-50 between Steve Clevenger and Welington Castillo. Adrian Cardenas is up from Iowa to fill a utility role.
--Hoyer said Josh Vitters has made a strong case for a call-up and that the best thing is that he’s “trended upward” each month in his numbers. Still, I don’t look for an immediate call-up.