2020 Cubs AZ Instructional League roster


2020 Cubs AZ Instructional League roster:

* bats or throws left 
# bats both 

: 28
Cory Abbott 
Josh Burgmann
Chris Clarke 
Danis Correa
Brad Depperman 
Manuel Espinoza 
Richard Gallardo 
Jose Miguel Gonzalez 
* D. J. Herz 
Porter Hodge 
* Bryan Hudson 
Gabriel Jaramillo
* Scott Kobos 
Ben Leeper 
* Luke Little 
* Joel Machado
Michael McAvene 
Trevor Megill 
Erling Moreno 
Koen Moreno 
Eduarniel Nunez 
Bailey Reid 
Peyton Remy 
Manuel Rodriguez (INJURY REHAB
Cam Sanders 
Tyler Schlaffer 
Jerrick Suiter (ex-1B) 
* Brad Wieck (INJURY REHAB

Pablo Aliendo 
Cam Balego 
* Ethan Hearn 
* Ronnier Quintero 
* Bryce Windham (ex-INF) 

Ed Howard IV (SS) 
Kevin Made (SS) 
* Matt Mervis (1B) 
Christopher Morel (3B) 
Rafael Morel (3B-2B) 
Fabian Pertuz (SS-2B) 
* Alfonso Rivas (1B) 
Chase Strumpf (2B-3B) 
Luis Vazquez (SS-2B) 
Luis Verdugo (SS-3B) 
* Andy Weber (SS-2B) 

Edmond Americaan
Brennen Davis 
Jordan Nwogu 
# Yonathan Perlaza (ex-INF)
* Yohendrick Pinango  
* Cole Roederer 
Felix Stevens 
Nelson Velazquez 
* Jacob Wetzel 
* Jared Young (ex-INF) 

Jeremy Farrell 

Chris Valaika 

Paul McAnulty 
Desi Wilson 

Jonathan Mota 

Mark Johnson 

Casey Jacobson 

Carlos Chantres 

Tony Cougoule 
Armando Gabino 
Doug Willey  

Ryan West 
Steven Pollakov 

Sam Hunter

Mike McNulty 

Ed Halbur 
Matt Hussey 
Logan Severson 
German Sunchin 
Toby Williams 

Cory Kennedy 

John Abbott 
Ryan Clausen 
Dallas Lopez 

Dana Noeltner 


Phil, will the fields be closed to the public during practice even to you?

HAGSAG: Yes, the back-fields and the stadium will be closed, even to me. And there will be 18 AZIL games played versus other organizations (AZ, COL, LAA, MIL, SF #1, and SF #2, but no OAK), nine home & nine road, starting on Wednesday 10/14 and ending on Saturday 11/7. 

Any reason to read into the fact that Cam Balego is listed as just a C now? Do we think he might be able to handle C as a full time position?

BRADSBEARD: Cam Balego went through the Catcher Conversion Program post-2017 and he was catching a lot in Minor League Camp the past couple of seasons and he did get some very limited work behind the plate at South Bend in 2018 and for Myrtle Beach in 2019, but I suspect the Cubs now want to see if he can take the next step and become at least a serviceable back-up catcher at AA in 2021. 

Balego is actually a legit second-tier prospect. He has plus power and a plus arm and so it's really just a matter of him becoming competent as a receiver, but of course that's easier said than done. For every Robinson Chirinos, Willson Contreras, and P. J. Higgins (each of whom successfully made the conversion to catcher), there is a Vimael Machin, Ben Carhart, Orian Nunez, and Danny Zardon who did not. So while Balego is not a  candidate to get added to the 40 on 11/20, if he makes strides to the point where he becomes a competent defensive catcher, he could see MLB in time.   

BTW, if there had been a 2020 minor league season, it was pretty clear even before Minor League Camp was abruptly postponed in March that the 2020 Cubs Opening Day catching assignments would have been something like this:

CUBS: Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini

IOWA: Josh Phegley (primary), P. J. Higgins (also 1B-3B), and Erick Castillo ("phantom IL") 

TENNESSEE: Miguel Amaya (primary), Tyler Payne (back-up), and Cam Balego (C-1B-3B)

MYRTLE BEACH: Caleb Knight and Eric Gonzalez (sharing primary duties) and Gustavo Polanco (C-1B-"phantom IL") 

SOUTH BEND: Jonathan Soto and Jake Washer (sharing primary duties) and Alexander Guerra ("phantom IL") 

EXST: Bryce Windham (ex-INF in latter stages of Catcher Conversion Program), Ethan Hearn, Ronnier Quintero, Henderson Perez, Raymond Pena, Pablo Aliendo, Orian Nunez (C-1B), and Richard Nunez (C-1B), with Windham, H. Perez, and R. Pena likely going to Eugene in June. (R. Quintero and Aliendo were the only two DSL catchers at Minor League Camp, so they were obviously being prepped to play in the AZL in 2020). 

But of course it didn't happen that way because the 2020 minor league season didn't happen, but that was the way things were trending back in March.   

Also, Guerra, O. Nunez and R. Nunez were released by the Cubs after it became clear that there would be no minor league baseball in 2020, so obviously they had no long-term future with the Cubs even if the 2020 minor league season had progressed in a normal fashion.

