2009 Opening Day Minor League Rosters


C - Mark Johnson, Chris Robinson

INF - Andres Blanco, Matt Matulia, Luis Rivas, Nate Spears, Bobby Scales, Jake Fox

OF - Sam Fuld, Doug Deeds, So Taguchi, Jason Dubois, Brad Snyder

SP - Jose Ascanio, Mitch Atkins, Esmalian Caridad, Jeff Samardzija, Randy Wells

RP - Justin Berg, Jessie Estrada, Chad Fox, Kevin Hart, J.R. Mathes, Greg Reinhard, Jeff Stevens, Jason Waddell

That starting rotation is according to the press release and it mentions that Mitch Atkins will get Iowa's opening day start. Also, Triple A and Double A rosters should max out at 24 (according to AZ Phil at least) so there's a good chance two players are headed to the DL right away unless there's been a rule change. Then of course, why wouldn't they just sit back in extended spring training?


C - Welington Castillo, Steve Clevenger

INF - Darwin Barney, Tony Thomas, Jonathan Mota, Matt Camp, Blake Lalli, Kyle Reynolds.

OF - Jim Adduci, Brandon Guyer, Richie Robnett, Ty Wright

SP- James Russell, Hung-Wen Chen, Casey
Coleman, Jay
Jackson, Casey Lambert (link)

RP - Todd Blackford, John Gaub, Alex Maestri, Jeremy Papelbon, Blake Parker, Vince Perkins,
Jayson Ruhlman, Brian Schlitter

25 total for 24 supposed roster spots, so something will have to give.


C- Mark Reed, Robinson Chirinos

INF - Russ Canzler, Starlin Castro, Jovan Rosa, Marwin Gonzalez, Nathan Samson, Marquez Smith

OF - Tyler Colvin, Drew Rundle, Dylan Johnston, Jonathan Wyatt

P- Alberto Albuquerque, David Cales, Rafael Dolis, James Leverton, Marcos Mateo, Dan McDaniel, Craig Muschko, Jake Muyco, Dustin Sasser, Ryan Searle, Luke Sommer, Steve Vento, Henry Williamson


C - Luis Flores, Mario Mercedes

INF - Rebel Ridling, Josh Harrison, Junior Lake, Ryan Flaherty, Josh
Vitters, David Macias

OF - Cliff Andersen, Kyler Burke, Tony Campana, Nelson

P - Chris Archer, Jeffrey
Beliveau, Ryan Buchter, Alberto Cabrera, Chris Carpenter, Erik Hamren, Marcus
Hatley, Chris Huseby, Kevin Kreier, Mike Perconte, Jose Pina, Aaron Shafer, Josh Whitlock

Last year's top pick Andrew Cashner looks like he'll stay back in Arizona for extended spring training still dealing with his oblique injury he suffered early on in camp. The mysterious case of Jordan Latham remains...mysterious. I was told he was released by Steve Holley at Inside the Ivy. Then when he ran his own story mentioning it (it's been edited since), the Cubs and particularly Latham's family freaked out a bit and Steve was assured that he wasn't released. Yet, he's not on any rosters suggesting he's staying back in extended spring training in Arizona. But for a kid with a 2.63 minor league ERA over two seasons and pitching in Daytona last year, that's an odd choice unless there's an injury of some sort...or possibly some personal issues that put him behind others.


Soriano, Theriot, Lee, Bradley , Ramirez, Johnson, Soto, Fontenot, Dempster


Matsui, Rodriguez, Berkman, Lee, Tejada, Blum, Pence,  Bourne, Wandy

Fontenot getting to start in the RH batting lineup... a breakthrough. Go 'not!

Rob, are you sure about Ascanio starting in Iowa? Seems like they'd put Mathes in the rotation as filler and let Ascanio develop as a late inning RP, since that's his future in the big leagues. Or maybe they just want him to work on a 3rd pitch?

I would think Iowa would only carry 4 OFs, not 5, so maybe they will just release Taguchi or Dubois.

Thanks, Rob!

I'm interested to see how both Ryan Searle and Brandon Guyer do. Am I right in that they're both "skipping" a level (Guyer bypassing Daytona, Searle skipping Peoria)?

And is it true that they're trying out Casey Lambert as a starter? (This might explain why he didn't jump to Iowa after a strong half-season at AA).

