ST. LOUIS — It didn't take long for Randy Rosario to endear himself to the Cubs clubhouse.
It helps when you find instant success (a 0.68 ERA), but the results haven't stopped the 24-year-old left-handed pitcher from trying to learn all he can while he's up here in Chicago.
Take, for example, when he discovered this week what GOAT means:
Can Somebody please tell me why they calling me The Goat??— Randy Rosario (@Randy_Rosario77) June 12, 2018
Thanks to everyone for the answer, now I understand why they call me the 🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐— Randy Rosario (@Randy_Rosario77) June 13, 2018
Rosario's already carved out a special place in the heart of the Cubs fanbase and he's only been up here for two weeks.
He's also turned the heads of the front office with his immediate confidence.
"He's got good stuff that moves a lot," Theo Epstein said. "A lot of downward movement. It gives him a big margin for error to go attack hitters, even at this level. He's making the most of this opportunity."
Rosario is a big part of the group of "Iowa pitchers" who have done an incredible job filling out the last couple spots of the Cubs' bullpen in Chicago this season.
Selected off waivers from the Minnesota Twins in November, Rosario sported an 0.47 ERA in Triple-A Iowa to begin the year before coming up and dominating at the big-league level.
All told between the two levels, he's allowed just 2 earned runs on 15 hits in 32.2 innings, good for an 0.55 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. He also hasn't allowed a homer at either stop.
Rosario doesn't have any special reason why he's found such immediate success in the Cubs organization beyond the fact that he's just comfortable here. He's credited Pedro Strop, in particular, with mentoring him but loved the way everybody has treated him from the minor-league staff to the big-league players, coaches, front office members, etc.
"As soon as you feel comfortable, everything's gonna be fine," Rosario said. "If I feel comfortable, this is what I can do."
Rosario, who signed out of the Dominican Republic and spent 7 years in the Twins organization, is under Cubs team control through the 2023 season. He gives the Cubs a lot of options out of the bullpen both as a lefty and as a guy who can throw multiple innings if needed.
He's obviously not going to have an 0.68 ERA forever, but the Cubs believe he can continue to find success in the majors.
"He's throwing a lot of strikes," Maddon said. "A lot of chases off the strikes. A lot of movement, really good movement on all his pitches. And his demeanor has been really calm.
"There's nothing overwhelming for him right now. I love that. Because of that, I think it can continue. It's not his first rodeo. He's been around a little bit even though he's not been in the big leagues a lot.
"He's got a lot of self-confidence and I really like that about him."