Locals In MLB: Former BYU Hurler Trading Cubs Pinstripes For Phillies Phanatics

Feb 6, 2024, 3:45 PM | Updated: 3:48 pm

michael rucker chicago cubs...

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 16: Michael Rucker #59 and Yan Gomes #7 of the Chicago Cubs celebrate their team win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field on May 16, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Pirates 9-0.

CLEARWATER, Florida – With the countdown to days from spring training creeping into single digits, MLB teams are making a flurry of roster moves in preparation for camp.

After being designated for assignment earlier in the week, the Chicago Cubs announced they had traded former BYU Cougar pitcher Michael Rucker to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The right-handed reliever has appeared in 96 MLB games out of the bullpen for Chicago in the past three seasons. In 2023, Rucker (2-1) threw 40.1 innings in 35 appearances to finish with a 4.91 ERA. Rucker has struck out 120 batters in 123.1 major league innings.

Rucker’s best season came in 2022 when he finished with a 3-1 record and a 3.95 ERA in 54.2 innings.

The Phillies designated right-hander Andrew Bellatti for assignment to clear room for Rucker on the 40-man roster.

About Michael Rucker

A 6’1 right-handed pitcher, Rucker graduated from Auburn Riverside High School in Auburn, Washington, in 2013. After his prep career, Rucker played seven games for the Gonzaga Bulldogs before transferring to BYU for the 2015 season.

In 2015, Rucker went 5-1 with a 3.22 ERA for the Cougars. The following year, he exploded onto the MLB draft scene with a 2.73 ERA and 1.08 WHIP while compiling an 11-1 record in 16 starts.

Rucker’s 2016 success led to an 11th-round selection by the Chicago Cubs in that summer’s draft. After five seasons in the minor leagues, Rucker made his MLB debut with Chicago in 2021.

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Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies, Locals in MLB, and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s Bees, Beehive baseball, and Aggie athletics coverage here.

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Locals In MLB: Former BYU Hurler Trading Cubs Pinstripes For Phillies Phanatics