Wesneski Spins Tune-Up at Cubs Backfields

Left behind in Mesa after their teammates flew home to Chicago, Cubs RHSP Hayden Wesneski hurled five innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts and catcher Luis Torrens singled, doubled and scored, and lofted a sacrifice fly, helping the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Chicago Cubs' Lo-A affiliate) take a 3-1 lead, but Jean Walters belted an RBI triple and scored on a passed ball in the top of the 9th, as the Hillsboro Hops (Hi-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks) rallied to edge the Pelicans 4-3 on Field #6, and Anderdson Rojas drilled a bases-loaded triple and an RBI single, Franyel Baez r

Cubs 2023 Rule 5 Draft & Minor League Free-Agency Watch List


The Cubs traded INF Zach McKinstry (who was on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster) to the Detroit Tigers for minor league RHP Carlos Guzman. 

Guzman has been assigned to AA Tennessee. 

Also, Guzman is eligible to be a post-2023 MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA if he is not selected to an MLB 40-man roster or signs a 2024 minor league successor contract by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the 2023 World Series.

PCA Cannot Be Stopped, He Can Only Be Contained

Pete Crow-Armstrong singled, doubled, tripled, reached base on an HBP, scored a run, and drove-in another, Jordan Nwogu tripled, singled twice, and drove-in a run, Pablo Aliendo laced a two-run triple, scored a run, and drew a walk, Luis Vazquez drilled a two-run single, walked, and scored a run, Owen Caissie ripped an RBI double, walked, and scored a run, and Zach Davis singled twice, scored two runs, and stole a base, as the Tennessee Smokies (AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) rallied to overcome an early 4-0 deficit and defeated the Hartford Yard Goats (AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies) 9-5 on Field #5, and the Albuquerque Isotopes rallied for four runs in the 9th and defeated the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Cubs) 6-4 on Field #6, in Cactus League minor league game action Saturday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

Nelson Velazquez belted a solo HR and Matt Mervis singled twice, walked, and collected an RBI on a sacrifice fly for the I-Cubs in a losing cause.   

Iowa catcher Dom Nunez left the game in the top of the 2nd inning after being struck by a batter's back-swing, and I-Cubs Yonathan Perlaza injured his left shoulder in the top of the 9th after crashing into the RF wall while attempting to catch one of two run-scoring doubles in that inning (he left the field under his own power). As the result of the Nunez injury and with I-Cubs back-up catcher Caleb Knight having traveled to Tempe with the Cubs MLB squad, Jake Washer had to be "drafted" from the Tennessee squad to catch the AAA game (Tennessee was playing on an adjacent backfield, so he didn't have to go very far), and he had two hits, scored a run, and threw out a runner attempting to steal.   

Miguel Amaya caught the first seven innings of the AA game on Field #5, and threw out a runner trying to steal. 

All three of the pitchers who worked for AA Tennessee were temporarily moved-up from lower levels (Richard Gallardo and Sheldon Reed from South Bend and Grant Kipp from Myrtle Beach), and Riley Martin was temporarily moved-up to AAA Iowa from AA Tennessee (and Martin blew the save on Field #6).   

In minor league camp roster news, OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, infielders Chase Strumpf and Andy Weber, 1B Bryce Ball, catchers Miguel Amaya and Bryce Windham, and RHPs Samuel Reyes and Joe Nahas have been moved-down from the AAA Iowa squad to the AA Tennessee squad, OFs Yohendrick Pinango and Brad Beesley, catcher Ethan Hearn, and RHP Jarod Wright have been moved down from the AA Tennessee squad to the Hi-A South Bend squad, OF Christian Franklin, C Malcom Quintero, 1B-C Miguel Fabrizio, INF Rafael Morel, LHP Chase Watkins, and RHP Gregori Montano have been moved-down from the Hi-A South Bend squad to the Lo-A Myrtle Beach squad, LHP Christian Winston and RHP Mathew Peters were moved-down from the South Bend squad to the Extended Spring Training (Mesa) group, and LHPs Jose Aquino and Joel Machado, RHPs Gleiber Morales, Starlyn Pichardo, Cristian Rojas, Jose Romero, and Tomy Sanchez, C Adan Sanchez, INF Jefferson Rojas, and OF Ismael Mena have been moved-down from the Myrtle Beach squad to the EXST (Mesa) group. 

