2007 Cubs Opening Day Organizational Depth Chart

UPDATED: APRIL 3 Here is the 2007 Opening Day Organizational Depth Chart for the Chicago Cubs and their four "full season" minor league clubs, Iowa (AAA), Tennessee (AA), Daytona (A+), and Peoria (A): * bats or throws left # bats both CATCHERS: CUBS: Michael Barrett/Henry Blanco IOWA: Geovany Soto/# Koyie Hill TENN: Jake Fox/Chris Robinson/Tony Richie DAYT: * Mark Reed/Jake Muyco/* Alan Rick PEOR: Matt Canepa/Welington Castillo/Blake Lalli FIRST-BASEMEN: CUBS: Derrek Lee/* Daryle Ward IOWA: * Micah Hoffpauir TENN: Brian Dopirak DAYT: Ryan Norwood/Alberto Garcia PEOR: Russ Canzler SECOND-BASEMEN: CUBS: Mark DeRosa/Ryan Theriot IOWA: * Eric Patterson/* Mike Fontenot TENN: Gary Cates DAYT: * Nate Spears PEOR: * Matt Camp DL: * Ryne Malone (TENN) THIRD-BASEMEN: CUBS: Aramis Ramirez IOWA: Casey McGehee TENN: # Matt Craig/Jemel Spearman DAYT: * Kyle Reynolds PEOR: Josh Lansford DL: Mike Kinkade (IOWA) SHORTSTOPS: CUBS: # Cesar Izturis/Ronny Cedeno IOWA: Carlos Rojas/# Albenis Machado TENN: Joe Simokaitis/Issmael Salas DAYT: Robinson Chirinos/# Matt Matulia PEOR: * Dylan Johnston/Jonathan Mota LEFT-FIELDERS: CUBS: Matt Murton/* Cliff Floyd IOWA: * Scott Moore TENN: * Josh Kroeger DAYT: Jesus Valdez/* James Adduci PEOR: Alfred Joseph/D. J. Lewis CENTER-FIELDERS: CUBS: Alfonso Soriano IOWA: * Felix Pie TENN: # Chris Walker DAYT: * Tyler Colvin PEOR: # Valerio Heredia DL: * Sam Fuld (TENN) RIGHT-FIELDERS: CUBS: * Jacque Jones IOWA: # Angel Pagan/* Buck Coats TENN: * Jorge Cortes DAYT: Chris Amador PEOR: Yusuf Carter/Andy Lopez DL: Ryan Harvey (TENN) ============================= STARTING PITCHERS: CUBS: Carlos Zambrano * Ted Lilly Jason Marquis * Rich Hill Wade Miller Juan Mateo (DL) IOWA: Carlos Marmol * J. R. Mathes Randy Wells * Ryan O'Malley * Les Walrond Mark Prior (EST - extending pitch count) * Sean Marshall (EST - extending pitch count) TENN: Sean Gallagher * Donald Veal Mark Holliman Justin Berg Kevin Hart * Chris Shaver (DL) DAYT: Jeff Samardzija Mitch Atkins Scott Taylor Joel Santo Todd Blackford PEOR: Jose Ceda Billy Muldowney Jose Pina Rafael Dolis Alberto Alburquerque RELIEF PITCHERS: CUBS: Ryan Dempster (closer) * Scott Eyre Bob Howry * Will Ohman Michael Wuertz * Neal Cotts Angel Guzman Kerry Wood (DL) IOWA: Rocky Cherry (closer) * Clay Rapada Federico Baez Ben Howard John Webb Hector Almonte Cory Bailey Roberto Novoa (DL) TENN: Adalberto Mendez (closer) * Carmen Pignatiello Jim Henderson * Paul Schappert Jon Mueller * Tim Layden Greg Reinhard DAYT: Matt Avery (closer) Michael Cooper Jesse Estrada * Scott Koerber Billy Petrick * Jerry Blevins Grant Johnson Michael Phelps (DL) PEOR: Rocky Roquet (closer) * Jeremy Papelbon Alessandro Maestri * Jayson Ruhlman Marco Carrillo Julio Castillo * Mark Pawelek
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Comments

"IOWA: * Eric Patterson/* Mike Fontenot"

Phil how do you think this is going to play out?

