Your 2014 VSL Cubs!

 

The VSL Cubs begin their 68-game 2014 season tomorrow morning with a game against the VSL Phillies.


The Venezuelan Summer League (known as the "VSL") was established as an MLB affiliated "Foreign Rookie League" in 1997, and was designed for players from countries in South and Central America like Venezuela, Panama, Nicaragua, Colombia, Brazil, and Curacao. Players from the Dominican Republic can play in the VSL, although most Dominican players who haven't yet graduated to North American minor leagues play in the Dominican Summer League (DSL). Also, U. S. and Canadian players cannot play in a "Foreign Rookie League" (the VSL and DSL), and no more than two Puerto Rican players can be on a VSL team's roster.

The VSL started with just six teams, but by 2001 the league had doubled in size to twelve teams. However, the league struggled to survive the first decade of the 21st century, and after the Pirates and Reds transferred their VSL affiliates to the Dominican Summer League after the 2011 season (creating DSL Pirates #2 and a second DSL Reds team known as "DSL Rojos"), there were only four VSL teams left (VSL Rays, VSL Phillies, VSL Tigers, and VSL Mariners). 

The Cubs established their first "Foreigh Rookie League" team (DSL Cubs) in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) in 1997 (they had been providing players to various DSL co-op teams 1991-96), but the Cubs did not participate in the VSL until 2007, when a Cubs/Twins co-op team existed for just one season, The Cubs then established a second DSL team (DSL Cubs #2) in 2008 as the VSL Cubs/Twins co-op team folded. The Cubs operated two DSL teams (DSL Cubs #1 and DSL Cubs #2) for five sesaons (2008-12), and Venezuelan players deemed not yet ready for the AZL Cubs (Arizona Rookie League) were assigned to one of the two DSL affiliates. But then (somewhat surprisingly) the Cubs decided to transfer their second DSL team (DSL Cubs #2) to the VSL (locating the team in Los Guayos), creating a "VSL Cubs" team in 2013 that added a 5th team to the VSL (bucking the recent trend of MLB clubs either folding their VSL team or transferring their VSL team to the DSL).     

The 2014 Venezuelan Summer League (VSL) regular season runs from May 12th through August 4th, followed by a post-season championship playoff between the 1st and 2nd place teams (since it's only a five-team league, there are no "divisions"). Because the VSL season begins and ends about three weeks prior to the beginning and end of the DSL season (the 2014 DSL season does not open until May 31st, but it runs until the last week of August), last year the Cubs transferred two of their better VSL players (VSL batting champion Roney Alcala and INF Bryant Flete) from the VSL Cubs to the DSL Cubs after the VSL playoffs concluded, and Flete and Alcala remained with the DSL Cubs through the conclusion of the DSL playoffs. 

Because there are currently only five teams in the VSL, the regular season schedule follows a very specific pattern that is peculiar to the VSL. Each VSL team plays four games in a row against the four other VSL teams in exactly the same order and then the team has a day off (a bye). For example, the VSL Cubs play the VSL Phillies-VSL Rays-VSL Mariners-VSL Tigers (always in that sequence) and then have a day off. This sequence repeats throughout the VSL regular season.

Eleven members of the 2013 VSL Cubs (RHPs Adbert Alzolay, Francisco Carrillo, Jesus Castillo, Greyfer Eregua, and Victor Salazar, LHP Alberto Diaz, catcher Eufran Vargas, 1B-3B Roney Alcala, 2B-SS Bryant Flete, and outfielders Arnaldo Calero and Ricardo Marcano) plus 17-year old Venezuelan SS Gleyber Torres and 17-year old Colombian RHP Erling Moreno (who are making their pro debut in 2014) are presently at Extended Spring Training in Mesa, and because most (if not all) of them will likely be remaining in the U. S. this summer, the 2014 VSL Cubs will feature a number of newly-signed players.