Also, because of the injury to INF James Triantos (knee surgery - torn meniscus), INF Juan Mora has been moved up to Hi-A South Bend from Lo-A Myrtle Beach.  
Updated minor league camp assignments & organizational depth chart (updated 3/25): https://www.thecubreporter.com/cubs-organizational-depth-chart

Here are the abridged box scores from the two minor league games played on the Riverview backfields Saturday afternoon (Cubs players only): 

Pelicans and Rawhide Play a Tie at Riverview

Reggie Preciado and Felix Stevens stroked RBI singles for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Lo-A affiliate) and Jansel Luis ripped an RBI double and LHP Avery Short and three relievers combined to toss a four-hitter for the Visalia Rawhide (Arizona Diamondbacks Lo-A affiliate), as the two teams played to a 2-2 tie in Cactus League minor league game action Wednesday afternoon on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Although the game was played on a Cubs backfield, Visalia played as the home team to provide an extra half inning on defense for one additional Rawhide pitcher who needed to work in the game.

The game was called early because the Myrtle Beach squad ran out of available pitchers after RHP Anthony Mendez suffered what appeared to be a right elbow injury on his first pitch (HBP). Because the South Bend Cubs (Hi-A affiliate of the Cubs) were playing their game in the stadium instead of on an adjacent backfield, it wasn't possible for Myrtle Beach to "draft" one of the South Bend pitchers so that the game could continue, as normally would have been the case.  

Prior to the game, 1B-OF Felix Stevens was moved down to the Myrtle Beach squad from the AA Tennessee squad, and SS Cristian Hernandez, C Moises Ballesteros, and OF Jacob Wetzel were moved down to the Myrtle Beach squad from the South Bend squad.

Also, INF Reivaj Garcia was moved down to the Extended Spring Training  (EXST) group from the AAA Iowa squad, INF-OF Christian Olivo was moved down to the EXST group from the AA Tennessee squad, INF Yeison Santana was moved down to the EXST group from the Hi-A South Bend squad, and C Ronnier Quintero, 1B-OF Anderson Suriel, and OF Frank Hernandez were moved-down to the EXST group from the Myrtle Beach squad. 

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):  

Spring Training 2023: Final Week (Series Thread)

With the first game if the 2023 season only ten days away, the Cubs have not yet solved for variables at third base, right field, the back end of the rotation, and in the bullpen. Follow along and discuss here as the Cubs make their final roster calculations before the counting stats start counting.

Caissie, Verdugo, Beesley, and Jordan Go Deep at Riverview

Jared Young (RBI single) and Esteban Quiroz (two-run single) drilled consecutive two-out RBI hits in the bottom of the 3rd to put the I-Cubs on the board, Levi Jordan walloped an opposite field two-run HR in the 6th, and Brennen Davis singled twice and scored a run, leading the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 5-3 victory over the Sacramento River Cats (AAA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) on Field #6, and Owen Caissie belted a towering solo HR over the RF fence and onto Cubs Way in the bottom of the 1st, doubled and scored in the 3rd, and walked and stole a base in the 6th, Luis Verdugo smacked a solo HR over the LF fence and into the dog pound parking lot (just missed my truck) in the 5th, Ethan Hearn ripped a two-run double and scored in the 4th and walked in the 6th, and Brad Beesley hammered a game-tying HR for the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs double-A affiliate), and Andy Thomas (acquired from the Seattle Mariners at the 2022 MLB Trade Deadline for Matthew Boyd and Curt Casali) doubled twice, scored a run, and drove-in another for the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants AA affiliate), as the two teams played to a 6-6 tie on Field #5, in Cactus League minor league game action Monday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only): 

