The Cubs optioned rookie starter Brooks Raley (0-2, 9.00) back to Triple-A Iowa on Monday, but that’s no reason to give up on the young left-hander.
After a disappointing major league debut at San Diego last week–7 earned-runs, 8 hits in 4.0 innings–Raley made a quality start–3 earned-runs, 6.0 innings–in his second outing against Cincinnati on Sunday, despite suffering the loss.
Having allowed 10 earned-runs on 13 hits through two starts suggests the kid still needs some seasoning. But let’s not jump to conclusions, either.
RALEY A TYPICAL ROOKIE STARTER
It’s typical for rookie starters to struggle badly during their first taste of big league action.
Current Cub, Matt Garza, went (3-6, 5.76 ERA) through his first nine major league starts with Minnesota.
Former Cub, Sean Marshall went (6-9, 5.59 ERA) in his first 24 starts with Chicago–before discovering he was actually better suited for the bullpen.
Greg Maddux, for heaven’s sake, went (2-4, 5.52 ERA) in his first six appearances (five starts), and (6-14, 5.61 ERA) during his first full season with the Cubs in 1987.
This isn’t to suggest Raley will become half as good as any of the pitchers mentioned above. Instead, it’s simply a reminder that it’s still too early to judge the kid after a mere two major league outings.
MORE OF THE SAME WAITING GAME
Like seemingly everything else with the Cubs these days, we’ll have to stay patient while Raley develops.
It would be more comforting, of course, if he pitched as well as Randy Wells did in his rookie season as a starter (12-10, 3.05 ERA), but we all know how that turned out, too.
It’s already been reported Raley will be summoned from Iowa in time to make his third start as part of a day/night double-header at Cincinnati on Saturday.
All the better. Raley needs the experience and it’s wise of us to just let the kid do his thing, as painful as that might be.