Prospect Pineyro a nice return for Cubs

The Cubs' Scott Hairston talks about his pinch-hit home run against the Pirates on Sunday afternoon. He was traded to the Nationals on Sunday night.

The Cubs may not have expected to get 21-year-old Ivan Pineyro from the Nationals when they asked for him, but he’s the guy coming back in the Scott Hairston trade that was agreed to late Sunday night.

Pineyro is a ranked prospect in a deep farm system (the Nationals' No. 27 entering the season, according to Baseball America) and he has pitched very well in his first year of full-season ball. Pineyro was a South Atlantic League All-Star before being promoted to high-A and has compiled a 3.24 ERA and 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings between those two stops.

The Pineyro capsule in Baseball America's Prospect Handbook points out how he bounced back from suffering a broken jaw on a line drive in extended spring training a year ago, saying the Nationals "rave about Pineyro's maturity and professionalism, and his quick arm is intriguing. His fastball velocity jumped to 90-94 last year. He has also a good feel for a changeup that projects as an average to plus pitch.''

The Nationals were willing to give up a lot for Hairston because he is very productive against lefties, and the top teams in the NL East are loaded with lefties (the Braves' Mike Minor and Paul Maholm, and the Phillies' John Lannan, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, who happen to be the next three pitchers that Davey Johnson's team meets after winning its last four games).

progers@tribune.com

Twitter@ChiTribRogers

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