South Bend Cubs Thump Emeralds at Riverview

Andy Garriola clubbed a 420+ foot solo HR over the right-centerfield fence, singled, and drew a walk, Christian Franklin singled twice, walked, and drove-in two runs, Kevin Made singled, walked twice, stole two bases, and scored two runs, Haydn McGeary doubled, walked and scored a run, Jacob Wetzel belted a solo HR, and Tyler Santana and five relievers combined to toss a four-hitter, leading the South Bend Cubs (Hi-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 5-1 victory over the Eugene Emeralds (San Francisco Giants' Hi-A affiliate) on Field #6, and the San Jose Giants (Lo-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) took advantage of ten walks, a HBP, a WP, a PB, and two costly errors to defeat the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs' Lo-A affiliate) 4-2 on Field #5, in Cactus League minor league game action Tuesday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):

Cubs & A's Split a Pair at Fitch Park

Andy Garriola, Parker Chavers, and Jacob Wetzel drilled run-scoring hits, as the South Bend Cubs (Hi-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) edged the Lansing Lugnuts (Oakland Athletics Hi-A affiliate) 5-4 on Field #4, and Luis Marinez tripled and scored, Darlyn Montero and Pedro Pineda ripped RBI singles, and Wander Guante and five relievers combined to toss a five-hitter, as the Stockton Ports (A's Lo-A affiliate) edged the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Lo-A affiliate) 2-1 on Field #3, in Cactus League minor league game action Monday Afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.    

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):  

Second Week of Spring Training (Series Thread)

Early Cactus League action delivered a pair of scares to the Chicago Cubs as Seiya Suzuki is anticipated to miss the start of the season with an oblique strain and Justin Steele briefly dealt with the effects of arm fatigue. Meanwhile, righty role players Trey Mancini and David Bote have shown off some Spring Training power and positioned themselves favorably in competitions for playing time. Overall, the pitch clock has probably been the star of Spring Training thus far in 2023.

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

39 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (one slot is open), plus two players are on 60-DAY IL   

28 players
are on the MLB ACTIVE LIST (26-man limit in effect on MLB Opening Day)

Four players signed to minor league contracts are Spring Training NON-ROSTER INVITEES (NRI) 

: 32 

Last updated 3-28-2023
* bats or throws left
# bats both

Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Brad Boxberger
Michael Fulmer
Kyle Hendricks
* Brandon Hughes
Julian Merryweather
Michael Rucker
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Jameson Taillon 
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski

* Ryan Borucki  
Tyler Duffey 
* Anthony Kay  
Mark Leiter Jr 

* Tucker Barnhart 
Yan Gomes
Luis Torrens

Nico Hoerner
* Eric Hosmer
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Edwin Rios
Dansby Swanson
Patrick Wisdom

* Cody Bellinger 
# Ian Happ
Trey Mancini 
Seiya Suzuki 

Keven Alcantara, OF 
Miguel Amaya, C 
Ben Brown, P 
Alexander Canario, OF 
Brennen Davis, OF 
Jeremiah Estrada, P 
Ryan Jensen, P 
Caleb Kilian, P
Christopher Morel, INF-OF
Adrian Sampson, P 
Nelson Velazquez, OF 

60-DAY IL: 2 
Codi Heuer, P 
Ethan Roberts, P

Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents


Recent comments

  • bradsbeard 03/28/2023 - 03:20 pm (view)

    AZ Phil, do you think Jefferson Rojas will have a chance to be the primary SS for the ACL Cubs this year? He played more 2B in the DSL last year. Curious if you think he can handle SS. 

  • KingKongvsGodzilla 03/28/2023 - 03:01 pm (view)

    Thanks! He’ll need more than that come showtime! 

  • bigsky33 03/28/2023 - 03:16 pm (view)

    Hi Phil,  anything happening on the back fields the rest of this week? And, when does extended spring training start?  Looking forward to watching!

  • crunch 03/28/2023 - 03:30 pm (view)

    he didn't do anything amazing, but wow...the stuff that came out of jake reindl's arm in his 1 inning closing out the last spring game was really interesting for a 26 year old who's never seen above A-ball.  if that's repeatable outing to outing we could actually see him in the bigs.

  • crunch 03/28/2023 - 03:11 pm (view)

    they even got the B-team in the announce booth and field reporter crews...rough day for anyone in the stands or watching on TV that's not a fan of the farm system.

