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Astros Nab Rule V Pitcher From Cubs

New Astro Lincoln Holdzkom as a Marlin.
Note the spiderweb tatt on his elbow.
You've probably read by now that the Astros selected a player in Rule V from the Cubs Thursday.

The official site had a good article explaining how Lincoln Holdzkom had come to the Cubs from the Marlins in the deal for Todd Wellemeyer, how he'd been considered a legitimate prospect as a closer, and how he'd been derailed by Tommy John surgery.

In an attempt to dig up some more information, I wrote Al at Bleed Cubbie Blue and Craig at Fish Stripes to see what they could tell me as bloggers for Holdzkom's former organizations about our newest pitching prospect.

At his site, Mr. Yellon writes that Holdzkom was no great loss and notes in his email that Holdzkom is now 25, and has never pitched above AA. He also expresses doubt that the Astros will be able to find room on the roster all year for a player of his caliber.

However, a reader at BCB replied that

Holdzkom might be a loss

I realize he wasn't on the 40 man, but there was a blurb in the Sporting News a month ago about him from another teams scout. Said he was much closer to being major league ready than people thought. Maybe his view only

and Fish Stripes' view--though one year removed--was also more positive. Craig notes that Holdzkom--a seventh round pick at the age of 19--was on the Marlins' 40-Man as early as 2002, when he still had a 97 mile an hour heater. "On the fast track to the majors" is how he put it to me. He tells us that Holdzkom was back up to 94 mph in 2005 after the surgery, but didn't know whether he'd continued to show improvement. Based on Al's note, I might guess that he hasn't.

Fish Stripes goes on to write that Holdzkom has an inconsistent slurve, but can be nasty, with a fastball that "will both cut and run" when healthy. He is "reported to have a good work ethic," and perhaps most interestingly, "has nipple rings and seven tattoos."