2014 Cubs Extended Spring Training Roster (updated 5/18)

EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING (67 players are at EXST - 55 players are ACTIVE)

NOTE: The Boise/Mesa (Extended Spring Training) squad formed at the end of Minor League Camp, and consists of players who were left behind in Arizona to provide a replacement cadre in case of an injury to a player at Kane County, Daytona, Tennessee, and/or Iowa during the first two months of the season, inexperienced players who are competing for jobs with one of the "short season" teams that begin league play in June, and MLB and minor league players getting into playing shape and/or rehabbing from an injury. 

* bats or throws left
# bats both

Adbert Alzolay
Francisco Carrillo
Jesus Castillo (ACTIVE REHAB)
Trevor Clifton
Josh Conway (ACTIVE REHAB - 2013 elbow stress fracture)
Josh Davis
* Alberto Diaz
* Andin Diaz
Greyfer Eregua
* Frailyn Figueroa
Scott Frazier
Kyuji Fujikawa (ACTIVE REHAB - 2013 TJS)
David Garner
Trevor Graham
* Michael Heesch (ACTIVE REHAB)
Luis Hernandez
* Tyler Ihrig
Trey Lang 
Erick Leal
Carlos Llano
Ryan McNeil (ACTIVE REHAB - 2013 TJS)
Jeferson Mejia
Yomar Morel 
* Jose Paulino
Hector Perez  
Jasvir Rakkar
Victor Salazar

Marcelo Carreno (2013 shoulder surgery)
C. J. Edwards (shoulder)
Barret Loux (shoulder) 
Dillon Maples (rib injury)
Trey McNutt (shoulder)   
* Anthony Prieto (April 2014 TJS)
Brad Renner
Alexander Santana (elbow)
* Sam Wilson
Jose Zapata (injuries suffered in off-season car crash)

Tyler Alamo
# Erick Castillo
Mark Malave 
* Justin Marra
* Alberto Mineo (LIMITED ACTIVITY - left hand injury)
Antonio Valerio 
Eufran Vargas

# Roney Alcala
* Zak Blair
# Varonex Cuevas 
* Bryant Flete
Jesse Hodges
# Dalfis Ortiz
Adonis Paula 
Elliot Soto (ACTIVE - serving 50-game Drug of Abuse suspension) 
Gleyber Torres

Jeffrey Baez
* Kevin Brown
Charcer Burks
Arnaldo Calero
* Rashad Crawford 
# Kevin Encarnacion (LIMITED ACTIVITY - burns & other injuries suffered in off-season car crash)  
Eloy Jimenez
* Ricardo Marcano
Rony Rodriguez
Justin Ruggiano (ACTIVE REHAB - hamstring) 
Shamil Ubiera
Casper Wells (ACTIVE REHAB - back spasms)
# Oliver Zapata 

Jimmy Gonzalez 

Jesus Feliciano 
Brian Lawrence
Guillermo Martinez
Ricardo Medina
Osmin Melindes
Anderson Tavares
Rick Tronerud



Arizona Phil,which Latin players do you feel will be sent back to the DSL/VSL after EST ends? Also, what is up with Scott Frazier? It looked like he had Steve Blass disease at Kane County?

Renteria probably put together the best lineup of the year thus far.

They'll probably get shutout.

Arizona Phil - you are always a HUGE help for me in preparing for the season in Boise...in reading your recaps, have a fairly good idea who is headed this way in terms of past draft picks (or probably released)...however, the Latin players are always a question mark...looking at the numbers Ubiera and Ortiz put up last year in the DSL, or Diaz, Llano, Hernandez, or Figueroa - could one or more of them head North (despite no or minimal AZL time?) as X Batista, Contreras, and Encarnacion previously did?

MIKE: IIRC, the Boise Hawks Opening Day roster last season did not feature any players selected in the 2013 June Draft or any NDFA signed after the draft, They came along later after spending a few days in Mesa. So if you take the current Extended Spring Training roster and essentially split it in half (Boise/AZL Cubs), I would project the Hawks Opening Day roster to look something like this:

