Cubs Claim LHP C.D. Pelham off Waivers from Rangers

Vinyl may be outselling its more compact counterpart for the first time in decades, but the Cubs went counter to the trend by claiming lefty C.D. Pelham off waivers from the Rangers. It’s another under-the-radar move as the front office looks to build depth on the cheap before (fingers crossed) getting down to more serious acquisitions soon.

Originally selected by Texas in the 33rd round of the 2015 Draft out of Spartanburg Methodist College, the 6-foot-6 Pelham has gone 11-12 with 28 saves and a 5.51 ERA in 158 career minor league appearances. He represented the Rangers as part of the US team in the 2018 Futures Game and made 10 big league appearances with Texas that same season, posting a 7.04 ERA with no decisions. Pelham split 2019 between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Nashville, combining to go 1-4 with an 11.97 ERA in 42 relief outings.

The 6-foot-6 Lancaster, SC native has a big fastball that sits 96 mph and can touch a few ticks higher, setting it off with a slider and the occasional changeup. He’s always posted excellent strikeout numbers (10.88 K/9 in MiLB), but the walks have been a real problem that got much worse last season. Pelham handed out 40 free passes in 32.1 innings (11.14 BB/9), which isn’t even close to acceptable. The Cubs likely see a guy who could benefit from the Pitch Lab in the same way towering lefty Brad Wieck did after coming over last season.

This move puts the Cubs’ 40-man roster at 38, but don’t think for a second that it’s a guarantee of anything. The Cubs will likely try to clear Pelham through waivers as the Rangers did in the hopes that they can keep him in the organization to get him right without taking up a roster spot in the meantime. It’s a low-risk gamble that could pay off big if things work out the right way.

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