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The Ex-Cub Factor

One in a series of posts catching up with former Cubs.

1. 53-Year-Old Rafael Palmeiro Is Out-Hitting His Son By 50 Points In Independent League.

That's kinda being a dick!

2. Luis Valbuena Released By Angels.

Remains unclaimed.

3. Randall Delgado Designated For Assignment.

Randy D was never actually a Cub because Ryan Dempster vetoed the trade with Atlanta that would've made it happen. Instead, the Cubs got Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva from the Rangers. This will be the last time Delgado appears in this feature unless he does something truly extraordinary down the line.

4. Braves Awarded Rene Rivera Off Waivers From Angels.

I thought the Cubs should've brought him and Alex Avila; instead we got Chris Gimenez and now Bobby Wilson.

5. Dodgers' Zac Rosscup Begins Rehab Assignment.

Calf.

6. Billy McKinney Getting Good look From Jays.

He's already been in the A's, Cubs and Yankees organizations.

7. Cleveland Announces Leonys Martin Will Miss Rest Of Season.

Bacteria.

8. Jacob Turner.

The well-traveled Turner is a Mud Hen now.

9. Cardinals Move Dexter Fowler To 60-Day DL.

Dude's using a scooter to get around.

10. Miami Marlin Starlin Castro Is Hot, But Also Sucks.

Defensive metrics look bad.

11. Padres Say Team HR Leader Christian Villanueva May Be Done For Season.

Finger.

12. White Sox Activate Welington Castillo After PED Suspension.

Was it "Welly" or Geovany Soto that Len Kasper kept promising was the next Yadier Molina? Probably both.

13. Cleveland Recalls Neil Ramirez From DL.

Back spasms.

14. and 15. White Sox Name Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease Players Of The Month.

They'll need to work on their defense, though, until about 10 days into next April.

16. Rockies' Wade Davis Strikes Out Side For 38th Save.

4.09 FIP, FYI.

17. Phillies' Tommy Hunter Notches Third Save.

"[H]e seems to have worked his way into the high-leverage mix by posting a 2.03 ERA and 0.98 WHIP through 13.1 innings in August."

(He's throwing his cutter more than ever, FYI.)

18. Rangers' Eddie Butler Eats Up Innings In Loss.

"He has a 5.65 ERA over 192.2 innings as a starter and is sitting on a 7.11 ERA in 10 outings since coming to Texas in the Cole Hamels trade."

19. James Russell Sighting.

"Thirty-two-year-old southpaw James Russell has a 2.33 ERA in 84 innings with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. The former Texas Longhorn made 394 appearances for the Cubs, Braves, and Phillies from 2010-2016."

20. Trevor Cahill Is Part Of The A's Resurgence!

"Signed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract in the winter, Cahill has become one of the biggest bargains in baseball in part by reducing the use of his fastball and generating more swing and miss with his slider, more than doubling its usage. Cahill has a 3.44 ERA, and his 2.1 WAR according to FanGraphs is the second-best mark of his career."

Cahill had once been heavily dependent upon his sinker, but he told FiveThirtyEight that the A's have given him "weighted pitch" data, which he's used to diversity his overall pitch mix. For the first time since 2012, he has four above-average pitches, according to FanGraphs linear weights.

"If you can throw four different pitches, and they are doing different things in the zone, it's tough [for batters] to guess," Cahill said.

The A's also have pitch-tracking Rapsodo technology for use in between appearances, which Cahill uses to monitor his release point and the underlying characteristics of his pitches - like spin rate - between starts.

"I go look at my curveball and see if the spin rate is higher," Cahill said. "I look at where I am releasing it."

21. So Is Edwin Jackson!

"The well-traveled, and perhaps forgotten about, Jackson has given the A's 60 quality innings this season - not bad for a guy playing on his 13th (!) MLB team. Jackson has done this by getting crafty: reducing the use of his fastball from 35.3 percent last season (47.9 percent for his career) to 16.2 percent this season."

22. Knee Surgery Ends Clayton Richard's Season With The Padres.

I always think of him in conjunction with Cahill.

23. Luis Gonzalez Was A Pallbearer At John McCain's Funeral.

23.5. Bob Brenly was also in attendance.

24. Emilio Bonifacio Joins Brewers On Minor-League Deal.

It appears he was then brought up to the big club.

25. Royals' Jorge Soler Unlikely To Return in 2018.

He was injury-prone with the Cubs, too.

26. Twins' Catcher Chris Gimenez Hits HR After Pitching An Inning.

Allowed five runs in his inning of work. Also wears his shirt weird.

27. Yankees Admit They Might Not Get Aroldis Chapman Back This Season.

Left knee tendinitis, which we probably can't blame on Joe Maddon.

28. Braves Send Arodys Vizcaino On Rehab Assignment.

Was once Cubs closer-of-the-future.

29. Daniel Poncedeleon Recalled From Memphis, Returning To Cards' Bullpen.

Drafted by Cubs but failed his physical.

30. Shaky Return For Justin Grimm, Who Sees Actions For Mariners.

Still the Grimm Reaper.

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