Only 17 of the 33 players presently assigned to the VSL Cubs Active List were on the squad last season. One player (18-year old LHP Carlos Rodriguez) spent the 2013 season with the AZL Cubs, and there are 15 players on the roster who are new to the Cubs organization, including 13 professional "rookies" and two others (RHPs Jesus Arias and Julio Sanchez) who were signed after being released by other MLB organizations. Infielder Humberto Garcia is presently on the VSL Cubs roster, but he may end up with the DSL Cubs since he is Dominican. (Garcia was signed by the Cubs last May after being released by the White Sox, and was assigned to the VSL Cubs last season only because the newly-formed VSL Cubs were short of infielders, but that should not be a problem this season). 

One of the more interesting names on the VSL Cubs 2014 roster is Danny Gutierrez, supposedly a 17-year old hot-shot shortstop prospect signed by the Cubs to a substantial bonus in 2012 (reported to be $185K at the time) but who did not make his pro debut (as had been expected) in 2013. Now it turns out that Gutierrez is (apparently) actually 23 years old (at least according to information provided by the Cubs). 

So here is the 2014 VSL Cubs Active Roster. Both the VSL Cubs Reserve List and Active List roster limit is 35. 30 players can be designated "active" for any one game (at least 10 of the 30 must be pitchers), The players listed as "INACTIVE" on the roster have either been released or will start the season on the 7-day or 60-day DL. 
    

2014 VSL CUBS (33 ACTIVE + 7 INACTIVE)

* bats or throws left
# bats both  
VSL Cubs players making pro debut are in italics

PITCHERS (17+5): 
Jesus Arias 
Harrinson Bermudez 
Alejandro Colorado
Enrique de los Rio 
* Manuel Fuentes (INACTIVE)
* Victor Garcia (INACTIVE)
* Yapson Gomez
Salvador Jerez
Jose Leidenz
Gabriel Lima
Ivan Medina
* Angel Mejias
Yomar Pacheco
* Eugenio Palma
* Chris Pieters (INACTIVE)
Moises Ramirez
Brohiglyn Rivero (INACTIVE)
* Carlos Rodriguez
Cesar Romero (INACTIVE)
Julio Sanchez 
Ramon Valera
Mauro Vides 

CATCHERS (4):
Leonardo Gonzalez
Luis Hidalgo
Jhonny Pereda
Roberto Vahlis

INFIELDERS (7+1):
* Delbis Arcila (INACTIVE)
Wladimir Galindo
Humberto Garcia
Jesus Gonzalez
Danny Gutierrez
# Andrews Monasterio
Henry Pedra
Miguel Rico

OUTFIELDERS
(5+2): 
Luis Ayala
Moises Colasante
Victor Gomez
Jose Gonzalez
# Martin Hodwalker (INACTIVE)
Fidel Matos

MANAGER:
Pedro Gonzalez

COACHES:
Franklin Blanco (Hitting Coach)
Angel Guzman (Pitching Coach)  

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Comments

Marlins DFA Carlos Marmol. Closing another chapter of the book.

Well, he did give us a couple really good years. His later self would last about a day on a Renteria team with his command issues. Lots of people bashing Renteria but one thing I do like is his low tolerance for walks.

Henry Rodriguez replaces Marmol on the Marlins roster. Why bother, aka compare and contrast regarding pitches outside of the strike zone.

EJax being EJax

odd, Kane County has Mother's Day off (scheduled).

Iowa game start delayed by Rain

Happy Mother's Day to Cubster's mom and Little Cubster's mom, Angelfan wife and all the wonderful mom's out there.

So Ricky, you reluctantly put in hottest hitter in line up.

Then you bat him 7th, ahead of arguably the worst hitter on the Cubs in last two years.

Then when of the worst hitters on the team miraculously gets on base you have try to steal with Olt up.

d.barney's first 2-hit game since sept. 25th 2013.

James Russell being James Russell.

Dallas Beeler, for I-Cubs, in the role of a Piñata

Live photo of Beeler pitching to Nashville hitter...

http://www.pepperspollywogs.com/blog/wp-content/up...

At some point I wonder how long TheoCorp can keep saying, well, the kids are coming, the kids are coming. Year three and the record promises, right now, to be among the MLB's worst. Couldn't they have done at least something to get a real outfield? I'm not much of an armchair GM, I just know that if I was paying good money as an owner I'd be wanting better results than this charade.

Please don't give me the shit about the farm system being fixed. It's fixed when the kids are on the big league team and the team isn't in last place anymore.

What kind of consequences do you foresee?

based on what's going on with attendance and a general lack of fans giving a shit on the internet (cubs boards seem to be slowing down every year, even the popular ones)...it seems the damage is done.

that said, this is the cubs and they're in the large chicago market. as soon as things get interesting the fans (old and new) will return in droves quite quickly.

Bingo

Rob had a good point last time I ranted that echoed what you are saying about them coming back but I am saying that the kids, the future fans, they won't come back because they simply won't be Cubs fans, and there's nothing to come back to. Older fans will come back, casual fans will come back, and if they actually win a World Series new ones will be created. But if this lingers on then all bets are off. And we all can't just assume that a world series is in the cards. We really don't know that. Lots of teams have good prospects.

Pretty fair odds on the No. 1 pick in 2015, I'd say. Houston will definitely contend, but I don't expect them to drop off at the trade deadline the way the Cubs will when they trade Ninja and possibly Jackson.

The best we can hope for is that Jackson keeps pitching decently. He's not dominating but he's got a steady past other than last year and he's durable. If Ninja doesn't bring Garza times two I'll be pissed.

But honestly, I'm getting tired of this game of how high can they draft.

If they can get somebody to pay Jackson's $13M/per for 2015 and 2016, that would essentially pay for the next two years of ninja. After this coming draft and next years top 3 draft pick, the farm system should be in the top 3, if not number 1. I say fuck it, give him the Homer Bailey contract if you can unload Jackson on some sucker.

Jackson is certainly more replaceable than Samardzija. Ninja's never put it together for a whole season, as many have noted, but his stuff along with the potential to command it doesn't come along much. I'm dreading the Cubs trying to build a rotation with not a single pitcher on the staff that looks like a #1 or #2, which is what they'd have to do if they traded Samardzija.

If Ninja would sign for the Homer Bailey contract, he'd be signed already. I think he's holding out for a Hamels/Felix contract, especially from this shitshow.

I don't think any pitcher is worth that kind of money. They just get hurt too often. The awfulness will continue, and they'll trade him for a basketful of prospects.

Meanwhile, all the kids who were 8 when Hendry was in his last year are 12 now, and all the kids who were 12 are...you get the idea. The Cubs are in trouble as a franchise if they think they can ride on the existing fan base. The kids are the future, and I can't imagine the kids are flocking to their iPad to watch this team. If this keeps going, everyone in Chicago younger than 16 is going to have an Abreu jersey.

The kids can't flock to their iPads to watch the Cubs unless they are several states away from the Cubs...

Also, comparing Hamels and Felix to Samardzija is comical, at best.

{removed}

http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-insider/2014/05/cub...

Yep, you offer him #2 or #3 money. If some team wants to pay him ace money (and some team probably will), then fine, let him walk. It may be painful, and he may put in some good innings (also, overpaid innings) somewhere else.

i-cubs score 12 runs...baez goes 0-4...he did have a walk, though.

c'mon baez...start your season already.

Jason Parks‏@ProfessorParks·22 hrs
#Cubs Javier Baez is hitting a robust .060/.190/.120 in night games (50 AB); .282/.333/.513 in day games (39 AB). Solution: More day games

Mitch Williams Ejected From Child's Baseball Game For Arguing, Cursing

http://deadspin.com/mitch-williams-ejected-from-ch...

Wild Thing!

As a parent of two little leaguers, and as a coach- this kind of stuff really pisses me off.

If we use money saved by getting rid of Jackson to pay Samardzija, what money are we going to use to pay Jackson's replacement?

He is not earning his salary, but anyone that replaces him will cost 10 million per year anyway, and not likely to be any better.

Jackson can be easily replaced by someone making $500k-$6M. He is nothing but an eater of innings for $13M.

I'm trying to imagine a Cubs rotation sans Samardzija, Jackson, and Hammel. So far I have Travis Wood, Jake Arrieta, and Chris Rusin. The next in line would by Kyle Hendricks, Justin Grimm, and Neil Ramirez, with Pierce Johnson and CJ Edwards some distance behind developmentally. That's fairly slim pickings--the Cubs would have to get at least 2 young SP who slot in at AAA level or MLB ready in those trades to have any chance of being competitive in the next two years or so, and they'd really need 1 or 2 pitchers to come in via those trades who have ace and/or #2 potential, because Wood and Arrieta are 3/4 types and Rusin, Hendricks, and Grimm are #5/swingman types.

Don't think anyone is going to bite on Jackson. Otherwise similar to trading Garza/Feldman last season.

Let's just get this over with. Make the trades now and get a head start on getting a better draft pick. Send Samardzija to the Yankees for catching prospect Gary Sanchez and a couple of quality pitching prospects. McCann is blocking Sanchez (a top 50 prospect) so he is available. Cubs don't have a legitimate catching prospect. Yankees rotation is Tanaka, ???????.

Added benefit the Cubs could then trade Welly and further improve this season's odds of "beating" the Astros for the race to #1 (draft pick).

probably need a third team with Yanks, Cubs probably want pitching prospects as you mentioned and Yanks are sorely lacking at the moment.

Similar to trading Garza/Feldman last season, except they still had Samardzija at that point. The selling off has a cumulative effect across multiple seasons, and it doesn't take long to deplete your MLB team of top of the rotation arms when you've only got two of them anyway.

Of course, if CJ Edwards proves durable and they get a #1/#2 type for Samardzija who doesn't fall victim to injury or wildness or something, that solves that problem. I just get nervous because it seems like we waited a long time between decent starting pitching prospects. Wood, Prior, Z in the late 90s-early 2000s, then nobody really until Samardzija who still hasn't settled in. Lots of disappointing pitching prospects in between.

"Cubs don't have a legitimate catching prospect."

Maybe not, but a couple of guys look interesting at this early stage of the season. Rafael Lopez might be having a breakout year (.994 OPS) at Tenn, while KC's Will Remillard (.966 OPS) has done nothing but hit as a pro. Lopez hits lefty, which is a nice feature.

Will Remillard is a legitimate catching prospect. He's the best defensive catcher in the Cubs system (he won the Catchers Skills competition at Instructs last year), and that helped to get him an NRI to Cubs MLB Spring Training this season. The only question was his bat, and he's been hitting very well (so far) at KC. This actually is Remillard's "rookie" pro season because he did not play after being drafted last June due to a back problem, and the Cubs thought enough of him to have him skip Extended Spring Training (Boise/Mesa) and go directly to Kane County despite no previous pro experience. BTW, Remillard was Josh Conway's catcher at Coastal Carolina.

Rafael Lopez played 3B at Boston College and then was converted to catcher after he transferred to Florida State, so he hasn't been catching as long as your typical minor league catcher (sort of like Steve Clevenger a few years ago). That said, Lopez is 26 years old (the Cubs drafted him as a 5th year senior in 2011), he is repeating AA, and he will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time post-2014, so he could get a September call-up if the Cubs plan on adding him to their MLB 40-man roster post-2014 anyway. FWIW, Lopez has received an NRI to Cubs MLB Spring Training each of the last two seasons, so he caught a lot of bullpen sessions and "live" BP while he was there and thus he should be very familiar with all of the Cubs pitchers on the 40-man roster. 


Or what Jim Hendry calls them "future relievers"

Babe Ruth Bobblehead give away at Wrigley
http://www.cardboardconnection.com/baseball/2014-m...

Looks more like Shitholts pointing to wear he's going to ground out.

Jose Fernandez to DL

CC going to see James Andrews

"unknown" injury, headed for MRI

pitched last game despite throwing up and feeling light-headed in first inning (got lit up against Padres), also seemed to have a big drop in velocity at some point during the game.

https://twitter.com/jeffwzimmerman/status/465971653810208768

elbow strain for Fernandez...awaiting MRI results.

impossible...he's only thrown more than 110 pitches once in his career...similar to the 128343248937289 kids who have had TJ the past few seasons now that teams pay more attention to pitch counts.

well, his arm did break in his outing after the first time he threw more than 110.

110 is the new 120! science, bitch!

Mock Draft

http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-mock-draft-8-0-top-45-picks/...

Has Cubs passing on Kolek and taking Beede with the surprise of Nick Gordon going #2.

3 and a half weeks away...

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