So Long, Ely-Mania: John Ely Traded to Houston

Via milb.com

Rob Rasmussen, via milb.com

This morning, I heard through the grapevine that the Dodgers were close to trading John Ely to an unnamed team for an unnamed minor leaguer — you can guess why I didn’t choose to go public with that, right? — and I figured that maybe it’d be Houston or Miami, two teams desperate for talent.

Turns out, it’s Houston: Ely has been traded to the Astros for 23-year-old lefty Rob Rasmussen, in a rare trade broken by the teams themselves and not the media. Rasmussen was one of the pieces Houston got from the Marlins for Carlos Lee after he refused to come to Los Angeles, so this is coming full circle in a way.

Rasmussen is a UCLA prospect who was a second-round pick of Miami in 2010, and in 60 games (53 starts) for the two organizations he’s got a 7.3 K/9 and a 3.8 BB/9.  A month ago, Marc Hulet ranked him as the #15 Houston prospect at FanGraphs:

Rasmussen is another guy that falls into the muddled group of 10-12 guys that could be ranked in the 11-15 range. The lefty ranks up on my list due – in part – to personal familiarity with him, having followed him since his college days.

A scout I spoke to about the former UCLA pitcher sees a big league role in his future. “I think he’ll be able to get people out at the big league level but he’s got to get the ball down,” he said. “He’s up to 94 mph with two breaking balls. The little dude works his tail off.” Two concerns brought up were his lack of deception, as well as his command/control issues – although he has few red flags in his delivery.

Because Rasmussen has a short, slight build, it’s difficult to project him as a big league starter, although he’s been extremely durable in the minors by pitching almost 300 innings during the past two seasons. He’s also known for being competitive so he could have the perfect makeup for a reliever. I heard a loose comp to lefty reliever J.P. Howell, formerly of the Royals and Rays.

If Rasmussen can find a way to get on top of the ball and create downward action on his pitches while also harnessing his breaking balls, he could be a valuable piece of the Astros bullpen as soon as mid-to-late 2013.

When he was traded in the Lee deal, former Baseball Prospectus prospect hound Kevin Goldstein — now with the Astros of course — graded him thusly: “short lefty has solid stuff and command, but no potential to make an impact beyond a bullpen role.” At 5’10″ and 155 pounds, it does seem like the bullpen is in his future. (He’s also on Twitter: @RasmussenRob).

As for Ely, this comes as no surprise, given that he’s proven little since his short moment in the sun in 2010, and it’s honestly good to see him go to an organization where he might actually be higher than 10th on the depth chart. Then again, Houston (and the AL West) isn’t exactly the friendly home ballpark for a pitcher of his skills.

With Ely gone, the formerly full 40-man roster now stands at 39, opening up room for the two or three more players (outfielder, reliever, etc) we all know are still coming.

467 comments
ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

Regarding the list of sexiest GMs, there are some serious errors of judgment in #1-29.

Dodgersrdabomb
Dodgersrdabomb

Not saying Uribe is as good as Josh Hamilton, but he is almost.....

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

Haren, Santana, Walden, M. Izturis, Morales, Hunter  OR  Blanton, Hanson, Burnett, Madsen, Hamilton, Vargas?  These analysts act like the Artes are some much better.

efb
efb

55 days till pitchers and catchers report!

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Zack Greinke would eat Vargas' balls off

Lobo
Lobo

Anyone else think the Angels rotation for next year is pretty much what ours was this year? One great pitcher up front, one good pitcher behind him, and three back of the rotation guys after that. Seriously, it's pretty damn similar. Kershaw, Bills, cappy, Lilly, harang vs. weaver, Wilson, Vargas, hanson, and blanton. It's eerie

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Damn. too crowded in here

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

So this just happened

RT @JeffFletcherOCR: Not saying Vargas is as good as Greinke, just that he's closer than you think, and the Angels got Vargas+Hamilton by passing on Greinke

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Okay. Lets say we trade Cappy and Harang. THat leaves us Kershaw, Greinke, Bills, Ryu, Beckett front five.

 

What do we have for depth. Fife. Lilly if he's good to go. then.......?

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

I bet I could hit Ely. I bet I could hit Rasmussen too.

Yoinkage
Yoinkage

This is so crazy! I hit against Rob Rasmussen in high school (he struck me the FUCK out). He was on my high school's rival team, they shit on us every year because their program is way more intense. He was a senior when I was a freshman. Had 2 of my best buddies get hits off him though.

 

Dodgers drafted him out of high school in the 23 round or something I think, he turned it down for UCLA and tore it up here. Hope he makes it to the majors so I can tell people I had an AB against the guy.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

IM NOT SAYING BELISARIO DOES AS MANY DRUGS AS HAMILTON BUT...

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @Lobo   I don't even know if Wilson is good.  It's Weaver and Mediocreville.

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

@EephusBlue The party has just started. Wait till after pitchers and catchers report, its going to be WILD.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

just walk up behind him and BAM right in the back of the neck. Not that hard really.

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

@Bob Meripol I never saw that one and I laughed to the point that wifey was compelled to come see what the commotion was all about. Now she's causing commotion and my son woke up from his nap. Thanks a lot Bob. Thanks a lot. (lol still hilarious)

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Serious underappreciation for his skills

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@Yoinkage You're the second guy today who couldn't hit him.

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

@Antonio_G @EephusBlue ANNYOUNG

efb
efb

 @Deuce  @Yoinkage man i cant even hit anything above 70mph at the batting cage lol

 

 

 

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Using my special weapons against me i see

BlueSteelhead
BlueSteelhead

 @Deuce  @Yoinkage  @darknesssss I'm the other guy who Rasmussen struck out. That fastball tore me up. But my buddy did hit a double off that building in center field. We almost beat them in the playoffs but our coach called a double steal with our best hitter up and he struck out on the bunt and they tagged the guy at home-lost 2-1

Yoinkage
Yoinkage

 @Deuce  @darknesssss Yeah, it's annoying and stupid. Since they practice there they all are trained to go to right field with the ball pretty much all the time. We tried to do the same, but it's different playing 3 games there vs. half your games there.

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @efb  @Yoinkage   I faced a guy who threw 90 in high school and hit a grounded to second.  Was elated to make contact.

Yoinkage
Yoinkage

 @efb  @Deuce He was hitting low 90s in his senior year. There were 2 scouts at the game when he started against us -- it was crazy.