  • Charlie 03/28/2023 - 03:50 am (view)

    Solid extension. Both sides get security and Nico doesn't give up his chance at a free agent payday.

  • Arizona Phil 03/27/2023 - 03:57 pm (view)

    The Iowa Cubs (as well as the Chicago Cubs) have left town, so the Tennessee Smokies will be playing as the "Chicago Cubs" versus the White Sox in Tuesday afternoon's MLB Cactus League game at Sloan Park. 

  • Arizona Phil 03/27/2023 - 03:32 pm (view)

    Here are the Cubs pitchers reports from Monday's Cubs - White Sox game at Sloan ParK:

    FB: 90-93 
    SL/CT: 88-89 
    CH: 8182 
    CV: 78-81 
    COMMENT: Worked five shutout innings (66 pitches - 47 strikes - that's 72% strikes), allowing two hits (both singles) and an HBP, struck out five (all five swinging), and 4/6 GO/AO... retired the first seven men in a row (K-swinging on a CV, F-7, P-4, K-swinging on a CV, 4-3, L-7, and 3-U) before allowing a one-out single in the top of the 3rd, and then struck out the next two batters (both swinging, both on  a CV)... retired the side 1-2-3 again in the 4th (5-3, F-8, and a K-swinging on a CV)... first two batters reached base in the 5th (single and an HBP), but then he got out of it on an F-7, a 5-4 FC, and an L-8)... pitches per inning were 14-9-14-12-17.... got seven swing & miss total (five on CV all of which were strike three, one on SL/CT, and one on FB)... he probably could have pitched seven or maybe eight innings if it had been the regular season...

    FB: 96-97
    SL: 86-87
    CV: 83-84  
    COMMENT: Pitched the 6th inning (20 pitches - 14 strikes) and allowed three consecutive singles (producing one run) on his first seven pitches, but then struck out the next two batters (both swinging) and retired the last hitter on an F-7... got four swing & miss (one on FB, one on CV, and two on SL)... for whatever the reason, his FB in this outing was initially VERY hittable... 

    FB: 93-95 
    CT: 88-91 
    SL: 86 
    COMMENT: Threw an easy 1-2-3 7th (11 pitches - 9 strikes),  inducing a 6-3 GO, an F-8, and then another F-8... got three swing & miss (two on FB, one on CT)...  

    FB: 95-96 
    CH: 91 
    SL: 84-85 
    COMMENT: Threw a 1-2-3 8th (11 pitches - 8 strikes), getting a K-swinging on a SL, then an F-8, and finally a K-swinging on a FB...  got six swing & miss among his 11 pitches (which is outstanding), including three on FB, two on SL, and one on a CH.... FB was electric... this was the best one inning outing by any Cubs reliever so far this spring... no way Rucker doesn't make the Cubs Opening Day roster..  

    FB: 92-94 
    SL: 86-89 
    CV: 80-83 
    COMMENT: Entered the game in the top of 9th with the Cubs leading 6-1... had a terrible outing... couldn't find the strike zone (27 pitches - only 13 strikes)... allowed a single and issued a four-pitch walk to begin the inning, but then retired the next two batters on a F-7 and a 5-4 FC, before Erik Gonzalez unloaded a three-run HR on Fulmer's 22nd pitch of the inning (a hanging SL) to make the score 6-5... Fulmer remained in the game and faced two more batters, who continued the hard contact with a single and a double... the main problem was that he just could not command his usual "go-to" SL and so he could not get out of the inning...   

    FB: 94 
    SL: 86-87    
    COMMENT: Up from minor league camp as an extra arm... relieved Fulmer with runners on 2nd & 3rd and two outs in the 9th and the Cubs still leading 6-4... surrendered a game-tying two-run single (hard-hit ground single through the box) on his 2nd pitch of the inning, before inducing an inning-ending hard-hit L-8...  

  • crunch 03/27/2023 - 03:35 pm (view)

    we're gonna get so spoiled on middle-IF defense if nico/swanson stay healthy.  christian hernandez now has plenty of time to break into a full-time job (if he pans out).

  • Cubster 03/27/2023 - 03:22 pm (view)

    Nico gets $3/35 which buys out his first free agent year.