Monday, August 13, 2018

Busting Through the Block

So, in case you haven't already noticed, I've been in a bit of a blogging slump.  Inspiration has been running low, motivation has been fleeting, and time has been a bit of a constraint.  Even when I have gotten around to writing, the last few months have seen posts in the single digits.  Without delving too much into my personal life (because, honestly, who cares) my mind has just been elsewhere lately... well, several elsewheres, actually.  As a result, I guess you could say that Wrigley Roster Jenga has been on a bit of a unintended hiatus.

That's a damn shame too, as I have yet to get around to highlighting several generous mail days, including those from P-Town Tom, Korean Cardboard, The Lost Collector, et al.   These acts of kindness deserve their moment in the sun and I promise that I'll get around to showcasing them before the shine has completely worn off.  Sorry guys!

In the meantime, another thing that I've missed in the last few days is a roster move... a roster move that involves a brand new addition to my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection.  Seeing as that binder is the bread and butter of my blogging and collecting, I simply cannot let that go unrecognized, lest I anger the wax pack Gods.

Last Friday, in the early hours of the morning, the Cubs signed reliever, Jorge De La Rosa and placed him immediately onto their active roster.  The lefty had recently been designated for assignment and released by the Diamondbacks before winding up on the open market.  The veteran has been in the Majors since 2004, though you might best remember him from his days in the middle of the Colorado Rockies' starting rotation from 2008-16.

As you might expect from someone who has just earned their walking papers, Jorge has been struggling through a rough season.  All told, in 42 appearances out of the Arizona pen, De La Rosa has posted a 4.63 ERA with a 20% home run rate while averaging nearly five walks per nine innings.  With such disappointing results, why then would the Cubs be interested in the former D-Back? 

Well, honestly, it's mostly because he's a southpaw.  With Mike Montgomery spending most of the year in the starting rotation, that has left the Jekyll and Hyde-like Justin Wilson as the only "dependable" lefty in the pen.  Plus, Jorge comes with a Major League track record, little financial investment, and no waiver strings attached.  This is a pure depth move that should help fortify the oft-used bullpen as the Cubs plow through the dog days of summer.

In order to make room on the roster for the free-agent acquisition, the Cubs transferred Yu Darvish to the 60-Day DL (a procedural move - he's already been out that long) and demoted Randy Rosario to AAA.  Randy, aka "the GOAT," is another lefty who has been something of a social media darling and mostly effective when called upon; that said, the rookie has been vastly outperforming his peripherals.  Before the shoe could drop, Theo and Co. went out and grabbed another, more experienced option from the left side.  At any rate, it's all but assured that Rosario will be back by September anyway.

During Saturday night's blowout at the hands of the Washington Nationals, De La Rosa made his Cubs debut at Wrigley Field.  Things got off to a great start too, as he he struck out four men (and walked one) in his 1.1 innings of work.  That'll play - here's hoping that Jorge can keep that up!

Meanwhile, with De La Rosa has officially recording his name in the Cubs' record books, I needed to add him to my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection book.  Luckily, with so many years spent near the top of the Colorado rotation, Jorge has been in a steady stream of Topps products in the last decade.  As such, I wasn't surprised to find a couple of his cards in my Rockies trade stacks:

Here we have the 2016 Topps Flagship single which kicked off today's post and Jorge's entry on the 2011 Topps Flagship checklist.   It's not exactly an embarrassment of riches, but at least I have options.  Which of these two cards would you select to represent Jorge De La Rosa in the Cubs All-Time Roster Collection?

In the end, I opted for the pasteboard on the left.  While I might have a strong distaste for foil text, the green grass background contrasts nicely with the hurler's dark road uniform.  Plus, I prefer the overall design of 2011 compared to 2016 and the crop job on the photo of the latter leaves a lot to be desired... like, his pitching arm, for example.  Do you agree with my assessment or is my thought process as thick with fog as the corners of the 2016 card?   Please feel free to let me know in the comment section below!

Welcome to Chicago and to the CATRC, Jorge.  Here's hoping that you earn a permanent spot in the Cubs bullpen and thanks for providing me with some needed inspiration to blog on this dreary Monday morning.  Hopefully I can keep this momentum going!


  1. I envy any blogger who hasn't been through a blogging slump. Never heard of The Sheds, but I really like that song.

  2. 2011 De La Rosa > 2016 De La Rosa. You definitely made the right choice, the cropping on that '16 is awful.

  3. I agree with your choice, for the reasons you stated. Also, because of a preference of the black jersey/pinstripe pants combo.