Updated Cubs 2014 Minor League Camp Rosters (3/20)
The Cubs have added a couple of 25-year old "suspects" to Minor League Camp, acquiring 1B Matt Scioscia from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for 1B-OF Trevor Gretzky, and signing RHP Reinier Roibal (ex-SF).
The 6'3 230 Roibal was a high-profile Cuban defector signed by the Giants in 2010, but he was unable to work his way out of Lo-A ball after three seasons in the Giants organization, and was released at the end of Minor League Camp this time a year ago. He then spent the 2013 season pitching for the Newark Bears in the independent Atlantic League.
The son of Angels manager Mike Scioscia, the right-handed hitting Matt Scioscia was selected by the Angels in the 45th round of the 2011 draft as a college senior out of the University of Notre Dame, where he had been a catcher, first-baseman, and DH. The Angels moved him to 1B full-time in 2013, but like Roibal, the younger Scioscia has been unable to progress, hitting a combined 194/248/224 in 46 games (146 PA) between AZL Angels, Burlington, and Inland Empire in 2013.
I strongly suspect the Cubs will immediately move Scioscia back to catcher, the one position in the Cubs system that lacks quality depth, perhaps hoping that his catching "bloodlines" might awaken. The Cubs are also probably hoping a change of scenery might help the younger Scioscia fulfill his promise, but at age 25 he won't have a lot of time to show what he can do.
21-year old Trevor Gretzky is (of course) the son of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, and was the Cubs 7th round pick in the 2011 June draft. But through no fault of his own, he was seemingly buried in a Cubs system that is chock full of outfielders with promise. The younger Gretzky never fully recovered from right shoulder surgery (he suffered a torn labrum while playing QB in a football game his senior year in HS) and so he been has been relegated to playing only DH, LF, or 1B in pro ball. (He has what is sometimes called a "rag arm"). However, he doesn't have the HR power you would want out of DH, 1B, or LF, he has just average speed so he doesn't profile as a CF, and he is a below average defender at both 1B and LF. What the younger Gretzky does have is decent eye/hand coordination, a good eye for the strike zone, and a nice opposite-field line-drive stroke at the plate (albeit without any HR power).
2014 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (last updated 3-20-2014):
NOTE: ROSTERS AT MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ARE FLUID. Minor League players are often initially assigned to a squad one or even two levels above where they will ultimately be assigned once the regular season starts. Minor League Camp roster assignments are based on several factors, including the player's position as it relates to the specific needs of the organization, and the player's age, amount of professional experience, and previous season's performance (including any time spent at a post-season Instructional League). As players are sent to Minor League Camp from the Major League squad during the course of Spring Training, there are corresponding roster moves made at Minor League Camp as players are either moved down a level or released.
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Tommy Hottovy
* Eric Jokisch
Barret Loux (limited activity only - shoulder)
Trey McNutt (limited activity only - shoulder)
* Zac Rosscup
Yaniel Cabezas (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Charlie Cutler
* Rafael Lopez
# Arismendy Alcantara
* Lars Anderson
Greg Rohan (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Logan Watkins
Jae-Hoon Ha (limited activity only)
* Brett Jackson
* Mitch Meier (limited activity only)
* Rubi Silva
Josh Vitters (ex-3B)
* Hunter Cervenka
* Frank del Valle
C. J. Edwards
P. J. Francescon
Pierce Johnson (limited activity only - hamstring)
* Austin Kirk
* Jeff Lorick
Carlos Escobar (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Wes Darvill
* Walter Ibarra
Tim Saunders (limited activity only - elbow surgery rehab)
Brad Zapenas (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Pin-Chieh Chen
# Zeke DeVoss
* Bijan Rademacher
# Oliver Zapata
Josh Conway (limited activity only - elbow surgery rehab)
* Nathan Dorris
* Michael Heesch
* Andrew McKirahan