STARTING PITCHERS: LHP Tyler Ihrig and RHP Trevor Graham have been the two best starting pitchers at EXST, and they will probably be the starters in your first two games. RHP Erick Leal (acquired from AZ in the Tony Campana deal last year) would be the #3 (he's pitched well, but he's not as consistent as Ihrig and Graham), and then Trevor Clifton would be the #4. Clifton has an electric fastball and absolutely has the best pure stuff of the four (the other three are breaking ball-first pitchers) and has racked-up lots of strikeouts, but he also has command problems. Zak Hermans was stretched-out to be a starter, but then was moved back to the bullpen about a week ago and now he has been moved-up to Kane County where he will work out of the Cougar pen, so the Hawks #5 starter could be one of the young Latin pitchers (either LHP Jose Paulino or RHP Hector Perez), or it could be RHP Ryan McNeil (2013 TJS). McNeil was shut-down for about a month during EXST, but he returned to game action yesterday and threw two innings in the intrasquad game and looked great, so if he can stay active with no setbacks and get stretched-out over the next three weeks, he could very well be a starter (maybe even the #1 starter?) at Boise. RHP Josh Conway (2012 TJS and 2013 elbow stress fracture) is a bit further along in his rehab than McNeil (Conway has been throwing "sim" games right along throughout EXST, although he just started throwing in Cactus League EXST games last week), but he only throws one inning per outing (at least so far) and so the Cubs might be grooming him to be a reliever at KC or Daytona rather than a starter at Boise. Same goes for RHP Trey Masek, who is also throwing one-inning "sim" games but has not yet seen action in any Cactus League EXST games or thrown multiple innings. LHP Michael Heesch is throwing in Cactus League EXST games (and he started and then threw two innings in the intrasquad game yesterday), but he'll probably go to either KC or Daytona when he leaves Mesa. Paulino and Perez (if not assigned to Boise), Luis Hernandez, Adbert Alzolay, Jeferson Mejia, and Yomar Morel are stretched-out as starters and some combination of that group will be the starters at AZL Cubs.   

BULLPEN: RHP Corbin Hoffner would have been the Hawks closer (he has been a ground ball machine), but he just got moved-up to KC (about time!) with Hermans, so I guess RHP Jasvir Rakkar would be Hoffner's most-likely replacement. RHP Josh Davis ("Ponch") was at KC for a while but did not pitch well there and was sent back to EXST, so he should be a late-inning reliever at Boise. 23-year old Venezuelan RHP Francisco Carrillo is a short, rubber-armed, "no-drama"-type reliever who throws strikes, and he will likely be in the Hawks bullpen, too, and could be used as a set-up guy or closer. Carrillo was signed (first pro contract) when he was 22, and I have no idea what his back-story is, but he is the oldest ex-VSL guy at EXST. LHP Alberto Diaz is the "default lefty" in the pen. He's 21 and is only about 5'8 or 5'9, but he throws hard (albeit with command issues), Diaz has spent four seasons in Latin rookie ball (so he can't go back there), and he will almost certainly be the Hawks #1 lefty reliever, mainly because there is just nobody else. RHP Carlos Llano was a late-inning guy at DSL Cubs last year and he could be in the Hawks bullpen mix, too, or he could be the closer at AZL Cubs. RHPs Trey Lang and David Garner (both former Top 10 round draft picks) have struggled big-time at EXST (especially Lang), but I guess they will be at Boise and will work as extra guys out of the pen and hope for improvement. Both are too old to be at AZL Cubs. RHP Scott Frazier ("Sasquatch") probably has the best stuff in the organization, but he is suffering from "Steve Blass Disease" (can't throw srikes) and so I don't know where he will end up (Boise or Mesa). If he can somehow suddenly start to throw strikes, he's the Boise closer. Llano (if he's not at Boise), LHP Frailyn Figueroa, and RHPs Greyfer Eregua and Victor Salazar should be in the AZL Cubs bullpen. RHP Jesus Castillo (the other pitcher acquired from AZ in the Tony Campana deal) threw an inning in the intrasquad game yesterday and should be active with the AZL Cubs, but it's not clear whether he will be a starter or reliever (he would need to get stretched-out to start). RHP Jose Zapata (injured in the car crash last January) is still restricted to Limited Activity Only.   

CATCHER: LH-hitting Justin Marra, RH-hitting Mark Malave (who has given up switch-hitting and is now hitting only RH),and either RH-hitting Antonio Valerio or switch-hitting Erick Castillo will probably be the Hawks catchers. Marra was at Boise last year but hasn't progressed as much as the Cubs might have hoped, and Malave just moved back to catcher from 3B at Instructs last year (although he was signed originally as a catcher). Malave has a plus-arm and has definite upside as a hitter, but he isn't very agile behind the plate. 6'5 Tyler Alamo is a raw talent with plus-HR power but I don't know if he he is ready for Boise just yet. Italian catcher Alberto Mineo has improved a lot, but he still might not be ready to leave Mesa, plus he is on the DL with a broken hand. All of the catchers except Castillo have also played some 1B. Eufran Vargas will likely be at AZL Cubs.