For a lot of reasons it's too bad that the 2020 minor league was canceled, but while all minor leaguers need game reps to develop, catchers (just like pitchers) really, really need regular game reps to keep them from having their long-term development delayed or stunted. 

Phil, what happend to Jack Patterson?  I thought he would be included for Instructs. 

My guess?

He got in his innings at the ATS, and doesn't need them, now. Though I welcome Phil's reply.

i was gonna guess aliens.  :(

Abbott, Balego, Hudson, Marquez, Megill, C. Morel, Rivas, and Strumpf were supposed to play for the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL, but Marquez got called up to MLB on the last day of the MLB regular season and the other seven got diverted to AZ Instructs when the AFL season was canceled last month.   

Otherwise, the guys who were playing "sim" games at the Alternate Training Site for three months (including Jack Patterson) are done. 

Major League Baseball will allow teams to hold Dominican instructional league programs at their academies in the Dominican Republic beginning on Oct. 19, Baseball America has learned. https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/mlb-will-a...

Tuesday's Angels at Cubs AZIL game was canceled, so Cubs pitchers & position players worked on game simulations on Field #1. 

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  • crunch 21 min 31 sec ago (view)

    cards 15 wins a row...franchise record


  • Hagsag 11 hours 51 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have no starting pitching right now with Carl in a funk.


  • Eric S 18 hours 41 min ago (view)

     Cubs were Nootbaar'ed to the tune of 12-4 in Game 2


  • Cubster 19 hours 42 min ago (view)

    With a Doubleheader loss, the Cubs are back on track for a better draft choice. Right now at 67 wins they pick #7, just ahead of KC and Minnesota who have 68-69 wins. 


  • crunch 21 hours 11 min ago (view)

    the shit sandwich that is zach davies is a 6 foot party sub.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 14 min ago (view)

    I am celebrating the day he signs with another team this offseason. I didn't know I could hate him more than I did when he was in Milwaukee but here we are!


  • crunch 21 hours 34 min ago (view)

    wisdom can hit some bombs when he does connect..wow.

    also davies still sucks.


  • tim815 22 hours 9 min ago (view)

    McAvene is struggling against hitters in Instructs. He's not ready for the AZ Fall League. I'd expect to see Juan Gamez otr Aneuris Rosario first. Vazquez, I agree with, entirely.


  • bradsbeard 1 day 2 sec ago (view)

    On the position player side, Amaya if he's healthy. Chase Strumpf makes a lot of sense (missed some time early and late, missed all of last year). Nelson Velazquez maybe as a Rule 5 guy if they're on the fence. Cam Balego and Andy Weber are two other candidates if healthy. Luis Vazquez could also use more upper level PAs and would make sense.

    Lots of potential pitchers. Ideally Marquez but not sure they'll let him pitch this year. McAvene is probably another one. Would be awesome if Kohl Franklin could participate. 


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 1 hour ago (view)



  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Cubs select contract of RHRP Jason Adam from AAA Iowa and he will be the "29th man" in today's DH with STL. Also,.C Robinson Chirinos to 10-day IL with oblique strain, and OF Greg Deichmann has been recalled from Iowa.  


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    FP120: The Cubs have been working on pick-off plays, baserunning including rundown ("pickle") drills, amd bunt defense in pre-game and Camp Day instructional work, so it's kind of a "Point of Emphasis." Apparently it's still a work-in-progress for a lot of the guys.And it's not just pick-off plays, either. At least two or three guys have been picked-off in the first three games and there have been a couple of other baserunning gaffes as well. But that's what instructs is for, right?


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    So what's the deal with 5 pick off attempt errors in 3 games?


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Because the Cubs play only the Angels, A's, and Rockies in Instructs this year, I would not be surprised if the Cubs make a trade or two with one or more of those clubs, most especially the Angels, who might be interested in acquiring Kyle Hendricks (since they certainly can't do a rebuild with Trout, Ohtani, and Rendon on the roster). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    The pitching-starved Angels established an MLB (and probably Ripley's Believe It or Not) record by selecting - ONLY - pitchers in the 2021 draft. That's twenty pitchers. No position players. They signed 19 of the twenty, and five of them pitched in today's game (2021 15th round pick Glenn Albanese Jr started the game, followed by 18th round pick Nick Mondak, 7th round pick Ryan Costeiu, 8th round pick Nick Jones, and 16th round pick Nick Dufault). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    Cubs 2020 4rh round draft pick 6'8 220+ LHSP Luke Little threw mainly a 93-97 FB with an occasional CV and CH mixed-in but pitched mostly from behind in the count, issuing two walks, hitting a batter, and throwing a WP (and surrendering a towering three-run HR) in 2.1 IP of work, LHP Angel Rodriguez was able to throw strikes with a 90-91 MPH FB, CH, and CV mix, but was pounded to the tune of five singles, a double, and a triple in just 2.2 IP, Cubs 2021 14th round draft pick RHRP Frankie Scalzo featured a 93-95 MPH FB but sometimes hung his SL and was hit hard and allowed a HR and five sing