Cubs Down to 31 Healthy Bodies

I lost track there for a bit, but it seems the Cubs have moved 10 bodies since my last update:  D. McDonald, Javier Baez, T. Wada, N. Ramirez, B. Parker, B. Schlitter, C. Yong-Lim, C. Valaika, C. Wells and J. Sanchez. Wada was subsequently re-signed to a minor league deal today.

LOCKED IN (MOST LIKELY) - 23

Position Players: Castillo, Kottaras, Rizzo, Castro, Barney, Schierholtz, Ruggiano, Lake, Sweeney, Valbuena

SP: Samardzija, Wood, E. Jackson, Hammel, C. Rusin

RP: Veras, Strop, Wright, Russell, Carlos Villanueva, A. Cabrera, Grimm, Rondon

DISABLED LIST - 3

Fukijawa, Arrieta, J. McDonald 

ON THE BUBBLE - 6

Murphy, Olt, Roberts(NRI), Bonifacio(NRI), Kalish (NRI), Coughlan(NRI)

MOST LIKELY CUT OR OPTIONED - 2

J. Baker (NRI), E. Whiteside (NRI)

ALREADY OPTIONED OR RELEASED - 32

Soler, Bryant, Almora, Alcantara, Szczur, Watkins, Valdez(NRI), Pimentel(NRI), Jokisch(NRI), A. Cunningham, M. Hatley (NRI), Beeler, Hendricks(NRI), Rosscup, J. Vitters, B. Jackson, Christian Villanueva, A. Vizcaino, A. Rivero(NRI), M. Maier(NRI), R. Lopez(NRI), Baez (NRI), T. Wada (NRI), T. Hottovy (NRI), D. McDonald(NRI), N. Ramirez, B. Parker, J. Sanchez (NRI), Yong-Lim (NRI), B. Schlitter (NRI), C. Valaika (NRI), C. Wells(NRI)


Since most teams break camp with 13 pitchers, it appears all 4 left are gonna make the team; Rusin as your 5th starter, Villanueva to the pen(guess they could flip-flop) with Cabrera, Grimm and Rondon also breaking camp with the club. I'm presuming J. McDonald will find his way to the disabled list of course.

That leaves 2 spots open for the 8 position players in camp that I still consider on the bubble. Baker and Whiteside don't look like they'll dethrone Kottares for the back-up catching duties, so scratch them off. Valbuena is having too good a camp to be cut, so he will either take the majority of at-bats at third base if they're not quite ready to give Mike Olt the permanent job, or maybe act as a flex starter splitting time between 2b and 3b depending on match-ups. Regardless, his roster spot is safe, which leaves just the 2 open spots for Olt, Murphy, Roberts, Bonifacio, Kalish and Coghlan.

Unless Olt's shoulder needs some more time, I'd be surprised if he doesn't head north with the club. He's had a good spring and not much left for him in the minors to learn, leaving 1 spot for Murphy, Roberts, Bonifacio, Kalish and Coughlan. If they're going by spring training numbers, Roberts has the edge by OPS: Roberts (.767), Bonifacio (.695), Kalish (.689). Coghlan (.621), Murphy (.589). Positonal versatility may be the key, or at the very least an ability to play some outfield so the Cubs have a 5th outfielder, in which case Roberts and Murphy sink to the bottom with Bonifacio, Kalish and Coglan edging towards the front. Of course last man on is usally first man off, so don't get too worked up over it.

In other news, Castro took some minor league at-bats today and seems to believe he'll have no problem being ready for Opening Day which I presume the Cubs agree, otherwise Baez would probably still be in camp.

Comments

it's just spring and all...but r.sweeney could really use a good game...at least 1.

veras and grimm with another bad night...though veras has been doing somewhat decent recently.

boni 1-4 with his 4th triple of the spring. rizzo hit a single off a lefty, adding to his string of hits he's gotten off lefties this spring. b.schlitter threw 1ip and struck out 3 (1h, 0bb).

FWIW, Brian Schlitter was consistently hitting 95-96, and Neil Ramirez was topping out at 97. 

i still can't believe n.ramirez was the ptbnl in the garza trade...

olt + cj edwards coming over as main pieces with grimm thrown in...and n.ramirez as icing on that trade cake? n.ramirez is better than grimm in that package and arguably better than olt at the time it was made...even with ramirez's injury concerns.

he may end up in the pen given his injury past and inability to build a starter workload over his career, but that wouldn't exactly be a failure given he wouldn't have to hold back for stamina and could fully bring the velocity through his appearances. i hope he can make it as a starter, but i wouldn't mind seeing him in the pen...whatever works.

i still don't understand wtf TEX was thinking with that kind of trade on a 2.5 month rental. i could understand olt OR cj edwards as a main piece...not both. grimm is a piece they could afford to throw in as a deal sweetener. ending up with both olt + cj edwards...with grimm...then throwing in n.ramirez...wtf TEX?

even though garza was the best available to-be-had pitcher not under multi-year commitment, it's not the same situation the cubs were in when they picked up garza and had 3 years of club control (including a guaranteed 1 cheap year + 1 under-market valued year) tied to garza. TEX had a lot of spare parts in their minor league system and they didn't give up anyone they needed, but they really blew a chunk of those spare parts for this rental.