Just read on the NY Times that Tribune Company has been sold to Sam Zell and that the Cubs are on the market with the intent to sell by them end of 2007 season.

Although I agree that the back to back ownership of Phil Wrigley and the Tribune Company has made the Cubs a 60 year (really 70 years as I consider the 1938 pennant the last real pennant won against fulll competition) disaster, the Cubs are as like to end up with another toad as opposed to a Prince, as the poor citizens of the DC/Baltimore area have experienced with Dan Synder, Peter Angelos, and the Lerner family.

People like to whine about TribCo, but it could be (and might end up being) so much worse. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the eventual buyer (a) understands and respects the traditions of the Cubs/Wrigley, (b) is willing to put the kind of money into the club that the Trib has over the last 4 years, and (c) knows to hire good baseball people and not meddle in the day-to-day affairs of the organization, but I'm honestly not that optimistic.

Opening Day: The one day of the year I miss Dusty.

Go CUBS!!!!

"People like to whine about TribCo"

So we're calling Sox fans people now?

Carrie Muskrat, always at her best, said the sale went for 8.2 million... If only that were the case. Hell, Z would probably by the team himself and demand to be used as a pinch hitter more...

Happy Opening Day to one and all.

or I do worthless html..also..

Soriano 8
Murton 7
Lee 3
Ramirez 5
Jones 9
Barrett 2
DeRosa 4
Izturis 6
Zambrano 1

Freel 8
Dunn 7
Phillips 4
Griffey 9
Encarnacion 5
Hatteberg 3
Gonzalez 6
Ross 2
Harang 1

Can somebody tell me WTF Jerry Narron is doing? Donkey in the 2-hole? I actually spit on to my keyboard when I read that.

6 months ago, I would have been ecstatic about this news. Now that they've jacked up the payroll and seem serious about winning, I'm not so sure.

If the new owner keeps payroll high and doesn't cave to the dollar-pressure to put ads all over the place, then I'll be happy. Otherwise, we could be in for a long next 100 years.

Carrie Muskrat, always at her best, said the sale went for 8.2 million…

phew, thought she might have split an infinitive
(Trans' worst nightmare)

as long as zell keeps his damn hands off the team and doesnt turn this into a jeffery loria reclaimation project, a pollahd welfare state, or a liquidation ala what happened in florida years ago by mr. blockbuster video and drug testing lab owner....i'll be fine.

for all the bitching about the tribune they've kept their hands off the team for a long time now and since the late 90s have been steadily pumping loot into the product while not sticking their fingers in it.

"The Tribune Co. said it plans to sell the Cubs at the end of the 2007 baseball season, putting one of its most valuable assets on the block as it simultaneously announced Monday that real estate magnate Sam Zell was acquiring the media conglomerate in a deal valued at about $8.2 million."

that's interesting.

so who "owns" the right to sell the cubs at this point?

nevermind...last thread contains more info.

AZ Phil: Looking at the minor league rosters two pitchers stuck out (like sore thumbs). Grant Johnson and Mark Pawelek working their way out of the bullpens at Daytona/Peoria respectively. I saw your report that Pawelek was basically bad in the game you watched. I wonder what is wrong there. I realize GJ is just a 2nd round pick in a yr the Cubs didn't have a 1st rounder...so I guess he'll go the way of Bobby Brownlee. I don't know what to make out of Pawelek but it doesn't look like he's going to be a self motivator.

The Tribune Company bought the Chicago Cubs for $20 million, lock stock and barrel, in 1981. In the ensuing 26 plus years they have been successful in transforming Wrigley Field into an entertainment destination and making the Cubs a cash cow for the parent company. But they have utterly failed in running a baseball operation or in delivering a World Series Championship to long-starving Cub fans. In my view, they utterly failed.

I greatly look forward to new ownership. Somebody is going to pay $600 million plus for the privilege of owning this ballclub. I can't imagine a new owner being less ambivalent toward winning versus the Tribune Company over the years.

Did anyone else notice the inclusion on the Peoria roster of Rocky Roquet and Alberto Albuquerque? Who's next in the pipeline at Boise? Porky Pig and Donald Duck?

