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

IOWA
 (37)

AAA

PITCHERS (19): 
Frank Batista 
Dallas Beeler
Casey Coleman  
Paolo Espino
Carlos Gutierrez
Marcus Hatley
Kyle Hendricks 
* Tommy Hottovy
* Eric Jokisch 
Barret Loux (limited activity only - shoulder)
Trey McNutt (limited activity only - shoulder)
Yoanner Negrin
Carlos Pimentel
Dae-Eun Rhee 
Armando Rivero
* Zac Rosscup
Nick Struck
Arodys Vizcaino
Tony Zych

CATCHERS (4):
Yaniel Cabezas (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Charlie Cutler
Luis Flores
* Rafael Lopez

INFIELDERS (7):
# Arismendy Alcantara 
* Lars Anderson
Edgar Gonzalez
Greg Rohan (INACTIVE - may have been released)
Jonathon Mota
Christian Villanueva
* Logan Watkins

OUTFIELDERS (7):
John Andreoli
Jae-Hoon Ha (limited activity only)
* Brett Jackson 
* Mitch Meier (limited activity only)
* Rubi Silva
Matt Szczur
Josh Vitters (ex-3B)

TENNESSEE (37):

AA

PITCHERS (16):
Corey Black
Lendy Castillo
Zach Cates
* Hunter Cervenka
* Frank del Valle 
C. J. Edwards
Eduardo Figueroa
P. J. Francescon
Pierce Johnson (limited activity only - hamstring)
* Austin Kirk
Matt Loosen
* Jeff Lorick 
Starling Peralta
Ivan Pineyro  
Jose Rosario
Ryan Searle

CATCHERS
 (5):
Willson Contreras
Taylor Davis
Carlos Escobar (INACTIVE - may have been released)
Chadd Krist 
Lance Rymel

INFIELDERS (9):
Stephen Bruno 
Kris Bryant 
* Wes Darvill
Dustin Geiger
* Walter Ibarra 
Tim Saunders (limited activity only - elbow surgery rehab)
Matt Scioscia
Jeudy Valdez 
Brad Zapenas (INACTIVE - may have been released)

OUTFIELDERS (7):
Albert Almora
* Pin-Chieh Chen
# Zeke DeVoss
Anthony Giansanti
* Bijan Rademacher 
Jorge Soler
# Oliver Zapata


DAYTONA 
(35)

Hi-A 

PITCHERS (17): 
Justin Amlung
Josh Conway (limited activity only - elbow surgery rehab) 
* Nathan Dorris
Zack Godley
* Michael Heesch
Michael Jensen 
* Andrew McKirahan
Ryan McNeil (limited activity only - 2013 TJS rehab)
Felix Pena
Steve Perakslis
Austin Reed
Tayler Scott
Tyler Skulina
Ben Wells
* Al Yevoli
Yao-Lin Wang
* Rob Zastryzny

CATCHERS (4+1): 
Cael Brockmeyer
Ben Carhart (ex-3B)
Nate Maldonado (player-coach) 
* Justin Marra
Will Remillard

INFIELDERS (6):
Gioskar Amaya
* Zak Blair
# Jeimer Candelario
* Marco Hernandez
Giuseppe Papaccio 
* Dan Vogelbach 

OUTFIELDERS (7):
Yasiel Balaguert 
* Jose Dore (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Shawon Dunston Jr 
Reggie Golden
* Jacob Hannemann 
Trey Martin 
* Rock Shoulders (ex-1B)

KANE COUNTY
 (54):

