Naturals’ INF Bianchi claimed by Cubs
KANSAS CITY, MO – The Kansas City Royals announced Friday that Naturals infielder Jeff Bianchi has been claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs.
A second-round pick by the Royals in 2005, the 25-year old Bianchi spent the entire 2011 season with the Naturals, where he batted .259 with two home runs and 48 RBI in 119 games. The Lancaster, PA resident also spent the second half of the 2009 season with the Naturals and batted .315 with five homers and 42 RBI in 68 games but missed the 2010 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow during Spring Training.
Bianchi, who will occupy a spot on the Cubs’ 40-man Major League roster, was designated for assignment by the Royals on November 30th to clear a space for new reliever Jonathan Broxton. In 2012, Bianchi is likely to draw an assignment to the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate, the Iowa Cubs, or their Double-A Tennessee affiliate in the Southern League.
He departs the Naturals organization ranking sixth all-time on the franchise list of games played (187), sixth in at-bats (714), sixth in runs scored (105), tied for fifth in hits (200), third in doubles (40), and seventh in RBI (90). In 490 career minor league games over six seasons, Bianchi has a .281 average with 31 homers and 251 runs batted in.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.