Lets be honest here...Wrigley never exactly turned into "Money Bags McGee". They jacked this payroll and are now dumping much of the contracts into someone else's lap. You really think Trib would be paying these amounts if they thought they were holding onto the Cubs? No f'in way.

Lets just hope the new owner doesn't start trading these players to clear salary. Lets also hope this development doesn't put major delays in Zambrano's deal.

phil-
do you expect veal or gallagher, or perhaps both, will get to iowa this year?
and/or, how close are they to being mlb-ready?
as always, thanks
dc

Vorare:
"People like to whine about TribCo, but it could be (and might end up being) so much worse."

I agree 100%. We could get an owner like the Wirtz family. But actually the past 5 years or so, the Trib have spent a good amount of money on the team and stadium, while not making ticket prices astronomical. They have given the team more than enough money to be competitive year in and year out, but the management has dropped the ball.

Wes:
"Can somebody tell me WTF Jerry Narron is doing? Donkey in the 2-hole?"

Fire Narron!!!!!!

Most likely the new owner will be a group of people, headed by a "managing partner." I would expect loads of speculation and false rumors to get the best of the media over the next few months.

One name to seriously keep an eye on is Philip Wrigley, Jr., the 44 year old billiionaire Chairman and CEO of Wrigley Brands. Junior has done an outstanding job turning around and growing the company into a global powerhouse in the food industry. I wonder if he'd like a crack at erasing the ugly memories of what his grandfather and father once did to the Cub franchise.

Wes:

Can somebody tell me WTF Jerry Narron is doing? Donkey in the 2-hole? I actually spit on to my keyboard when I read that.

I think it's brilliant. Of course, run producers usually pay off better deeper in the order, but Dunn will definitely see some pitches and is not likely to GIDP. Also, even with Freel on 1st base, I think I'd still want to throw Dunn some off-speed stuff. We'll see.

I think it would be fun if somebody like Mark Cuban bought the Cubs. Not sure why he wouldn't be able to at this point.

Here is the website for the TCR Prediction contest, 2007. I think I made all the corrections/changes people asked for in the thread:

http://www.stanford.edu/~boptholt/

Then, click the "TCR Predictions" link at the top of the page.

Phil,
Do you really see the cubs putting Pawelek in the bullpen? He seems awfully young and full of upside to be making that move. Is there an injury or something we are unaware of in regards to paws?

Forget Mark Cuban. No way on God's green earth that Bud Selig and the other baseball owners ever allow a guy like Cuban into their cozy little fraternity. This is what I mean is about to happen...all kinds of wild speculation and rumors on potential owners who will never even make the short list.

P.S. I too think it is brilliant to bat Adam Dunn second. If Ryan Freel gets on base, then Dunn is going to see lots of fastballs. And keep in mind the guy walks a ton which, to my way of thinking, greatly minimizes he massive strikeout totals.

Best wishes to all in 2007 and hopefully this is the year!

Does anybody have realistic expectations for April?
I'd like to see 15-11, but would probably settle for 14-12.

Thanks for posting that, Bryan. Some of those predictions are downright bizarre -- I'll eat my shoe if the Cubs win 90+ and that isn't good enough for 1st in the division.

The reporting on the fate of the Cubs is confusing and seems to be missing some information.

The Zell purchase is a stock deal, which means that the entire company and all its assets will go to the new owner unless certain assets are "carved out" of the deal or sold before the closing. So, if the stock deal closes and there has been no carve out or prior sale, Zell will own the Cubs.

Now, Zell may have every intention of selling the Cubs later this year anyway. Or maybe the parties have agreed that the Trib will sell the Cubs before the deal closes -- but that would create an artificial timetable that would accelerate the sale process and be bad for the Trib, so I doubt that they would have agreed to that.

These kinds of details can matter, so it will be worth sorting this out. From what I know of Zell, it makes me uneasy to think about him being the one who is managing the sale process and deciding who the buyer will be.

433:
"From what I know of Zell, it makes me uneasy to think about him being the one who is managing the sale process and deciding who the buyer will be."

Other MLB team owners actually get final say on who will be the next Cubs owner, so it is not only up to Zel..

According to Crains Chicago Business, the Tribune Company will sell the Cubs. Sam Zell won't touch the process. And given that he is already minority owner of the White Sox, can't even if he wanted to.

