Updated Cubs Post-Season Roster
I posted something regarding the Cubs post-season roster options here at TCR last month, but here is the updated Cubs 2008 post-season roster eligibility list.
The 29 players on this list are automatically eligible to be included on any of the Cubs three post-season 25-man rosters (NLDS, NLCS, or World Series).
Any player on this list who is on the DL prior to the start of a post-season series can be replaced on the active roster by any player (regardless of position) who was in the Cubs organization as of midnight 8/31.
And any player on the list who is injured during a post-season series (NLDS, NLCS, or WS) can (with approval of the MLB Commissioner) be replaced on the active roster during that series by any player who was in the Cubs organization as of 8/31, as long as the player plays the same position as the injured player. If this were to happen, the injured player is ineligible to return to the active roster for the duration of the post-season, although the replacement player could be exchanged for a different player (regardless of position) who was in the Cubs organization as of 8/31 prior to the start of the next post-season series (NLCS or WS).
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Neal Cotts
Chad Fox (placed on DL - 5/19)
Angel Guzman (reactivated from DL - 9/1)
* Rich Hill (placed on DL - 8/31)
Jon Lieber (reactivated from DL - 9/1)
* Ted Lilly
* Sean Marshall
* Mike Fontenot
* Kosuke Fukudome
* Daryle Ward
To keep maximum roster flexibility for the three post-season series, the Cubs will certainly keep C. Fox and R. Hill on the DL through the balance of the regular season. Doing this will allow the Cubs to add two players to their post-season roster who were not on the Cubs 25-man roster or 15-day or 60-day DL on 8/31 (such as Micah Hoffpauir and Michael Wuertz, for instance), exchanging them for Bob Howry and Jason Marquis (for example).
This is what the Cubs did last year, when they used three of their four available 8/31 roster exemptions (Angel Guzman, Roberto Novoa, Mark Prior and Angel Pagan were on the DL on 8/31/07 and remained on the DL through the balance of the 2007 season) to add Kevin Hart, Geovany Soto, and Ronny Cedeno to their NLDS roster (Sean Marshall, Henry Blanco, and Craig Monroe were dropped), even though Hart, Soto, and Cedeno were recalled from the minors in September.
Marshall, Blanco, and Monroe, plus Will Ohman and Sam Fuld (who, like Hart, Soto, and Cedeno, had been recalled from the minors in September) continued to travel with the Cubs during the NLDS, however, and any of the three could have been placed back on the 25-man roster for the NLCS or WS if the Cubs had managed to get there. (Adding Ohman and/or Fuld to the 2007 25-man NLCS or WS roster would have required the Cubs to use their fourth 8/31 roster exemption).
Because they were on the Cubs 15-day or 60-day DL on 8/31/08, adding Angel Guzman and/or Jon Lieber to the Cubs NLDS, NLCS, or WS roster would only require that a player who was on the Cubs 25-man roster as of midnight 8/31 (like Howry) be removed from the active roster to make room for Guzman or Lieber (although it's admittedly quite unlikely that Lieber will be added to the post-season roster)
The main problem with adding Guzman (who had Tommy John elbow-ligament transplant surgery a year ago) to the post-season roster is that he has yet to throw two days in a row. In fact, he has so far thrown (at most) once every third day, and while he probably could throw two or perhaps even three innings (tops) when he does pitch, not being able to pitch more frequently--especially if the Cubs go with an 11-man pitching staff throughout the post-season--makes adding Gooz to the Cubs post-season roster a bit problematic. Now, if Guzman can show during September that he can throw two days in row (or at least one inning every-other day), that changes everything.
The post-season rosters can be altered (tweaked) from series to series, in case the Cubs want to drop a LHP (maybe Neal Cotts) in favor of a RHP (perhaps Kevin Hart) for one series, and then maybe replace the RHP (Hart) with that same LHP (Cotts) or maybe even a different RHP or LHP in the next one.
This roster flexibility also would allow the Cubs to carry an extra postion player (like Hoffpauir or perhaps Felix Pie) in case they want to go with an 11-man pitching staff (four starters and seven relievers) in the NLDS, as they did last year.
It also would come in handy if the Cubs get to the World Series, since Hoffpauir would seem to be a good candidate to be at least the left-handed platoon DH (if not full-time DH). In fact, the Cubs could use their two 8/31 roster exemptions to add both Hoffpauir and a right-handed slugger like Jason Dubois (presuming he gets brought up from Iowa after the conclusion of the PCL playoffs) to possibly platoon at DH in the WS. (I believe Daryle Ward would most-likely be used as a one-time per game LHPH even in the World Series, mainly because he is such a slow runner).
I think the Cubs probably brought up Casey McGehee on 9/1 so that Piniella could get a look at him as a potential right-handed bat off the bench, but also because they had planned to add him to their 40-man roster post-2008 anyway. But if McGehee continues to look overmatched, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Dubois is added to the Cubs active MLB roster once the PCL playoffs are over, with the possibility that he could be added to the Cubs NLDS, NLCS, or (especially) the World Series roster (when a DH would be needed).
Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-
J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?
Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.
This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.