Lo-A 

PITCHERS (33)
Jose Arias
Paul Blackburn
Tyler Bremer
Marcelo Carreno (limited activity only - shoulder surgery rehab)
Jesus Castillo (limited activity only)
Trevor Clifton
* Gerardo Concepcion
Josh Davis
Scott Frazier
David Garner
Trevor Graham
Zak Hermans
Luis Hernandez
Corbin Hoffner
* Tyler Ihrig
Trey Lang 
Erick Leal
Dillon Maples
Trey Masek
Jeferson Mejia
Juan Carlos Paniagua
Hector Perez 
* Anthony Prieto
James Pugliese
Jasvir Rakkar
Brad Renner (limited activity only) 
Orbandy Rodriguez
Reinier Roibal 
Daury Torrez 
Jen-Ho Tseng 
Duane Underwood 
Michael Wagner 
* Sam Wilson

CATCHERS (6):
Tyler Alamo 
# Mark Malave
* Alberto Mineo
Rony Rodriguez (ex-OF)
Neftali Rosario (INACTIVE  - may have been released)
Antonio Valerio

INFIELDERS (11):
David Bote
* Danny Canela (ex-C)
Kelvin Freeman (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Jordan Hankins
Jesse Hodges
* Danny Lockhart
Carlos Penalver
* Jacob Rogers
# Alex Sanchez
# Trevor Stevens (limited activity only - right hand injury) 
Gleyber Torres

OUTFIELDERS (4): 
* Kevin Brown
Charcer Burks 
* Rashad Crawford  
Eloy Jimenez

++++++++++++++++++++++++

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)

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Comments

fwiw...the LAD/ARZ games in aussie-land are Saturday 4am (ET) and Saturday 10pm (ET)

Thanks, Phil.
1. Doesn't look like any significant new listing of injured pitchers, at least not among the more noteworthy prospects.
2. Did we ever find out what Michael Jensen missed last season for? TJ, or something less substantial? Would be fun if he bounced back well.
3. Phil, you don't list Bruno as non-participating. Is he actually throwing the ball overhand, and able to participate in fielding drills or maybe even exhibition games (defensively) already?

4. Note: I'm not sure there are a lot of very significant pitching prospects in the big-league camp who will go down and trickle-down push minor leaguers down levels. In other words, I don't think pitchers on the Iowa group are going to get dropped and take Tennessee rotation spots, other than possibly Vizcaino, Rivero, or perhaps Rondon. For the most part, I think the Tennessee rotation will primarily be populated by guys already with Tennessee pool.
5. Seems Daytona could be short for rotation on good prospects, and Kane overstocked. I wonder if they have any consideration to actually starting Zastryzy and/or Skulina right out at Daytona, to clear the piggy-back/rotation spots at Kane? Seems unlikely, but Kane looks like it will be crowded with rotation options, and Daytona might look pretty uninteresting rotation-wise.

Phil, one other question: When XST gets rolling, there are usually lots of Latin guys there. Are those guys already at Mesa practicing, and just on the "Boise" roster at this stage? Or are a lot of them still at the DSL to avoid crowding, and once the Cubs and the minor league teams move out, then a bunch of the international kids will move in then?

CRAIG: Stephen Bruno is now participating fully, but Tim Saunders is not (he can hit, run, and field, but can't throw or at least he hasn't been cleared to throw).  

Michael Jensen was active at the beginning of Minor League Camp last season but then was shut-down during the Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games, and eventually missed the entire 2013 season with an elbow injury. I don't think it was TJS, though, beause he wasn't wearing the pressure sleeve around Fitch Park last year that TJS guys do after surgery (as was the case with Ryan McNeil for instance). 

As for the additional Latin players who will be attending Extended Spring Training, they have not arrived yet. The only Latin players making their U. S. debut at Minor League Camp right now are RHPs Jesus Castillo (along with RHP Erick Leal, one of the two pitchers acquired from AZ in the Tony Campana deal), Hector Perez, and Luis Hernandez. (OF Eloy Jimenez, SS Gleyber Torres, and RHP Jeferson Mejia made their U. S. debut at post-2013 Instructs, and catcher Antonio Valerio was at Minor League Camp in 2012 but was sent back to the Dominican Academy prior to the start of 2012 EXST).  

CRAIG: As for the pitching assignments presently at Minor League Camp...