Bryan:

Here is the website for the TCR Prediction contest, 2007. I think I made all the corrections/changes people asked for in the thread:

Wow... a lot of people voted. Thanks, Bryan!

well, they did have an almost 1/2-3/4 year before this sale happened to explore the market, and they did.

seems like it was nothing more than to gauge interested parties and how serious they might be...as well as running it by their colleagues cuz well, yeah, it is a little boy's club amongst the owners and they prefer people be mostly on the same page.

at this point while it looks like they need to get started to have this done by the 4th quarter of the year, they already laid a huge chunk of groundwork.

After looking a little more closely, it makes sense now. The Trib will be selling the Cubs....but only after Zell owns the Trib. Again, it's a stock deal, so "The Trib" will be a seperate corporate entity, just as it always was, except that it will have a new owner.

So, Zell certainly will be involved, unless the sale happens before the Zell/Trib deal closes (again, not likely). As the shareholder he will choose all the board members and pass on all key decisions. Hell, he could even change his mind and keep the team.

Robr — April 2, 2007 @ 8:59 am
“IOWA: * Eric Patterson/* Mike Fontenot”

Phil how do you think this is going to play out?

================================

ROB R: Eric Patterson will play everyday, but the Cubs want him to play some OF, so on those days, Fontenot can play 2B. Fontenot also got work at SS and 3B during ST, but he doesn't really have the arm for either position. I still think it's only a matter of time before he gets traded to an organization where he can at least be an everyday AAA second-baseman.

Fontenot (who was Ryan Theriot's teammate and DP partner at 2000 NCAA College World Series Champion LSU) does have some plus-offensive skills, but he just isn't athletic enough or versatile enough to be a multi-positional utility guy. And with 24-man rosters in AAA and a four-man bench, the guys who don't play everyday (other than the back-up catcher) MUST have the ability to play mulitple positions.

aaronb — April 2, 2007 @ 10:26 am
Phil,
Do you really see the cubs putting Pawelek in the bullpen? He seems awfully young and full of upside to be making that move. Is there an injury or something we are unaware of in regards to paws?

==============================

AARON: Pawelek has been working out of the bullpen all ST. He just throws way too many pitches per inning to start a game, and his command has been terrible.

If he was anybody else, he'd start the year at EXST. But since he was a #1 pick, the Cubs are trying to challenge him by letting him begin the season at Peoria and work his problems out in "long relief," But I doubt that he will be used as a rotation starter there anytime soon, although if he pitches OK out of the pen and improves his command and pitch efficiency, he could be moved into the Chiefs starting rotation at some point. He definitely has talent. He's just very raw.

Thanks Phil. Mike's glove must be truly bad as his minor league stats are pretty solid.

dc60124 — April 2, 2007 @ 10:03 am
phil-
do you expect veal or gallagher, or perhaps both, will get to iowa this year?
and/or, how close are they to being mlb-ready?
as always, thanks
dc

=====================================

DC: Well, it all depends on how well Gallagher and Veal are pitching and how things are going with the rotation starters at Iowa. Whenever Wood comes off the DL, either Guzman or Cotts will get optioned to Iowa, and whichever one comes down will be a starter. And then when Mateo is ready to go, he'll be sent to Iowa, too, and he will also probably be used as a starter.

So if I had to bet, I would say both Veal and Gallagher will spend most--if not all--of 2007 in the starting rotation at AA. Neither has to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2008 season, so I doubt that the Cubs would want to rush either of them. But if one or both pitch so well that they can't be left where they are, then the Cubs will just make room, either at Iowa, or in Chicago. 

Sam Zell will likely have zero input on the sale of the Cubs. It is up to the Tribune Company to sell the Cubs, not Zell. The only way Zell can get involved with the Cub asset is if he sells off his minority ownership stake in the Chicago White Sox.

The Tribune Company will sell the Cubs to the highest bidder, period. So long as that highest bidder meets the approval of Bud Selig and the other owners that is. Mark Cuban is a non-starter. Look for a name to emerge that isn't widely known.

George Bush is a former owner... and will be looking for a job after '08.

