"Bear" Bids Goodbye to Cubs

Ron Bay

The Cubs sent minor league right-hander Ron Bay to the Cleveland Indians Tuesday for left-hander Cliff Bartosh. Bay, 21, won 11 games and posted an ERA of 3.10 for Class-A Lansing in 2004, leading Lugnut starters with 168 1/3 innings.

Bay went five innings or more in all but one start with Lansing before missing the Midwest League playoffs with a tired arm. He was a 2003 Arizona League All-Star with the Mesa Cubs, going 7-1 with a 2.50 ERA in 10 appearances.

Shortly after learning he'd been traded, Bay told Inside The Ivy: "We were in the middle of a game when (Cubs Director of Player Development) Oneri Fleita came up to me and asked if he could talk to me. He said I'd been traded; I didn't know what to say. He said they appreciated all of my hard work and what I've done for the organization. I wasn't shell-shocked, but I didn't know what to say or think."

Bay's solid season in Mid-A last year should reward him with a promotion to High-A ball with the Kinston (N.C.) Indians of the Carolina League.

"Leaving the Cubs is kind of difficult," admitted Bay. "I made a lot of really good friends with the Cubs and it's always hard to leave a place that you're really comfortable with. I was trying to explain how I felt to my dad, and I told him it was like starting a new school without knowing anybody or anything about it."

Bay also said he felt a sense of remorse for having to leave his coaches behind. The Houston native went four innings and allowed one unearned run in his most recent spring outing. He was scheduled to pitch again Thursday.

"I was really confident after my last outing," Bay said. "I was supposed to throw Thursday and obviously now I'm not. I was really looking forward to it."

Bay said the first thing he worked on when he got to Spring Training was getting back into the swing of things.

"I wasn't really working on one specific thing this spring," he said. "I was just focused on getting my mechanics back to where I need them to be. My first outing was rough. I left the ball up and got hit around a little, but I'd gotten better in every outing since."

Now, as he heads to a new team, Bay says he'll gladly take with him the advice of his Cub coaches and instructors.

"Some of the coaches said the best thing about me is that I'm so aggressive," Bay said. "I don't let anybody intimidate me. I guess that's a good thing and it's obviously gotten me somewhere. Knowing they liked how I became a pro ballplayer, I won't change anything because it's obviously gotten me to where I am now."

Bartosh, out of options in his second season with the Indians, made his major league debut last year, appearing in 34 games and going 1-0 with a 4.66 ERA. He was a 29th round draft pick by the Padres in 1998, appearing in 310 career minor league games with a 27-34 record and 3.54 ERA.

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