Kyle Hendricks, Dallas Beeler, and Eric Jokisch are virtual locks to form 3/5 of the Iowa rotation, and Chris Rusin would be another if he gets sent down (if Carlos Villanueva is the Cubs 5th starter). Carlos Pimentel is being stretched-out in games and could be the other Iowa starter. I think it's also possible that the Cubs will pay the $100K retention fee and keep Tsuyoshi Wada as a starter at Iowa (especially if Rusin is the MLB #5 starter). Yoanner Negrin is the fall-back option. 

C. J. Edwards, Matt Loosen, and Ivan Pineyro will almost certainly be 3/5 of the Tennessee rotation, and Pierce Johnson will be another once he's back from the hamstring problem, Corey Black would be #5 unless the Cubs move him to the bullpen (he hasn't been stretched-out as a starter yet, but there is still time). LHP Austin Kirk could be another AA starter candidate, but I suspect he will be moved to the bullpen, since he struggled as a starter at AA in 2013.  

I do think that as things stand right now, Ben Wells is the #1 starter at Daytona, and Michael Jensen and Tayler Scott should be the next two. It's starting to look like Rob Zastryzny and Tyler Skulina might not get moved down (it could happen, but so far, so good). Both Zastryzny and Skulina are VERY advanced, and I really don't see that much down-side to having them both begin the 2014 season in the D-Cubs rotation. Felix Pena could be a starter or could be a "piggy-back" (he's stretched-out and he's thrown well so far), and LHP Michael Heesch is another SP/PB candidate. 

KC is a bit trickier, because there are probably as many as a dozen pitchers (Arias, Blackburn, Concepcion, Frazier, Leal, Maples, Masek, Paniagua, D. Torrez, Tseng, and Underwood) contending for spots at KC who will be stretched-out as starters by the end of Minor League Camp.  

Thanks for your thoughts, Phil. As you say, there are a 10+ guys already at Kane who could start, so if Skulina and Zastryzny were to go there, that would clutter it even more. So yeah, if those guys did look advanced and mature enough for Daytona, that could really set up a batch of nice rotations everywhere. But Kane could have lots of piggy-backs, I think, and some of those guys to XST or relief.

I'd thought Wells might step up to Tennessee, (with Loosen to relief), but he's young, two seasons back was largely lost to injury, and I think a lot of last year was "getting through healthy" rather than necessarily working on breaking stuff. So no problem with him staying at Daytona. Probably just a guy, not fast enough, no excellent breaking ball, not enough control, and probably not healthy enough either. But his movement is quite good, so that if the control/velocity/breaking ball stepped up, he might become a nice value.

Also glad Jensen seems healthy enough where you think he's rotation track.

You mentioned three new Latin pitchers. Have you seen Luis Hernandez throw? He's listed as 6'5" 210-pounds, a big guy; and he only pitched 9 games or so in DSL. Surprised he's over so quickly; hopefully that means he's got a power arm?

CRAIG: Yes, Luis Hernandez is all of 6'5. He and Jeferson Mejia (who is 6'7) tower over most of the other pitchers on the KC squad. 

I have not yet seen Luis Hernandez throw "live" BP or in a game, and it is not possible for the public to watch bullpen sessions in the new 12-pack (pitch & catch) at Riverview. You could stand outside the east fence at Fitch Park and watch bullpen sessions in the old 10-pack all day long if you so desired, but unfortunately that's not the case at Riverview. 

BTW, I should mention Danny Canela, the left-handed hitting catcher the Cubs signed out of independent ball during the off-season. Canela had issues in college that led to his being non-drafted (Canela was Carlos Rodon's catcher at NC State in 2012), but he definitely has PLUS-HR power. He puts on quite a show in BP, and hopefully it will be usable power in games.