"One name to seriously keep an eye on is Philip Wrigley, Jr., the 44 year old billiionaire [sic] Chairman and CEO of Wrigley Brands. Junior has done an outstanding job turning around and growing the company into a global powerhouse in the food industry. I wonder if he’d like a crack at erasing the ugly memories of what his grandfather and father once did to the Cub franchise."

#1 – The President and CEO of Wrigley is William D. Perez.
#2 – The Chairman of the Board of Wrigley is Bill Wrigley, Jr., not “Philip Wrigley, Jr.”
#3 – Bill Wrigley, Jr., is the grandson and great-grandson of Cub owners (P.K. Wrigley and William Wrigley, Jr., respectively).
#4 – William Wrigley, Jr., was an excellent owner. Although he died in early 1932, the ’29, ’32, ’35 and ’38 pennants can be attributed to his ownership.
#5 – P.K. Wrigley was a poor owner in terms of winning, but he did an excellent job of maintaining Wrigley Field. Tom Yawkey and he deserve great credit for preserving the last of the pre-WWI ballparks.

ST -- my point is that once closing happens, Sam Zell will BE the TribCo. TribCo will not be an independently operating entity anymore.

http://cubs.scout.com/2/632010.html

iowa, knoxville, peoria rosters

Prior is staying back in Arizona

Harvey's staying back in Daytona I'm guessing (actually I know) as he's not on the AA roster

[...] AZ Phil has given us his organizational depth chart which gives an in-depth look at each position in the Cubs’ organization. [...]

How did Holdzkom get himself on the DL? I didn't hear about that.

What did Piggy do to deserve a demotion to AA, I don't get it? They go with stiffs like Ben Howard over Carmen??

The fork sticking out of Grant Johnson's back is THIIIIIS big.

What happened to Bobby Hill?

With Petrick in the pen, is it a sign to not expect much from him going forward?

Rob G. — April 2, 2007 @ 3:07 pm

Harvey’s staying back in Daytona I’m guessing (actually I know) as he’s not on the AA roster

========================

ROB G: RF Ryan Harvey (hamstring), CF Sam Fuld (oblique), 2B-3B Ryne Malone (knee), and OF Chris Amador (wrist) were supposed to start the ’07 season in AA, but all are still at EST at Fitch Park rehabbing from their injuries.

Once they are healthy, they could report directly to Tennessee, or if the Cubs want them to transition into the season by DH-ing for a few games, the players could be assigned to Daytona or Peoria as they become healthy enough to play in games. (The DH in used in all games throughout “A” ball, but the only time the DH is used in AA and AAA is when a game is played in the home park of an American League minor league affiliate. Since the Southern League has only two A. L. affiliates among its 10 teams, and since the PCL has only five A. L. affiliates among its 16 teams, Tennessee and Iowa rarely have the opportunity to use the DH).

Also, Daytona back-up 1B Alberto Garcia (the right-handed half of the DH platoon at Daytona) was hit on the arm by a pitch thrown by Mark Pawelek in an intrasquad game last Saturday and it looked like he was in a lot of pain (might have a broken arm), so he might start the year on the DL, too.

super hozey — April 2, 2007 @ 10:24 pm
What happened to Bobby Hill?

==================================

SUPER H: Bobby Hill flunked his physical the day he reported to camp and so he got released. It was some kind of back problem.

Interesting that Moore's listed at LF. I thought I read somewhere that he used to play SS or was getting some time there....anyone recall that?

Phil, has Billek really been sent to Daytona to complete the rotation? I heard he was staying in Mesa and currently unassigned.

Are Darin Downs and Elvin Puello in EST? Do you have a roster of people in EST?

Do you think Huseby and Rundle will see Peoria this year?

bt — April 3, 2007 @ 8:41 am
Are Darin Downs and Elvin Puello in EST? Do you have a roster of people in EST?

