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)
Yay! KB at 3B!
Molina in the Cards lineup.
Fowler (CF), Schwarber (RF!), Bryant (3B), Rizzo (1B), Castro (2B), Coughlan (LF), Russell (SS), Ross (C), Lester (P)
If the baseball gods would guarantee that result, I'd take it :-).
I wonder if it is about numbers specifically against the Mets. But, it could also be because Kershaw can go 9 innings everytime, while Grienke very rarely makes it through the game. They don't want to expose their weak bullpen.
I have trouble getting past the extraordinary 1.66 ERA, but I don't know what the heck will happen with the Cy Young vote this year.
So Kershaw is opening the series for the Dodgers. How, then, does Greinke get the Cy Young? Not even the best pitcher on his team!
You have angered the baseball gods. Now Lester will lose and Hendricks will win.
Cubs go home 1-1, with Arrieta starting game 3, I like our chances in this series. Tomorrow's pitching matchup is lousy on paper, so today is obviously crucial.
Will be fun to watch. My two keys are scoring early, and keeping Lester's pitch count below 15 per inning.
Hopefully Der Kaiser won't be doing this until December
So, yes, I have been quoting your, "mediocre pitcher" label all year in jest - good or bad.
He has been pretty filthy against the Cards, and this is the game they need to "steal".
I am hoping against hope that Pedro Strop only sees the mound if the Cubs are up 8 in a game.
I've been pretty harsh with Lester here at various times but that's how it is when you pull in that kind of money, and besides, it's not like he reads my posts or would care what I have to say if he did read them for some reason. If I was him, the first thing out of my mouth would be, what level have you played this game at, pal?
Anyway, he's really looked good lately, and overall his body of work turned out pretty good, too. I'm glad his worst struggles were in April. This is such an easy team to like that I even like the overpaid free agent.
Gordo's lede today:
ST. LOUIS – Whether it’s a year early or right on time, Jon Lester’s $155 million moment arrives just after 5:45 p.m. Friday.
*checks pulse again*
Who are you? Andy Rooney?
Colbert has our backs
K-DUB: I get a chance to see the other MLB clubs Player Development operations out here and I have talked to scouts and other baseball people about it, and I can tell you that the Cubs Player Development program has gone from being almost a joke to one of THE best.