Canela initially was assigned to the Tennessee squad as a catcher, but he has subsequently been moved to 1st base with the KC squad. (And this is in an organization absolutely desperate for catchers). He also looks like Dan Vogelbach did when Vogelbach was a senior in HS, meaning Canela could stand to lose at least 50 pounds. He makes Eric Hinske look svelt. Canela could end up playing 1B-DH at KC and maybe be the 3rd "emergency" catcher (although the Cubs obviously don't think of him as a catcher at this point). 

Also, Jordan Hankins has been moved back to 3B with the KC squad. He was working out as a catcher at post--2013 Instructs and at the start of Minor League Camp with the Daytona squad, but (like Canela) he is no longer participating in catching drills at all. That doesn't mean it couldn't be revisited in the future, but apparently moving him to catcher is not part of The Plan right now.

Ben Carhart is still working exclusively as a catcher, though. His conversion has apparently gone OK. It would not surprise me if Carhart spends a couple of months at EXST to get some heavy reps at catcher, and then maybe return to Daytona in June.  

 

Thanks, I'd wondered about Jordan Hankins. If he can't catch, his chances as an infielder are probably pretty remote.

So, Phil, you listed Mark Malave as a catcher; does it look like he's exclusively catcher these days? Has he filled out very much physically?

Are there any hitters who look noticeably stronger/more powerful? Obviously physical maturation is central to the scouting/projection game. But not every pitcher who's hoped to mature into 5 more mph does, nor every hitter who's projected to perhaps hit HR's when they mature.

CRAIG: Mark Malave is exclusively a catcher right now.

I saw Mark Malave when he first arrived in the U. S. at Instructs and then at Extended Spring Training, and although he was signed as a 16-year old switch-hitting catcher, the Cubs almost immediately moved him to 3B. (Same thing happened with fellow-Venezuelan Willson Contreras, but then the Cubs eventually moved him back to catcher).

Malave's best baseball tools are arm strength, batting eye, and power potential. but he was/is kind of stiff behind the plate. So he actually took to 3rd base pretty well. In fact, if it wasn't for the Cubs being loaded with 3rd base prospects and having virtually zero legitimate catching prospects, Malave would probably still be a third-baseman.

Malave has lost weight and gotten into better shape over the past year, but he still has a thick lower-half and is a slow runner. He doesn't have a lot of agility behind the plate, but his strong arm is certainly a plus.

You might have noticed that Malave was moved all around the infield last season, but that was more a matter of the AZL Cubs not having other options than it was because of Malave's versatility. Malave is not some kind of athletic supersub utility guy who can play anywhere. No question his best defensive position is 3rd base, but because he has some of the natural attributes needed to be a catcher (thick lower body & strong arm) and because the Cubs need catchers, he probably will remain a catcher indefinitely.   

As far as hitters who have shown improved power over the past year or so, certainly Dustin Geiger is #1 and Arismendy Alcantara is #1-A. Yasiel Balaguert is another guy who is showing more power (which he needed to do to progress). Jeimer Candelario is showing big-time power this Spring (both LH & RH), matching Dan Vogelbach in BP (they usually hit in the same group).  

Jacob Hannemann won the HR Derby at the Instructs Skills Competition at Fitch Park last October (he actually edged-out Balaguert). so he might possibly show more power than had been previously expected. Gioskar Amaya started showing more HR pop at Instructs last season and he can unload long-balls in BP. He has above-average bat speed.  

Trey Martin is driving the ball with more authority after surgery to correct a chronic problem in his non-throwing shoulder last season, but I don't know if that will just translate into more doubles and triples, or more HR, too. Jesse Hodges has BP HR power but you don't see it in games (yet).

17-year old Eloy Jimenez looks like he might have as much HR power as anyone. He will need to make his BP HR power usable in games, but even right now (at age 17) he would probably rate as one of the Cubs Top 5 power prospects (in terms of pure power).

 

Thanks, Phil, good stuff. Candelario showing increased long-ball both-sides power is very good news. He's had strong splits, and given that he's never going to be average-at-best defensively at any position, serious HR production is essential if he is to become an asset starter.