=================================

BT: Not including injured guys rehabbing (like Harvey, Fuld, and Malone), here are the guys I remember seeing with the EST group at Fitch Park (probably not a complete list):

CATCHERS:
* Steve Clevenger
Cory Vanderhook
Mario Mercedes
Carlos Perez

FIRST-BASEMEN:
# Adam Hackstedt

SECOND-BASEMEN:
Elvis Lara
Cesar Valentin
# Herasmo Magallanes

SHORTSTOPS:
Sammy Baez
# Nathan Samson
# Francisco Tirado
NOTE: Baez looks like he's grown about two inches and put on about 25 pounds

THIRD-BASEMEN:
Elvin Puello
Blake Parker
# Marwin Gonzalez

LEFT-FIELDERS:
Cody Gilbert
Elvin Jimenez

CENTER-FIELDERS:
* Clifford Anderson
Edgar Herrera

RIGHT-FIELDERS:
* Drew Rundle

PITCHERS:
Alberto Cabrera
Brad Clipp
Miguel Cuevas
* Darin Downs
Robert Hernandez
Chris Huseby
Kevin Kreier
* Taylor Parker
Chuckie Platt
Jake Renshaw
Audy Santana
Larry Suarez
* Harol Tolentino
Donny Walters

I have seen Luke Hagerty in uniform, but I have not seen him pitch. And I thought Mike Billek would be in the rotation at Daytona (because he's been pitching with AA and Daytona), but he didn't make the cut. Hagerty and Billek may have even been released within the last couple of days. Same goes for OF Matt Ciaramella, who I thought would be the starting RF at Daytona. But Ciaramella didn't even make the Daytona Opening Day roster. (Or they could be hurt, I don't know).

Sparrow — April 3, 2007 @ 5:05 am
Phil, has Billek really been sent to Daytona to complete the rotation? I heard he was staying in Mesa and currently unassigned.

===========================

SPARROW: When I originally wrote the Cubs Organization Depth Chart yesterday morning, I hadn't seen the rosters yet. I was just going by what I had been seeing at minor league camp over the past couple of weeks (the last three or four days in particular). And I thought Billek had made the Daytona staff, but I was wrong.

Indiana Mark — April 3, 2007 @ 3:52 am
Interesting that Moore’s listed at LF. I thought I read somewhere that he used to play SS or was getting some time there….anyone recall that?

=============================

INDIANA MARK: Scott Moore hasn't played any SS (that I have seen) this ST, but he has played LF-3B-1B, just as Casey McGehee (3B-1B-C) and Micah Hoffpauir (1B-LF) at AAA, and Jake Fox (C-1B-LF) and Jemel Spearman (3B-2B-LF-CF) at AA, have moved around a lot in the last few days. Heck, I even saw Brian Dopirak play LF!

The reason I put Moore in LF is because if he stays with the Cubs, he's going to have to learn to play the OF. He played LF about 50% of the time in the AFL last year, and to prepare him for life as an MLB Geoff Blum/Rob Mackowiak-type supersub, I would think the Cubs will want Moore to get a lot of PT in LF at Iowa this year. Getting traded is the only way I can see Moore going back to being an everyday 3B.

What happened Sunday is probably what will happen a lot at Iowa this year. Hoffpauir started the game in LF (and made an outstanding running catch with his back to the infield, BTW), McGehee started at 1B, and Moore started at 3B, and then midway through the game, the three switched places (like musical chairs), with Moore going to LF, McGehee moving from 1B to 3B, and Hoffpauir moving from LF to 1B. While it may not be done in mid-game too often, I can see those three (and Buck Coats, too) frequently switching to a different position from one game to the next. And I would expect McGehee to catch once every week or two.

bt — April 3, 2007 @ 8:45 am
Do you think Huseby and Rundle will see Peoria this year?

=================================

BT: I doubt it.

2006 Rule 4 HS draftees like Chris Huseby, Drew Rundle, Clifford Andersen, and Nathan Samson will likely spend April and May at EXT, and then the entire short-season (June-August) at Boise, and then report to the Arizona Instructional League in September. Then any or all of the four could start the 2008 season at Peoria.

The guys who are more-likely to see Peoria (or maybe even Daytona) in 2007 are Darin Downs, the more experienced Latin guys like Elvin Puello, Sammy Baez, and Mario Mercedes, and '06 college draft picks like Taylor Parker, Blake Parker, Cody Gilbert, Jake Renshaw, Brad Clipp and Chuckie Platt.

With the extra year now allowed before a player has to be protected from the Rule 5 draft, I would expect MLB clubs (including the Cubs) to be more conservative in moving their younger prospects up through the pipeline.

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