The Chicago Cubs today selected right-handed pitcher Hector Rondon from the Cleveland Indians in the Major League portion (first round, second overall) of the Rule 5 Draft.
Rondon, 24, is 36-36 with two complete games, one save and a 3.88 ERA (253 ER/587.0 IP) in 120 minor league games, all but seven as a starter, since being signed by Cleveland as a non-drafted free agent on August 3, 2004. He has struck out 526 batters while walking 121 in eight minor league seasons beginning in 2005.
In 2012, the six-foot-three, 180-pound Rondon posted no record with a 1.29 ERA (1 ER/7.0 IP) and nine strikeouts in four games (two starts) between the Rookie-League AZL Indians and Double-A Akron of the Eastern League after missing most of the past two seasons recovering from right elbow surgery. Rondon underwent right elbow UCL reconstruction surgery on August 25, 2010 and had a second procedure in December of 2011 to repair an elbow fracture.
The Guatire, Venezuela native was named Cleveland’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2009 after going 11-10 with a complete game, a 3.38 ERA (55 ER/146.1 IP) and 137 strikeouts in 27 games (25 starts) between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus. The Eastern League All-Star led the Indians organization in strikeouts, ranked third in wins and fourth in innings pitched. In 2008, Rondon went 11-6 with a 3.60 ERA (58 ER/145.0 IP) and 145 strikeouts in 27 starts with Single-A Kinston. He was named a Carolina League All-Star and the ninth-best prospect in the league by Baseball America, finishing among the league leaders in strikeouts (second), wins (fourth), innings (sixth) and ERA (eighth).
The Cubs lost right-handed pitcher Starling Peralta in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft when he was selected in the first round (14th overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Cubs also lost outfielder Michael Burgess, infielder Matt Cerda and right-handed pitcher Alvido Jimenez in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft. Burgess was selected with the first pick overall by Houston, Cerda was selected with the 19th pick of the first round by St. Louis and Jimenez was selected in the second round by Toronto.
Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 38 players.