I was curious to see how the Rule 5 draft has worked out for the Cubs this year. This will be a short piece on those players.
Honestly, Rondon hasn't been as awful as his numbers would indicate. He's used very sparingly (13 games thus far), and in those 15.2 innings he's allowed 2 HR, 8 walks, 3 HBP, 11 SO, and a 4.60 ERA/5.39 FIP. That looks terrible on it's face, and perhaps it is; when I've seen him, he doesn't really look all that bad though.
Sure, there was this, and it wasn't pretty. That game has really disproportionately affected his line, though, because he's not used that often.
Rondon has featured a 92 mph fastball, a 81 mph slider, and a 90 mph cut fastball (65/22/13). Only James Russell (and Kyuji Fujikawa in SSS) has induced more swing-and-miss on the Cubs this year, so the stuff seems to be there (also 3rd in SwStr% behind Russell and Shark). His problem has been two-fold this year; he starts behind in counts too much (just over 47% of his first pitches are balls) and he overcompensates by working in the zone too much. Once we get a larger sampling, we can actually determine if there's anything there. We can be reasonably certain he's a lot better than Lendy Castillo.
He was returned to the Cubs after being taken by Arizona with the 14th pick in the draft. He's been horrible ever since he returned, so I'm assuming that either his increased 2012 velocity went away or he's injured. It was always a stretch to imagine he'd have ever stuck on their roster (never pitched above A ball). The Cubs are almost certainly going to convert him to a ROOGY reliever where he might have some success.
Burgess has struggled mightily as a AA repeat in the Houston organization. He's had 138 PA and the line reads .189/.254/.323; he also has reduced power and walks with a huge increase in strikeouts. I can't say I really miss him; he'll be 24 this year and doesn't look to be able to escape AA.
Matt Cerda might be my favorite Cub of all time. He was drafted in the AAA phase of the Rule V by the Cardinals, and instead of just joining their team, he retired. He hasn't yet reported to their organization either way, so I'm assuming he's hanging them up. If that's the case, and he retired rather than play for the Cardinals, then he'll never buy a beer if he drinks with me. Cerda looked poised to join a suddenly crowded glut at 3B in Iowa, but was crafted from a different mold than Vitters/Stewart/Lake. His calling card was always patience without much power. It would have been difficult for him to find playing time in Iowa (he also plays 2B but so does Watkins), so I'm happy for him that we would have seemingly had an opportunity, but it'd be so metal if he retired rather than be a Cub.
I honestly can't find any information about his stint with the Blue Jays. I assume he's still with their organization, but he's yet to pitch. Jimenez spent 3 seasons in rookie ball with the Cubs; if he's doing rookie ball again with the Jays he wouldn't have started anything besides extended spring training yet.
All told, the players we lost have either been returned, retired, or regressed. We grabbed a player that has looked better than his number would indicate. This Rule 5 draft hasn't been all that bad to the Cubs at all.
EDIT: Apparently the verbiage of the Rule 5 draft is, actually, Rule 5. I blame Baseball Reference for leading me astray, and thank "Your Dumb" for his insight.