Hagerty Returned to Cubs

One day before his 24th birthday, left-hander Luke Hagerty, a Rule 5 Draft selection by the Baltimore Orioles, was returned to the Cubs Thursday.                                                            

"We're happy to have Luke back in the fold of things," Cubs Director of Player Development Oneri Fleita said Thursday.

Hagerty, who spent Spring Training with the Florida Marlins after he was traded by the Orioles just hours following the Dec. 13 draft, was a highly touted first round pick out of Ball State in 2002. He first debuted at Class-A Boise that year, going 5-3 with a stellar 1.13 ERA in 10 starts for the short season Northwest League affiliate. He averaged over one strikeout per inning and held opposing batters to a .189 average in that span. The northern Ohio native underwent "Tommy John surgery" just prior to the start of 2003 after suffering a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his left elbow.

"He was one of the most dominant pitchers in the league when he was with us back in 2002," recalled Boise broadcaster Mike Safford. "After the surgery, however, he lost a lot of velocity. When he came to Boise again on a rehab assignment last year, you could see that he was very rusty at times and that his velocity and command just weren't there."

In limited action with the Hawks a year ago, Hagerty faced 49 total batters and surrendered 15 hits. He allowed 12 earned runs in four appearances, including three starts, which totaled nine innings. He also walked nine and struck out five.

"He wasn't throwing very hard at all," said Safford. "Right after he was drafted, he was consistently around 94-95 mph with us. He also had a couple of starts last year where he just could not find the plate."

One of those starts was a July 18 loss at Yakima (Wash.). That night, Hagerty went only a third of an inning. He faced seven batters, walked three, and allowed six earned runs. This spring with the Marlins, he appeared in just one outing, working a scoreless inning in relief.

Left-hander Andy Sisco, also taken in last December's Rule 5 Draft, remains a strong possibility to land a spot on the Kansas City Royals' 25-man opening day roster, which currently stands at 27 entering Friday. The 6'10" Sisco has a 2.72 ERA in seven appearances this spring with 10 strikeouts and five walks.

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