And I guess I haven't been paying attention-- what happened to Tiggy? (I know he put up some shizzletastic numbers last year)

Since nobody answered you yet, Tiggy is listed on the Rochester Red Wings (AAA) roster.

Thanks, Navigator.

regarding Lambert and Ascanio starting...

that's what the press releases said, doesn't make sense to me to be honest....

Rob, whats the deal with listing Samninja 4th in the I-Cubs rotation? Don't give me that "alphabetical order" bullshit, i'm onto your tricks!

Thanks for the run down, now let's watch the cubs shell Wandy

Is there a position player on the Iowa roster who can remotely help the big club if they're called up?

Man, as good as Soriano looked yesterday is as bad as he looks today. Going for the Golden Sombrero next time up.

Good call manny.

Game tying home run. Golden Sombrero.

Almost the same thing.

I didn't say he was going to get the Golden Sombrero, just that he was going for it. Of course with LaToya on the mound we all knew a HR was a better shot...:)

I have a partial list of those starting out in EXTST. Opitz,Brenly,Jones,Calvert,Keedy,Hoorelbeke,Sontag,Weimer,Kemp,Cerda,Watkins,Mattheus,Sosa,Soto,Cashner.

Good call on Soriano Manny...

What call did I make?

Cubs lose. Back to .500.

- Dempster. A very good start. More than kept the team in game. Too bad the offense couldn't come through.
- Soriano. Another HR. And it was a BOMB off Latoya Hawkins.
- Bullpen. Held Houston scoreless for 3 over innings giving their offense a chance to win it. Though Gregg hasn't looked great giving up a run yesterday and an inherited run tonight.

- Soriano. 3K's and an error. Luckily the HR made us forget about the bad.

- Offense. Just did not click tonight. Theriot did have 2 hits, but offense only got 1 run outside of Soriano's HR.

Let's go get them tomorrow and win the series. Hopefully Lilly can turn things around and start to get on track. Go Cubs!

I can only hope the manny post-game review becomes a regular feature on this blog.

"I can only hope the manny post-game review becomes a regular feature on this blog."

Did you write that in Comic Sans font? I can't tell.

File "Milton Bradley" under "spring training stats don't mean shit"

Be good if he got a hit before they open at Wrigley. Otherwise -- Jacques II

I still don't like closers who "pitch to contact".

Amazing stat -- Cubs haven't been 2-0 since 1995.

But, hey -- the Bears still got Jay Cutler.

File "Milton Bradley" under "spring training stats don't mean shit"

Or, instead, you could file "Milton Bradley" under "2 games don't mean shit."

It was weird to see Gregg in there in that situation. Marmol should have gotten the call, and then we use Gregg if we ever take the lead. Gregg should only pitch at the start of an inning, not with inherited runners. Looks like it could be a tightrope walk in the 9th with Gregg night in and night out! He too looked dynamite in ST!!

Well, sure, if you want to go all "rational" on me.

How about Hawkins being 0-2 on Soriano and he throws him a fastball down the middle? 10 cent head-glad we don't have him around anymore...

Yeah, but with his stuff you'd think he could be a closer for somebody. I can't believe nobody has ever given that dude a shot?

The Cubs have a tendency to push players through the system quickly and I believe this can (and has, though no great examples come quickly to mind) hurt certain players. This year Starlin Castro, one of our better prospects, is moving from Rookie ball at Mesa at 19 years old to High A ball at Daytona. Marwin Gonzalez, another young SS, is moving from Boise to Daytona. Meanwhile, Ryan Flaherty, a 22 year old who played in big time college ball, is going from Boise to low A ball at Lansing.

Similarly, Brandon Guyer finally got healthy and started producing in the second half of last season. Instead of bringing him along slowly and moving him up one level, the Cubs push him up to AA (skipping Daytona).

I expect Castro, Guyer and Gonzalez will struggle, though have hope and excitement that they excel. I think there is much higher risk from these quick movements, such as that a player will lose confidence and/or develop bad habits while struggling, without much benefit (if he dominates at a certain level, he can be promoted, which is a boost to confidence).

Any thoughts?

One thing to keep in mind,especially with the latin guys. Peoria is cold this time of year. Maybe the Cubs think they will have a better chance to get off to get starts in a warm weather situation, as opposed to freezing in Peoria with the rest of the guys.
This was mentioned as a reason that Josh Vitters might also start in Daytona this year.