Interesting that Hanneman showed reasonable power. Don't know what we'll have with him, but a lot easier to make it work if he's got more Michael Barrett power than Theriot/Barney type situation. But encouraging to read something a little encouraging in that regard.

Geiger this could be interesting year. Balanced and improving hitting approach, but it's all about the HR-power for him. If he hits enough HR's without selling out to do so, then all of his offensive numbers will grow and he'll be valuable. He's an under-the-radar guy who could conceivably put up some pretty big numbers in AA at age 22, in which case he could generate more discussion.

Thanks for Malave observations. Interesting that he's back to full-time catcher. Like Geiger and Candelario, seems yet another case where power is the key. Hopefully something will happen so that he starts to translate some of his power potential into actual HR's. He's been so young and new, but thus far his actual results have been no-HR output, mostly singles and walks offensively. His defense isn't going to get him far as a contact hitter. For him to really make it, I assume it will again need to be as an average-at-best defender with enough offense to more than make up for it. With HR's, maybe; no HR's, not likely.

Olt back at dh today

Castro ran bases today, very optimistic he'll be ready for Opening Day. Could be in spring lineup for Sunday.

ex-Cubs news

Robert Whitenack released by Indians, Flaherty probably losing 2b job for O's to Jonathan Schoop, may start at 3b to begin season if Machado isn't quite ready.

baez sure as hell will not let you walk him this spring. he's up there to swing...and he can look kinda foolish on some sliders.

also, baez removed after beating out an infield single and hitting the base weird (didn't go down, not limping off the field). looks like a foot/heel bruise or a slightly tweaked ankle at the worst, fwiw.

olt 2-3 + bb (double, single)

valbuena 2-3 (2HR...both off lefties (j.danks/s.downs))

baez 1-3 (single)

russin 5ip 2h 0bb 3k, 0 r/er

"Javier Baez was diagnosed with a right heel contusion after landing awkwardly on first base while beating out an infield single on Friday."

as far as minor foot injuries goes, this is one of the worst places for a foot bruise. hope it's minor, hope it heals fast, and hope he's ready before AAA opening day.

this is one of the worst places for a foot bruise.
---
There is no good place for a foot bruise but as long as he didn't break his calcaneus (heel) it might just be a few days off. Also have to be careful not to develop plantar fascitis (inflamed arch support) or achilles tendonitis. It it's not better in a day or two, they usually get an MRI, which can identify a bone bruise or subtle fracture (assuming the more basic x-rays are negative).

You probably have read since your comment that Baez says he's had this happen before, and it comes from wearing metal cleats - and that he normally grinds one of them down when he has to wear them. Anyway, it sounds like it was pretty minor. One thing about Baez is it seems like he goes all out in everything he does, from his swing to everything else. It's probably not a question of if, but when he'll get hurt. You can't ask a guy to not go all out, that's even more dangerous I think when it comes to potential injury, but I know that once he gets up to the big club I'm going to brace myself for that injury and hope nothing major happens. Of course, he could be quite the specimen and his body may simply be able to withstand a lot of punishment. I sure hope he learns to take a walk or two down there.

some draft stuff

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/50235/mlb-insider-keith-law

Carlos Rodon slipping...losing a little velocity, control off this spring although last start was much better. Brady Aiken moves to #1 according to Law at least. Jeff Hoffman hasn't been doing too great either. Tyler Kolek(HS) and Tyler Beede in that top 5 mix at the moment as well most likely.

More links.

http://prospectinsider.com/draft-watch-arms-race-week-6

http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2014/03/mlb-draft-update-arms-ahead-o...

also this Baez note in the Keith Law chat

Mike (Chicago) Seen anything from Baez to think he'd be successful from the get go this spring or is it just feasting on spring training pitching? He sure hits the ball hard and far.