Ryan McNeil (limited activity only - 2013 TJS rehab)
* Al Yevoli
* Rob Zastryzny
Ben Carhart (ex-3B)
Nate Maldonado (player-coach)
* Justin Marra
* Zak Blair
# Jeimer Candelario
* Marco Hernandez
* Dan Vogelbach
* Jose Dore (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Shawon Dunston Jr
* Jacob Hannemann
* Rock Shoulders (ex-1B)
KANE COUNTY (54):
Marcelo Carreno (limited activity only - shoulder surgery rehab)
Jesus Castillo (limited activity only)
* Gerardo Concepcion
* Tyler Ihrig
Juan Carlos Paniagua
* Anthony Prieto
Brad Renner (limited activity only)
* Sam Wilson
# Mark Malave
* Alberto Mineo
Rony Rodriguez (ex-OF)
Neftali Rosario (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Danny Canela (ex-C)
Kelvin Freeman (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Jordan Hankins
* Danny Lockhart
* Jacob Rogers
# Alex Sanchez
# Trevor Stevens (limited activity only - right hand injury)
* Kevin Brown
* Rashad Crawford
STILL NOT PRESENT ON FIELD: (going back to beginning of Minor League Camp)
* Jeffry Antigua, P
# Kevin Encarnacion, OF (INACTIVE - rehabbing from injuries sustained in off-season car crash)
Mike Hamann, P
Loiger Padron, P
* Brian Smith, P
Elliot Soto, INF (RESTRICTED LIST - 50-game Drug of Abuse suspension)
Yeah, Underwood impresses the internet scouts more than the opposing hitters. Blackburn and Williams have pitched well but they would be more interesting if they missed more bats.
Myrtle Beach has a couple of guys--Trevor Clifton and Jake Stinnett--worth keeping an eye on.
South Bend has the best record in the Midwest League but it's more about their bats than their starting pitching.
Thanks Steve, I always forget about that.
Maddon spins the wheel-o-lineups and Bryant is playing 1B.
The line-ups, by the way, appear in the Twitter box on the left and usually very soon after they are made available.
Looks like no Heyward or Rizzo in the lineup today.
HAGSAG: Kevonte Mitchell has shown some improvement in 2016. He takes a lot of walks, shows occasional power, and he's an athletic defender capable of making the big play in the OF.
However, he strikes out way too much, he doesn't always take the most-direct-route to get to balls hit into the air, and he sometimes runs himself into outs on the bases. He is still very raw.
E-MAN: I don't think Dallas Beeler has a long-term future with the Cubs, but (when healthy) he has gotten the call over the past couple of years as the "26th man" when the Cubs needed an extra starter in a doubleheader.
PHIL: Thanks for the wrap. A 2010 early-ish round Hendry draft pick, why do you surmise the new management team just doesn't cut bait on Beeler? Not shown that much as a starter. Does he have a power arm when right? Is he another Schlitter? Or, is he rosyer filler while the org waits out the lower-level arms to surpass him?
Ryan Kellogg is still a fringy prospect despite being very old for low-A. He's putting up very good numbers no matter who he's facihg.
Great article on Yosh and Nobe. Thanks for including it Trans.
Phil, it looks like Kevonte Mitchell has made some progress this Spring. Your thoughts please, thanks.
so far ryan williams (AAA) is the only system prospect on the "could be ready soon" horizon doing well...that said, he's not very exciting and he's assumed to be an end-rotation talent at best.
paul blackburn is getting great early returns in AA, but he's getting surprisingly low K numbers doing it. he throws lot of low/sinking stuff with good control...also assumed to be an end-rotation guy, but he's got room to be better, especially given his control as base to build on.
Speaking of pitching -- another ugly outing for Underwood at AA. Through 6 starts: 5.19 ERA, WHIP 1.69. Yikes!
Man, do we need starting pitching depth. Our best hopes are still hanging with AZ Phil in Arizona. Very scary.
jeebus... that's terrible.
*clap* *clap* *clap*
Thanks AZ. If you like him, I like him.
Awesome report, and good to see Beeler on his way back.
I'm also very happy to hear about the bi-level bump for Daniel Lewis. In the Name of Theo, he was the Last of the Full-Season Cuts, and There Will Be Blood for those who unnecessarily slow his development. Sure, he might end up in independent ball pitching for Lincoln. But if everything breaks right, he may even have a shot at joining up with the Gangs of Chicago. I wouldn't bet My Left Foot on it, though.