I suspect that if Gonzalez or Castro struggle in Daytona. They will head to Peoria once the weather heats up. Just a hunch.

As for Guyer, he is in the same situation that Marquez Smith is in. He is already 23 years old. He needs to be moving up through the ranks a little quicker than the other guys if he wants to be considered a prospect. So maybe starting him in AA is the Cubs way of saying "Move forward or Get out of the way". Again, just a hunch.

Re comments 25 & 26.

What great comments. Absolutely the core reason I like TCR so much. Thoughtful stuff I never would have considered.

It's hard to figure their thinking on moving or not moving players. You have a big time 2-way college player like Jericho Jones who turns down being picked in the 3rd round (as a pitcher) so he can take his shot at hitting and being a position player ( Cubs 20th round pick) By the way, the Dodgers clocked him 92-96 in their pre-draft tryout. So he leads the AZL in hitting for most of the summer ( and falls off somewhat in August)....he reports to spring training and bats over .400 and holds his own in the AA games.....he wasn't promoted last summer to Boise and he was not promoted to Peoria or Daytona this week. Go figure......he has the highest power rating (97) of any outfielder in the Cubs system.Guyer needs to be moving on up.....he has the tools and should rise to the promotion. I think moving Starlin Castro that far up is a big mistake......there will be some players that will not rise to the level they're starting at so we will see some shuffling around of rosters after a few weeks.

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Wed, 04/08/2009 - 11:53am.

As for Guyer, he is in the same situation that Marquez Smith is in. He is already 23 years old. He needs to be moving up through the ranks a little quicker than the other guys if he wants to be considered a prospect. So maybe starting him in AA is the Cubs way of saying "Move forward or Get out of the way". Again, just a hunch.


AARON: 23 is the most-common age for players at A+ (like Daytona), 24 is the most-common age for players at AA, and 25 is the most-common age for players at AAA.

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  • my current job has me coming in at 7am (eastern)...i miss staying up til 2am to watch west coast games.

    crunch 5 min 47 sec ago view
  • Remember when west coast road trips were a good time to catch up on some reading?

    Old and Blue 22 min 57 sec ago view
  • Taboola field is more appropriate.

    Old and Blue 23 min 23 sec ago view
  • we can only hope...

    The things you have to do to pay for James Shields contract.

    Rob G. 1 hour 5 min ago view
  • I wonder if they'll have to make use of the Guaranteed Rate logo, which is a giant red arrow pointing downward.

    Brick 1 hour 10 min ago view
  • unsurprisingly, the White Sox continue a tradition of stupid stuff....

    @DannyEcker BREAKING: Guaranteed Rate has purchased naming rights to U.S. Cellular Field. Will be known as Guaranteed Rate Field thru 2030.

    Rob G. 1 hour 13 min ago view
  • that was a very kind 3rd strike to hendricks to end the 3rd.

    man on 3rd, 0 outs and got 2 pop-ups and a K...Maddux-lite indeed

    Rob G. 1 hour 23 min ago view
  • how did Fowler not score from 2nd on a double?

    by making bad decisions...

    Rob G. 1 hour 30 min ago view
  • he held on a popup (in case he needed to tag up) that bounced off the wall then jogged to 3rd. there were 0 outs so that probably played into the casual nature of how he played it.

    crunch 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • Not watching -- how did Fowler not score from 2nd on a double?

    billybucks 2 hours 1 min ago view
  • uh, Fowler?

    Rob G. 2 hours 21 min ago view
  • Well I assume Ross is going to catch Lester in the playoffs, and it looks like Contreras is going to catch everyone else. I could see the Cubs keeping three catchers on the playoff roster as it would give them flexibility and Montero would have a left handed bat with some pop (at least historically) off the bench.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 25 min ago view
  • Aren't Montero and Ross already in a tie for third catcher?

    Charlie 3 hours 32 min ago view
  • Higher than Chris Perez's mailbox.

    John Beasley 3 hours 39 min ago view
  • Contreras starting at catcher for a day game after he caught the night before. What do people think the odds are that Montero is left off the post-season roster, or is at best the third catcher?

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 7 min ago view
  • Does he project as a starter, a relief pitcher, or is it too soon to tell?

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 22 min ago view