Klaw (1:56 PM) He's always done that, but I worry that his contact rate overall will be very low if he starts the year in the majors. Huge, huge ability, just not as advanced a hitter as the spring might indicate.

on that note, Rodon has a rough night tonight, leaves in the 5th, fastball control not there, apparently some poor defense as well.

"Tigers acquired INF Andrew Romine from the Angels in exchange for LHP Jose Alvarez."

SS/2nd/3rd...majority SS in the minors. he's not a full time solution, but he's an experienced option they didn't have.

foul balls are getting crazy pops early in the LA/ARZ game.

fans are cheering like hell when someone in the crowd gets a foul ball.

lulz.

they did a wonderful job with this field...especially compared to pictures of it i'm checking out online...and really especially considering every adaptation to the field (such as the "fake" OF wall) is all sitting above ground (not dug in) since the field groundskeepers refused to let them dig into the ground to install anything because they have to play cricket rather soon. there's huge concrete blocks and steel structures providing a lot of support to walls/tunnels/structures.

the crowd seems to be into the whole things so far...even those that don't fully "get" what's going on...though there's a good amount that do.

Locals unused to being able to keep the ball??? since in cricket it goes back onto the field and back into play.

Glad and not at all surprised to see I'm not the only one awake for this.  The field looks gorgeous, yes...

my baseball addiction forces me to silly measures.

cubs/mets in japan in 2000 when they had b.valentine mic'd up is still a viewing experience i cherish. espn had a bunch of guys mic'd up and decided to turn on valentine's mic when he visited the mound to hear what he was telling the pitcher (mike hampton).

hampton had control issues early and valentine had a short visit to the mound where he simply told hampton "throw the goddamn ball over the goddamn plate." and walked away.

the announcers chuckled, apologized, and stated they wouldn't be using that mic anymore.

it was 4:30-ish am ET...i don't think enough people saw it live to care.

btw...cubs won, mark grace hit a homer, and everything was good with the world.

Wow. I wish I had seen that.

 

Barely awake here for sunrise.  Still amused at how the bases are run in the opposite direction down under...

I made it threw a couple innings. The rain delay killed me, plus Vin Scully bores the hell out of me...

You can watch the replay for those that aren't early risers. They are showing the game immediately following the actual end.

"Cubs reassigned INF Javier Baez, RHP Brian Schlitter, RHP Chang-Yong Lim, LHP Jonathan Sanchez and INF Chris Valaika to minor league camp."

b.parker also optioned to AAA...bit of a surprise...even with the cruddy spring.

a.cabrera is getting closer to being a lock.

SP #1-4 announced by renteria, #5 still up in the air...ninja, ejax, hammel, wood...

reds/cubs 4pm (ET) WGN

I want this Australian series to end just so 'journalists' will stop making stupid puns. Plus, why the hell is the opening series a week before the rest of the games? Selig is a fart.

people in the past complained a lot about the international game/regular season scheduling being so close to the "real" season involving a lot of wear/tear/jetlag/fatigue/etc on doing all the travel + PR + actual games...so they're giving the teams a chance to do all the crap while giving them time to come back and recharge.

my biggest issue with the "new" scheduling is the erratic as hell "some teams get strategic breaks in april, some teams get none" scheduling that's been going on for a few years.

this year the cubs (and many other teams) get royally screwed with almost no "strategic" days off when april was traditionally a time where teams could count on a 2-3+ week schedule with strategic days off to accommodate using a 4-man rotation schedule and allowing for april weather makeup games in an unpredictable time of year.

it's also kinda weird to see interleague play in april...whatever...

The other teams could still play, but let LA and AZ have a few days off after the Australia series. OR, make these games exhibitions like they should have been in the first place.

i don't get "making the games count" either...out of all the things people/fans would care about with visiting mlb baseball, the matter of whether it "counts" or not would probably be low on the list as long as they can persuade teams to treat it with more respect than a spring training game when it comes to lineups/pitching/substitutions.

d.gordon is giving a clinic on how to butcher playing 2nd. the fact he only has 1 error says very little about how bad he's doing it tonight.

rough night for him.

