Gorzelanny worth risk for Cubs 

July, 30, 2009
07/30/09
10:37
PM ET
John Grabow, acquired by the Cubs from the Pirates, represents bullpen depth for Chicago. He's a lefty who isn't great against lefties but isn't terrible against hitters on either side; he's held back by below-average control and the lack of a good breaking ball. Grabow has an average fastball and average changeup, but the below-average slider means he doesn't have the lefty-killing weapon most managers expect a southpaw reliever to have.

The surprising part of the deal is that the Pirates also sent Tom Gorzelanny to the Cubs. The often-injured lefty once looked like the future ace of the Pittsburgh rotation. His velocity dropped dramatically last year, but it has crept back up in 2009. Although he still has a chance to figure it out as a starter, the Cubs could throw him in the bullpen for the balance of the year if they're looking for someone who can be tough on lefties, or even just shift him there in October if they face a lefty-heavy opponent like the Phillies. It's a good gamble for the Cubs to take.

The Pirates get organizational depth in return but no major prospects. Kevin Hart is primarily a two-pitch guy who has touched 96 for me but sits in the low 90s; he has never shown anything approaching average command but is worth a flier as a live-armed reliever who could figure it out long enough for the Pirates to flip him to someone else.

Keith Law

ESPN Senior Writer

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