INFIELD: RH-hitting Jesse Hodges should be the Hawks primary 3B and would probably hit somewhere 4-5-6  He is a natural 3B who will not need to be moved to another position. He has some offensive upside with BP HR power that he needs to translate to games. LH-hitting Zak Blair will likely be the Hawks 2B and #2 hitter. He is well below-average defensively and does not have the versatility to play other positions, so it's probably "second base or bust" for Blair. However, Blair is a "Cubs Way" type player offensively (has an intelligent approach to each AB, isn't afraid to hit with two strikes, and often will go deep into the count). 2013 VSL Batting Champion Roney Alcala has hit very well at EXST (he was hitting .400 for a while) and will probably be the Hawks #1 first-baseman, although he also has played 3B and LF. The switch-hitting Alcala is built like Rock Shoulders, and he is a really good hitter (especially LH). Rony Rodriguez was moved from corner OF to 1B when Matt Scioscia got released and he will probably be on the Hawks Opening Day roster, and it's also possible that 1B-DH (ex-C) Danny Canela could be moved-down to Boise from KC. Shortstop is the big mystery, because while it's fairly obvious that Gleyber Torres is the best all-around SS at EXST, he just turned 17. So I think it's probably still 50/50 whether Torres will be assigned to Boise, but it's certainly possible. If the Cubs decide to keep Torres in Mesa, then they might have to assign either Giuseppe Papaccio or David Bote to Boise to be the everyday SS. Elliot Soto is a defensive-wizard and I can tell you that pitchers love to pitch when he plays SS, but he is only at EXST because he is serving a 50-game "Drug of Abuse" suspension that wil end in about two weeks, and so he will almost certainly be assigned to either Daytona or Tennessee by the end of Extended Spring Training (if not sooner). Bryant Flete would be the other option at SS, but his best position is 2B, so while he could be a utility infielder at Boise, I can't see him being the Hawks #1 SS. Speedy switch-hitting 2B-3B Dalfis Ortiz, switch-hitting INF Varonex Cuevas, and 3B Adonis Paula will almost certainly be at AZL Cubs. Cuevas has some XBH pop and can play 2B-3B-SS (best position is 2B) and so he should be a player to watch.

OUTFIELD: No question Jeffrey Baez has been EXST Cubs MVP. He will be the lead-off hitter and play either RF or CF for the Hawks (he can play all three OF positions). Baez is built like an NFL linebacker, and he has a LOT of talent (speed, range, arm, power. outstanding base-stealer). Left-hand hitting (ex-switch-hitter) Rashad Crawford is a former star HS basketball player (they called him "Baby Jordan") who is a Gold Glove quality CF, and he has (finally) begun to show improvement with the bat (he now understands how to make the best-use of his plus-speed). LF-CF Charcer Burks is a young right-handed hitter with a plus-bat who should make the Boise roster and get playing time in both LF and CF. And left-hand hitting Kevin Brown is probably the poster boy for The Cubs Way. There is nobody I've seen down here over the past three seasons who has the approach at the plate that Brown has (maybe Zak Blair, but Brown is even better). He is a really tough out, has above-average speed, and can play 1B-2B-3B-LF-RF. I don't know if he will hit enough to advance all the way through the system, but he at least should be a valuable super-sub. He is also probably a future coach or manager. Switch-hitting Oliver Zapata was sent to EXST from Daytona because he was mired in a terrible slump and there was no room for him at KC, so I guess it's possible that he could end-up at Boise. Zapata has played very well at EXST. Of the four younger Latin outfielders at EXST (Arnaldo Calero, Eloy Jimenez, Ricardo Marcano, and Shamil Ubiera), Ubiera is the one most-likely to make it to Boise on Opening Day, but if he does he would have to beat-out Burks or Crawford (possible, but not likely) or else hope for an injury. BTW, Marcano (an ex-3B) has started working out at 1B at EXST, and so he could play some 1B at AZL Cubs (although the four catchers who will be assigned to AZL Cubs will probably get a lot of starts there so that they can get enough playing time). 

There are still three weeks left in Extended Spring Training, so all of this is subject to change.


Phil - you are the best...just wrote a new blog about this (before I saw your post) and now am going to need to tweak it a bit...thanks for being my "eyes" in Mesa - the Boise fans appreciate it!!!

Mike Oltimate Warrior

He's earned himself another couple days off. Nice job, Mike.

Last AB for Olt an out, but was it my imagination or was he actually shortening his swing to go with the pitch on that 2-2 pitch?

Yup. Nice swing, just hung it up a bit too long.

good I'm glad to see someone else noticed that. I almost like that more than the home run. He was just trying to get on base. A little more of that and I'm going to start thinking he'll be a good hitter.


mock draft from 3 days ago by Mayo, has Cubs taking Alex Jackson

Recent comments

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  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.

  • Wrigley was electric tonite
    Not many card fans
    Video board was great, they played "there goes my hero" by foos over ryno highlights before he came out. Spectacular

    Good times hopefully they win tomorrow but think Lester will beat poopy pants on Wednesday.

    Happy 4th anniversary of Theo's signing

    Go Cubs !

  • Yeah. "Goodbye!" is a lame HR call.

    I miss Len and JD -- although, driving home from a friend's, WBBM played all 6 HR calls in a row -- and Len got to call the Bryant/Rizzo back-to-back. Very fun.

  • Lackey has been a beast against us. His stats on 3 days rest, however, not as nice. There is plenty of hope.

  • And, no dreadlocks grown yet.

  • Captain Obvious Strikes Again!!!

  • Amen, brother.