...and puig is giving a clinic on how to butcher running the bases...2nd screwup of the night

both guys are hitting the hell out of the ball, though. go them.

The Cubs have some tough cuts to make yet, but looking at the Iowa roster, there are some questions to be answered there.
Pitchers: Hendricks, Jokisch, Beeler, Negrin, Rhee, Loux, Pimentel, Vizcaino, Batista, Zych, Hottovy, Hatley, Gutierrez, Coleman, Espino, McNutt, Mateo, Rivero, and Rosscup.

Catchers: Cutler, Lopez, and Flores.

Infielders: L.Anderson, Alcantara, Villanueva, Watkins, E. Gonzalez, Mota, Baez,and Valaika.

Outfielders: Szczur, Ha, Andreoli, B. Jackson, Meier Wells,and Vitters.

Plus, there are a bunch more cuts coming. It should be interesting.

AZ Phil, do you care to give us your guesses?

HAGSAG: As things stand right now, I would say the Iowa Opening Day roster will be: 

STARTING PITCHERS:
1. Kyle Hendricks
2. Dallas Beeler
3. Eric Jokisch  
4-5. Carlos Pimentel, Yoanner Negrin, and/or Tsuyoshi Wada (Article XX-B $100K retention bonus with 6/1 opt-ou) 
Casey Coleman and Dae-Eun Rhee would be additional fall-back SP options  

BULLPEN: 
Blake Parker 
Justin Grimm or Hector Rondon
Zac Rosscup 
Marcos Mateo
Brian Schlitter
Jonathan Sanchez or Tommy Hottovy
Neil Ramirez
Coleman or Rhee  

CATCHERS: 
John Baker 
Eli Whiteside 

INFIELDERS: 
Arismendy Alcantara (2B-3B-SS)
Lars Anderson (1B) 
Javier Baez (SS) 
Christian Villanueva (3B-2B) 
Logan Watkins (2B-3B-SS) 

OUTFIELDERS:
Brett Jackson (CF-LF-RF) 
Ryan Kalish (CF)
Matt Szczur (LF-CF-RF) 
Josh Vitters (LF-1B-3B) 
Casper Wells or Darnell McDonald (RF)

DISABLED LIST: 
Edgar Gonzalez or Jonathon Mota, INF (player-coach)
Jae Hoon Ha, OF 
Barret Loux, RHP (shoulder) 
Trey McNutt, RHP (shoulder) 
Mitch Meier, OF

Tennessee (AA): I think Arodys Vizcaino, Armando Rivero, Frank Batista, Tony Zych, and Marcus Hatley, plus some combination of Frank del Valle, Zach Cates, Austin Kirk, P. J. Francescon, and Hunter Cervenka will probably be the Tennessee bullpen at the start of the season (the two "losers" from the latter five will probably be assigned to the Daytona bullpen). The starting rotation should be Edwards-Loosen-Pineyro-P. Johnson-Black, although P. Johnson could start the season on the DL (hamstring). It's possible that Carlos Pimentel could be temporarily assigned to Tennessee until Johnson returns. Searle, Struck, L. Castillo, Peralta, J. Rosario, Espino, E. Figueroa, and Lorick will compete for anything that's left, and it's possible that two or three of them could end up in the Daytona bullpen if they don't get released. Rafael Lopez, Luis Flores, and Charlie Cutler will compete for two catchers jobs at AA. Lopez is a virtual lock to be the #1 guy (and could be in Iowa by mid-season), but either Flores or Cutler could be kept inactive as a "player-coach" if not on the Active Roster. The infield should be Geiger-Bruno-Ibarra-Bryant, with Wes Darvill and Jeudy Valdez the utility guys (Darvill can also play LF). The starting outfield should be Andreoli-DeVoss-Soler, with Rubi Silva playing RF-CF-LF (Silva can also play 2B).   

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