NASHVILLE, Tenn. The Cubs continued to collect pitchers and take chances on guys with health issues by taking Hector Rondon with the second pick in Thursdays Rule 5 draft.
The Cleveland Indians named Rondon their minor league pitcher of the year in 2009, but elbow problems wiped out most of his past three seasons. He underwent right elbow UCL reconstruction surgery in August 2010 and had a second procedure in December 2011 to repair an elbow fracture.
Rondon, 24, has been used almost exclusively as a starter in the minors. Hes 36-36 with a 3.88 ERA in 120 games, with 526 strikeouts against 121 walks.
Weve been watching him a lot in Venezuela this winter, general manager Jed Hoyer said. Hes got a great arm and we feel like we can capitalize on the fact that hes healthy now and throwing the ball really, really well. Hopefully, he can recapture what made him the Indians top pitching prospect at one point.
As the winter meetings ended at the Opryland Hotel, the Cubs lost right-hander Starling Peralta to the Arizona Diamondbacks. They also lost outfielder Michael Burgess (Houston Astros), infielder Matt Cerda (St. Louis Cardinals) and right-hander Alvido Jimenez (Toronto Blue Jays) in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft.