Updated Cubs Rosters

With the Cubs most-recent roster cuts, there have been an accompanying series of roster moves at Minor League Camp at Fitch Park: 

Among the more noteworthy are:

1. Cubs 2007 1st round pick Josh Vitters lost the battle for the 3B job at Peoria to Jovan Rosa (2006 22nd round draft pick signed as a DNF for 5th round money last May), and has been assigned to Boise/Mesa (Extended Spring Training group). Most likely path for Vitters in 2008 will be EXST (Fitch Park) in April-May, then he'll go to Boise (Northwest League) in June-July-August, and then he'll return to Fitch Park for the AZ Instructional League in Sept-Oct. 

2. With the arrival of Casey McGehee at AAA Iowa, there were a series of demotions involving third-basemen, as Kyle Reynolds was demoted from Iowa to AA Tennessee, Josh Lansford was demoted from Tennessee to Daytona, and Marquez Smith was demoted from Daytona to Peoria and was moved from 3B to 2B (although he will play some 3B, too). Also SS Joe Simokaitis has been demoted from Iowa to Tennessee, and infielders Carlos Rojas and Issmael Salas were promoted to Iowa from Tennessee (although one or both could get released or demoted back to AA before Opening Day). 

3. Dylan Johnston was demoted from Daytona to Peoria and has been moved from SS to LF. This move appears permanent and is similar to what the Cubs did with Luis Montanez a few years ago, when his defensive (throwing) problems at SS got into his head at the plate. By moving Johnston to LF, the Cubs are apparently trying to let him get a clear mind to where he can concentrate on his hitting.

4. As far as the catchers are concerned, with Koyie Hill coming down from big league camp to the Iowa group, Alan Rick was released, defensive whiz Jake Muyco was demoted from Iowa to Tennessee (where he will apparently be the back-up to Chris Robinson), hotshot prospect Welington Castillo and converted INFSteve Clevenger have been demoted to Daytona from Tennessee, Mario Mercedes and Blake Lalli have been demoted to Peoria from Daytona, and Carlos Perez and Cuban defector Roberto Sabates (ex-Industriales) have been assigned to Boise/Mesa (EXST) from Peoria.

5. Among the young pitching prospects, LHP Edward Campusano and RHP Justin Berg have been demoted from AAA Iowa to AA Tennessee, RHPs Jose Ceda, Esmailin Caridad, Alessandro Maestri, and Marcos Mateo (Juan's cousin), and LHPs Casey Lambert and Jermemy Papelbon have been demoted to Daytona from AA Tennessee, and RHPs Robert Hernandez and Alberto Alburquerque have been demoted to Peoria from Daytona.

6. Among the outfielders, Matt Camp has been demoted from AAA Iowa to AA Tennessee, Yusuf Carter has disappeared (probably either quit after he got demoted to Daytona or else he got released), Jonathan Wyatt and James Adduci have been demoted from AA Tennessee to Daytona, Kyler Burke and Leon Johnson have been demoted from Daytona to Peoria, and Drew Rundle has been demoted from Peoria to Boise/Mesa (Extended Spring Training). And 2B-OF Jeffrey Rea has disappeared from the Peoria group and was replaced by 2B-CF Jose Made (promoted to Peoria from Boise/Mesa).  

So here are the most up-to-date latest Cubs Major League and Minor League rosters

CUBS SPRING TRAINING ROSTER - MAJOR LEAGUE CAMP

* bats or throws left
# bats both

31 players (includes two NRI)
16 pitchers (includes one NRI)
2 catchers
8 infielders (includes one NRI)
5 outfielders

ROSTERED PITCHERS (15):
Ryan Dempster 
* Scott Eyre (likely will go on 15-day DL)
Kevin Hart
* Rich Hill
Bob Howry
Tim Lahey (Cubs will likely try to get Lahey through waivers and if they can he'll probably be PTBNL in Craig Monroe deal with MIN)
Jon Lieber
* Ted Lilly
Carlos Marmol
* Sean Marshall (either Marshall or Pignatiello will get optioned to Iowa)
Jason Marquis
* Carmen Pignatiello (either Tiggy or Marshall will get optioned to Iowa)
Kerry Wood
Michael Wuertz
Carlos Zambrano

NON-ROSTER PITCHER (1)
Chad Fox (likely will get released)

=======================

ROSTERED CATCHERS (2):
Henry Blanco
Geovany Soto (out of minor league options) 

==========================

ROSTERED INFIELDERS (7):
Ronny Cedeno (out of minor league options)
Mark DeRosa
* Mike Fontenot (probably will be optioned to Iowa)
Derrek Lee 
Aramis Ramirez
Ryan Theriot
* Daryle Ward 

NON-ROSTER INFIELDER (1)
# Alex Cintron (probably was promised his release if he doesn't make Cubs Opening Day 25-man roster)

========================

ROSTERED OUTFIELDERS (5):  
* Kosuke Fukudome
Reed Johnson
Matt Murton
* Felix Pie
Alfonso Soriano

===========================
 
DISABLED LIST (1)
Angel Guzman (60-day - TJ surgery rehab)

=============================

OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT (10):

IOWA (AAA):
Jose Ascanio, RHP 
* Neal Cotts, LHP
Jake Fox, OF
* Sam Fuld, OF
Sean Gallagher, RHP
Juan Mateo, RHP
* Eric Patterson, OF-2B
Billy Petrick, RHP 

TENNESSEE (AA):
Adam Harben, RHP
Jeff Samardzija, RHP  

==========================

MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS

* Bats or throws left
# Bats both

PITCHERS

IOWA:
Jose Ascanio 
Matt Avery
Cory Bailey
* Neal Cotts
* Derrick Ellison
Jesse Estrada
Sean Gallagher
Jim Henderson (limited physical activity - unknown-type injury)
Mark Holliman
* Geoff Jones 
Juan Mateo
* J. R. Mathes
* Ryan O’Malley
Billy Petrick
Rocky Roquet
* Les Walrond

TENNESSEE:
Mitch Atkins
Justin Berg
* Edward Campusano
Michael Cooper (limited physical activity – injury rehab torn rotator cuff surgery)
* Darin Downs
Adam Harben
Grant Johnson
Gregory Reinhard 
* Jayson Ruhlman
Jeff Samardzija
* Chris Shaver
* Donald Veal 
Tanner Watson

DAYTONA:
Todd Blackford
Esmailin Caridad
Jose Ceda
Marco Carrillo
Dumas Garcia
* Arik Hempy
* Casey Lambert
Alessandro Maestri
Marcos Mateo
Ryan Meyers
Billy Muldowney
* Jeremy Papelbon
Mike Phelps
* James Russell
Joel Santo
* Chris Siegfried
Stephen Vento
 
PEORIA:
Ryan Acosta
Alberto Alburquerque
* Zach Ashwood
Alberto Cabrera
Marcus Hatley
Robert Hernandez
Chris Huseby
Jordan Latham
Matt Maradeo
Scott Meyer
Craig Muschko
Blake Parker
* Mark Pawelek
Cedric Redmond 
Dae-Eun Rhee
* Dustin Sasser
 
BOISE/MESA (EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING):
Francisco Acosta
* Jeffry Antigua
* Luis Astorga
Rogelino Carmona
Rafael Dolis (limited physical activity – injury rehab)
Eduardo Figueroa
Yohan Gonzalez
Kitt Kopach (limited physical activity – shoulder injury rehab)
Kevin Kreier
Oswaldo Martinez (limited physical activity – injury rehab)
Jon Mueller (limited physical activity – injury rehab)
Julio Pena
Jose Pina (limited physical activity – injury rehab)
Hernan Ramos
Carlos E. Rojas 
Audy Santana
Ryan Searle
Jose Severino
Miguel Sierra
Larry Suarez (limited physical activity – injury rehab)
Scott Taylor (serving 50-game illegal substance suspension)
Harol Tolentino

==================

CATCHERS
 
IOWA:
# J. D. Closser
# Koyie Hill
Tony Richie

TENNESSEE:
Jake Muyco
Chris Robinson

DAYTONA:
Welington Castillo
* Steve Clevenger (C-1B)
* Mark Reed

PEORIA:
Josh Donaldson
* Blake Lalli (C-1B)
Mario Mercedes

BOISE/MESA (EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING)
Carlos Guevara
Carlos Perez
Roberto Sabates 
* Alvaro Sosa

=================

INFIELDERS

IOWA:
# Andres Blanco (SS)
# Matt Craig (1B)
# Luis Figueroa (2B-SS-3B)
* Micah Hoffpauir (1B)
Casey McGehee (3B-1B-C)
Carlos Rojas (SS-2B)
# Bobby Scales (2B-3B-OF)
Issmael Salas (3B)
 
TENNESSEE:
Robinson Chirinos (2B-SS)
Brian Dopirak (1B)
# Matt Matulia (SS-2B)
* Kyle Reynolds (3B)
Joe Simokaitis (SS)
* Nate Spears (2B)
 
DAYTONA:
Darwin Barney (SS)
Russ Canzler (1B)
Josh Lansford (3B)
* Ryne Malone (2B-3B)
Jonathan Mota (2B-SS)
Tony Thomas (2B)

PEORIA:
Luis Bautista (1B)
# Marwin Gonzalez (SS)
# Jose Made (2B-CF)
Jovan Rosa (3B)
Nathan Samson (2B-SS)
Marquez Smith (2B-3B)
 
BOISE/MESA (EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING):
Starlin Castro (SS)
John Contreras (3B)
Gian Guzman (SS)
# Dwayne Kemp (2B)
* Bryan Jost (1B - limited physical activity - knee surgery rehab)
Junior Lake (SS)
Elvis Lara (2B) 
* Drew Rundle (1B)
Josh Vitters (3B)

===========================

OUTFIELDERS

IOWA:
Jake Fox
* Sam Fuld
* Josh Kroeger
* Eric Patterson
# Andres Torres

TENNESSEE  
* Matt Camp
* Corey Coles
* Tyler Colvin 
Ryan Harvey

DAYTONA:
* James Adduci
* Jeff Culpepper (limited physical activity – knee injury rehab)
Ty Wright
* Jonathan Wyatt

PEORIA:
* Cliff Andersen
* Kyler Burke
Brandon Guyer (limited physical activity – injury rehab)
* Leon Johnson
* Dylan Johnston (ex-SS)

BOISE/MESA (EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING):
# Andres Quezada
* Nelson Perez
Kevin Soto 
* Luke Sommer
Jesus Reyes (limited physical activity – injury rehab)

WHEREBOUTS UNKNOWN (to me):
* Michael Bunton, P (was with PEORIA group)
Yusuf Carter, OF (was with TENNESSEE group)
Hung-Wen Chen, P (did not report - might still be in Taiwan)
Rafael Cova, P (did not report)
* Clark Hardman, OF (was with PEORIA group)
John Muller, P (was with PEORIA group)
* Jeffrey Rea, 2B (was with PEORIA group)
* Marc Sawyer, 1B (did not report - could be finishing senior year at Yale)
Chi-Hsiang Wen, OF (did not report - might still be in Taiwan)

NOTE: Bunton, Carter, Hardman, Rea, and Muller have turned up MIA in just the last couple of days. Most-likely reason for a player's sudden disappearance this time of year are:

1. Player got released.
2. Player got discouraged with lack of progress and quit.
3. Player suffered an injury of such severity that participation in even limited activity on the field is not possible.

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Comments

Brilliant Phil.

Thanks for your work here.

It appears as if there are perhaps 3-4 players for two remaining "Big Club" roster spots, would you agree?

If so, is there any scenario where Cintron could be kept where Murton and Cedeno most probably will make the cut as well?

From watching him this ST on the tube, combined with success in the past, he could be a valuable piece to the team playing several IF positions, imo.

Submitted by The E-Man on Tue, 03/25/2008 - 5:58pm.

Brilliant Phil.

Thanks for your work here.

It appears as if there are perhaps 3-4 players for two remaining "Big Club" roster spots, would you agree?

If so, is there any scenario where Cintron could be kept where Murton and Cedeno most probably will make the cut as well?

From watching him this ST on the tube, combined with success in the past, he could be a valuable piece to the team playing several IF positions, imo.

==========================

E-MAN: I believe the Cubs will retain Alex Cintron only if they can trade Ronny Cedeno before Opening Day. The only way I can see them keeping both is if a position player goes on the DL, or if they can trade Murton for a prospect (like maybe a younger version of Murton) before Opening Day.

Even though Murton has options left, I just don't think Hendry would send Murton to Iowa. He could, but I don't think he will.  

I strongly suspect Cintron was offered the option to get his release if he doesn't make the Cubs Opening Day roster. He supposedly had an offer from the Orioles that he turned down when he signed with the Cubs, so I doubt that he would want to go to Iowa, although he MIGHT if there is a time limit on it (like 30 days, or something like that).

Phil, it looks like all the excitement over the Cubs making inroads into the Asian market might be a little premature. Looks like Dae Eun Rhee is the only Asian left except for Fukudome.

Submitted by Hagsag on Tue, 03/25/2008 - 6:29pm.

Phil, it looks like all the excitement over the Cubs making inroads into the Asian market might be a little premature. Looks like Dae Eun Rhee is the only Asian left except for Fukudome.

=============================

HAGSAG: That's correct. Although Rhee is a VERY good prospect.

AZPhil - I am rather surprised by all the demotions in the minors guys going from AAA to AA and so on. Is this normal or are the Cubs simply trying to get certain guys help in developing like a Jose Ceda?

Also whats the deal with Vitters, how can he be one of our best prospects and not be able to win the job in Peoria?

Submitted by Rory on Tue, 03/25/2008 - 6:48pm.

AZPhil - I am rather surprised by all the demotions in the minors guys going from AAA to AA and so on. Is this normal or are the Cubs simply trying to get certain guys help in developing like a Jose Ceda?

Also whats the deal with Vitters, how can he be one of our best prospects and not be able to win the job in Peoria?

==================================

RORY: Demotions are very common at Minor League Camp this time of the year.

You'll notice there are now 16 position players with Iowa, and they only carry 12 position players during the regular season (Iowa and Tennessee play with 24-man rosters). And that's before Fontenot gets optioned down to Iowa (presuming that happens).

So you can expect to see four (or more like five) position players cut from the Iowa roster before they break camp next Sunday afternoon, most getting released, with maybe one or two getting demoted to AA Tennessee. And then Tennessee will have to make another cut or two. And then Daytona will have to make a cut or two. And then Peoria...

As for Josh Vitters getting demoted to Boise/Mesa, he showed in Minor League Camp this Spring that he just isn't ready for Peoria. He's only 18, and has very limited pro experience. It actually should do him a lot of good to stay at Fitch Park for EXST and then go to Boise and then back to Fitch for the AZ Instructional League in September.

Phil: have you had a chance to see Ryan Acosta throw this spring? If so, how has he looked? Thanks.

Submitted by Timmer on Tue, 03/25/2008 - 7:15pm.

Phil: have you had a chance to see Ryan Acosta throw this spring? If so, how has he looked? Thanks.

================================

TIMMER: Ryan Acosta looks very good. He actually went from Peoria to Boise/Mesa and then back to Peoria again, which is kind of unusual.

The thing is, the Cubs want him to be a starting pitcher, and if there are five starters ahead of him at Peoria, they'll probably leave him at EXST (Fitch Park).

Ashwood, Hernandez and Huseby are three of the starters at Peoria right now, and the 4th and 5th will probably be either Alburquerque, R. Acosta, Cabrera, Pawelek, or Rhee. If R. Acosta, Cabrera, or Rhee don't make the Peoria rotation, then they would probably go to EXST and start there, moving to Boise (as rotation starters) in June, with a promotion to Peoria possible at any time.

If Alburquerque or Pawelek don't make the Peoria rotation, then they would just work out of the bullpen at Peoria.

Hey Phil ,

How do you think Ryne Malone is doing after knee surgery ..sounds like they can use him in several roles ..2b -3B LF DH I saw him get a couple game winners out here....Daytona bound ??/

Ace

Submitted by tombo08 on Tue, 03/25/2008 - 7:40pm.

Hey Phil , How do you think Ryne Malone is doing after knee surgery ..sounds like they can use him in several roles ..2b -3B LF DH I saw him get a couple game winners out here....Daytona bound ??/

Ace

===================================

ACE: It looks like Ryne Malone has made the Daytona Cubs Opening Day roster.

What you see on the D-Cubs roster now is probably what it will be as far as the position players are concerned, with the possible addition of Matt Matulia from Tennessee once Iowa cuts some of their infielders prior to Opening Day, since Rojas and/or Salas will likely end up at Tennessee.

Yusuf Carter probably would have been on the Daytona roster, but it looks like he either quit or was released.

Phil - Thanks so much for the updates! Your perspective is really appreciated.

I'm wondering your opinion on the catcher spots at Iowa. Is there any chance Closser and Richie could be released, leaving Hill and McGehee as the two catchers? Has Closser looked good enough to stick? I assume Richie's time has come to be released.

Also, rumor has it :) that Hoffpauir will be playing the outfield more this year at AAA. Doesn't that mean that Matt Craig should make this team as the backup corner infielder (maybe even regular 1B)?

Thanks for taking all of our questions!
Paul

Submitted by Wrigley Rat on Tue, 03/25/2008 - 7:45pm.

Phil - Thanks so much for the updates! Your perspective is really appreciated.

I'm wondering your opinion on the catcher spots at Iowa. Is there any chance Closser and Richie could be released, leaving Hill and McGehee as the two catchers?

Has Closser looked good enough to stick? I assume Richie's time has come to be released.

Also, rumor has it :) that Hoffpauir will be playing the outfield more this year at AAA. Doesn't that mean that Matt Craig should make this team as the backup corner infielder (maybe even regular 1B)?

Thanks for taking all of our questions!

Paul

=================================

PAUL: One of either Closser, K. Hill, or Richie will get released. I don't think they'll release two of the three, though, even with McGehee getting one start a week behind the plate. If I had to guess which one goes, I'd guess Closser.

As far as who else will get released from Iowa besides the catcher, it's probably one from amongst Torres, Kroeger, and Craig, and one from amongst Scales, L. Figueroa, and Craig, with Salas and/or Rojas probably either going back to Tennessee or getting released.

Salas failed to run out a fly ball today, so that will probably get him axed off the Iowa roster really quick. Oneri Fleita and Dave Bialas don't like that sort of thing.

Nice work, Phil.

Does Rocky Roquet pronounce his last name like croquet or like rocket?

I'll miss Yusuf Carter.

Cat Stevens was on the team? How'd I miss that?

His not being allowed in Airports really effected the teams travel plans.

horrible joke...

-

Submitted by Paul Noce on Tue, 03/25/2008 - 8:51pm.

Nice work, Phil.

Does Rocky Roquet pronounce his last name like croquet or like rocket?

================================

PAUL N: It's pronounced "Ro-KETT"

PAUL N: It' pronounced "Row-Kay" like croquet.

AZ Phil --

Ceda all the way down to A ball? Wow -- seems like a big drop for a guy who came to camp with a lot of luster.

CUBBIE ON THE BEACH: I will certainly defer to you, but "ro-KETT" is how the AFL Public Address announcers were pronouncing it last year.

It's spelled Rocky Roquet, but it's pronounced Throat-Warbler Mangrove.

Any idea where these guys are? (if in fact they are still in the organization)

RP Mike Nannini
SS John Nelson
RP Adalberto Mendez
SP Fabian Jimenez
RF Andrew Lopez

Also, are the Cubs still planning on using Jeremy Papelbon as a starter in A ball?

He's pitching for the Lancaster Barnstormers in the Independent Atlantic League.

where did Figuroa and rojas the middle infieders come from ???? Are they drafted by the cubs ????

ACE

Great work Phil !!!!

Any changes at Daytona ???? Matulia still up ? Malone ?

Luis Figueroa has been in the minors forever (1997). Before the Cubs he played for Fresno (AAA Giants) last year. I think he's bounced around on 6 different organizations since 2002.

Carlos Rojas was signed as a non-drafted FA by the Cubs in 2001. In 2004 he was named the best defensive infielder the Cubs had in the minors by Baseball America. I think he played for Tennessee and Iowa last year.

Thanks Hawk !!! Have you ever seen so many players at camp and so many younger guys getting PO'd and hanging it up or going independent ???

Some teams can't field a team for some of our games yet we have enough players for the NL ??? What gives ???

Thanks ...Great Job !!!

Phil ...are there some bad attitudes out there due to so many players or is this a "normal" year ...seems like overdraft is understatement.

ACE

Submitted by Hawk4Hall on Wed, 03/26/2008 - 7:49pm.

Any idea where these guys are? (if in fact they are still in the organization) RP Mike Nannini SS John Nelson RP Adalberto Mendez SP Fabian Jimenez RF Andrew Lopez

Also, are the Cubs still planning on using Jeremy Papelbon as a starter in A ball?

===========================

HAWK4HALL: Nannini and Nelson were minor league FAs after last season. Mendez was selected by the Florida Marlins in the AA phase of the Rule 5 Draft. Jimenez-Angulo and Lopez were released.

Papelbon will very likely be a rotation starter at Daytona. Alessandro Maestri and James Russell are another two, but I'm not sure (yet) who will be the #4 and #5 starters for the D-Cubs, although Arik Hempy is a distinct possibility for one of the slots.

Todd Blackford and Billy Muldowney both had TJ surgery last season and might not be quite ready for the rigors of starter duty, but once they are ready, they should be in the Daytona starting rotation.

please see my post above

Many thanks Phil.

I have a question. What the heck happened to Jeffrey Rea? I was looking at his stats and he was doing great. Do you have any idea why he went AWOL or what?

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