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Raisel Iglesias Is Emerging As An Elite Closer

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Closer A: 63.1 IP/ 24/25 Save Opportunities/ 80 K/ 24 BB/ 1.85 ERA/ 1.08 WHIP

Closer B: 43.2 IP/ 26/26 Save Opportunities/ 58 K/ 24 BB/ 2.27 ERA/ 1.19 WHIP

If you were a General Manger for a contender, which closer would you rather have?

Closer A is Raisel Iglesias, closer for the Cincinnati Reds. His team currently sits 5th in the National League Central with a record of 54-74.

Closer B is Wade Davis, closer for the Chicago Cubs. His team currently sits 1st in the National League Central with a record of 68-58.

To a casual baseball fan, those numbers may be a bit of a surprise. But to Reds fans, they are only a confirmation of what has been an incredible year for the Cuban flamethrower.

Iglesias has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dreadful Reds pitching staff. The 27 year old is excelling in his new role in the Reds bullpen. In his first full season as the closer, Iglesias has converted 24 of his 25 save opportunities, posting a very impressive 1.85 ERA. He has a nearly 4 to 1 K/BB ratio, striking out 80 and walking only 24.

Iglesias has shown that he is not just a one inning closer, as he has totaled 63.1 IP in 53 games. Stamina not being an issue, Reds manager Bryan Price is not afraid to use Iglesias for a 6 out save, or work him 3 days in a row.

Iglesias is a revelation at the closer position. A former starter, Iglesias was moved to the bullpen due to multiple shoulder injuries. The Reds had struggled to fill the void at the closer position after the trade of Aroldis Chapman. Guys such as JJ Hoover and Tony Cingrani failed to turn into quality closers, and the Reds desperately needed someone to step up.

The comparisons to the aforementioned Chapman do not stop there for Iglesias. Both flamethrowers were signed out of Cuba as international free agents by the Reds. The organization had planned to make both of them starters, but due to lack of efficiency at the end of games, both were placed into the closer role.

Iglesias has made a flawless transition into the closer’s role. The Opening Day starter for the Reds in 2016, Iglesias has shown versatility for the Reds. Now, it appears, the Reds have found a slot for the right hander, and he shows absolutely no signs of relinquishing it.

 

 

 

 

Chicago Cubs

Cubs Acquire Terrance Gore

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The Chicago Cubs have acquired outfielder Terrance Gore from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations, according to an announcement from the organization on Wednesday.

Gore, 27, will bring the Cubs a  legit base-stealing threat.

Gore is likely to start off his run with the Cubs in their minor league system as they eye using him as a weapon in the playoffs, and could be called up when rosters officially are expanded for the stretch run in September.

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Chicago Cubs

Cubs Sign Jorge De La Rosa

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The Chicago Cubs have signed left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, according to a team announcement (h/t MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat)

In corresponding moves, the Cubs transferred starting pitcher Yu Darivish to the 6-day disabled list and left-hander Randy Rosario, who has pitched to a 3.00 ERA so far this season, was designated for assignment.

De La Rosa was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this week after struggling to a 4.63 ERA this season.

 

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Agent for Cubs’ Yu Darvish Fires Back At Alex Rodriguez

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The agent for injured Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish is not too happy about comments made by Alex Rodriguez on ESPN saying that comments were “classless.”

Rodriguez accused the pitcher of being a distraction and that he was negatively affecting the team’s clubhouse.

“I think it was classless and bordered on unprofessional to take a little nugget of somewhat exaggerated information from one person that maybe he had history with and turning that into a spokesman for the entire team,” agent Joel Wolfe said, according to The Athletic.

“Matt [Vasgersian], the problem is, and I’m pretty passionate about this, when you have 25 players coming to the stadium, you’re there to do one thing and that’s win a ball game” Rodriguez said on the ESPN telecast on Sunday.

“You want all the energy, all the focus, all the analytics, all the stretching: What are we going to do today to win a ball game?

The Cubs inked Darvish to a six-year, $126 million deal this offseason in a deal that is already proving to be a bust as Darvish has gone  1-3 with a 4.95 ERA in eight starts, with 2 trips to the disabled list.

“And when you have a guy that signs an enormous contract and he’s sitting down, and you walk in the training room, and he’s got two trainers working on him, you go into the video room and you have a guy looking at video … he should be in Arizona somewhere getting treated. But don’t get in the way of 25 players going after one mission: to win a ball game.”

Rodriguez continued his criticism, questioning Darvish’s commitment when the struggles of Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood was brought up.

“He gets beat down but gets back up,” Rodriguez said of Chatwood. “He takes a punch and gets back up. And you’ll never see players complain or whine about a guy like that. They actually back him. So this is an issue that, if you’re Cubs Nation, you have to watch the Yu Darvish development because it’s not good inside that clubhouse right now.”

Cubs manager Joe Maddon offered his thoughts on A-Rod’s comments after Sunday’s game.

“I totally disagree with that,” Maddon said. “Everyone knows what’s going on. We know there is an injury there. We support his recovery. Everybody in there knows, and everyone in the coaches’ room knows also, throughout the organization. It’s unfortunate that it was relayed that way, but it’s not true.”

Wolfe continued his rant.

“… [A-Rod’s] attacking a player who is injured and on the disabled list, which is difficult for any player, especially one who has a big contract and is in his first year [with a new team]. Imagine how difficult it is for Darvish. But then also attacking him for staying with the team?

“During A-Rod’s absurd comments, the video shows that Darvish was right there on the top step in the dugout cheering on his teammates, which is what you want from somebody like that. He wasn’t hiding out in Mesa at the spring training complex or back home like A-Rod was when he was suspended.”

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