I keep thinking: If only the Cubs had sent McNutt to Tampa instead of Archer and then also made the Garza to Texas trade they just did, imagine how savvy that maneuvering of baseball assets would've been.

Remember to add a level of old school Cubbery to "what ifs". More in likely the Cubs would have rushed Archer to the majors, he fails, they try him in the bullpen, then back to minor league rotation, mess with his delivery, add in a few minor injuries and he finally becomes a decent back end starter for the past couple years. The Cubs would now be looking to trade him for a prospect as part of "the plan." It's like having a mathematically equation that includes "times negative one" just substitute "times Cubbery."

x= Rob Whitenack * (-Cubbery)

x= Trey McNutt * (-Cubbery)

x= Corey Patterson * (-Cubbery)

How's it going Einstein?

More likely the Rays wanted Archer and not McNutt

If you check the twitter box Daniels is regretting the trade too.

James McDonald is not a NRI. He is on the 40 man roster.

Okay

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  • Kershaw, Fernandez and Syndergaard are your current leaders and all will be pitching meaningful games down the stretch that could make or break them. Hendricks will not be and his saber-numbers aren't anywhere close to those 3 and he'd split votes with Arrieta and Lester whom all are basically neck-and-neck for  WAR and FIP. If Kershaw pitches like just okay Kershaw in September he deserves to win in a landslide. Voters are pretty much saber-inclined now so it would take a crazy shutout streak or something for Hendricks to jump in the picture.

    Rob G. 3 hours 6 min ago view
  • AZ PHIL: With starters the likes of Edwin Jackson, even Chris Rusin or Michael Bowden could look good on their staff. At best, he is a #5-6. But as always, LH are at a premium.

    The E-Man 4 hours 36 min ago view
  • Sure we would all want consistency. He is not even 24, has played 5 (!) positions this year. Can you imagine what is in his head? He was only a part-time player at 2 spots last year. And THEN think about hitting?? Cut him some slack...You sure are picky lately. First wishing #6 NL RBI guy Russell have a better average, and now an "unncessarily fancy pick". Geez tough crowd!

    The E-Man 4 hours 39 min ago view
  • it's going to be hard to take down scherzer.

    kershaw is supposedly coming back soon, though he'll probably need a good amount of deep innings to match up with scherzer...probably too late at this point. tanner roark, bumgarner, and hendricks are probably going to steal some votes along with kershaw.

    crunch 5 hours 8 min ago view
  • I absolutely love Javy's game, and I love the way Maddon changed the perception of him as a ballplayer, but I really wish he would just make the routine plays routinely. On the ground ball in the 9th, he made an unnecessarily fancy pick. He made the play, but tried the same thing last night and made an error.

    billybucks 5 hours 30 min ago view
  • How many wins does Kyle need for serious Cy Young consideration? Would 17 be enough if he leads the league in ERA? My goodness, what a season -- makes a Dartmouth alum proud.

    billybucks 5 hours 32 min ago view
  • jacos 5 hours 35 min ago view
  • hendricks WHIP drops to 0.98 over 159 innings after throwing 7ip 3h 1bb 4k, 0r/er

    ERA down to 2.09 on the season.

    crazy good.

    crunch 5 hours 57 min ago view
  • I am pretty well fed up with the majority of home plate umps. Just terrible inconsistencies.

    The E-Man 6 hours 38 sec ago view
  • Oh shit forgot about that
    Shark and Sczur right?

    jacos 6 hours 15 min ago view
  • Yes, football player?- check.

    The E-Man 6 hours 22 min ago view
  • jacos 6 hours 35 min ago view
  • If it was 2006 Hendry would be there w a Bible and a contract
    https://mobile.twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/77...

    jacos 9 hours 8 min ago view
  • he subscribes to my twitter, he's beyond TCR. #yolo #swag

    crunch 9 hours 46 min ago view
  • Whoops. Maddon must have been reading TCR (for his daily crunch) and got confused.

    CTSteve 9 hours 48 min ago view
  • kuhl is a righty, not a lefty.

    i think maddon might think kuhl is a lefty, too. i wonder what the reasoning is for baez leading off vs a rightie.

    crunch 10 hours 29 min ago view