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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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 min 8 sec ago (view)

    I was thinking that too, Phil. EJM failing so badly was another spectacular miss. Guess they should have let sleeping dogs lie when his first deal fell through (Dodgers or Giants, I think?)


  • tim815 54 min 28 sec ago (view)

    MLB.com rated the Cubs 22 out of 30.

    This season figures to tell quite a bit. No teams are terrible at player development anymore, and no teams look at the draft as a hopeless puzzle.


  • KingKongvsGodzilla 4 hours 8 min ago (view)

    Are these guys out of the org now? 


  • K Dub 8 hours 45 min ago (view)

    PHIL: Any velo readings on Ramos? Earlier reports also had him sitting 98-99. Thanks!


  • George Altman 14 hours 46 min ago (view)

    Phil, serious question: How good is the Cubs Player Development Department? Scale of 1 to 30 with 1 being best.  I mean, I can think of 5 teams right now who don't have near the Cubs resources but do better year after.

    I mean there are organizations across sports who seem to coach the crap out of their draft picks and signees. They just got 4 teenagers for Darvish, but do they have the coaches to get any of them to the show? 

    My pessimistic grade would be about 24.


  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 46 sec ago (view)

    DJL: How about Eddy Julio Martinez as a spectacular miss? A $3M signing bonus out of Cuba and he never made it out of AA. 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Wow, that's a pretty spectacular miss. He was so highly thought of when he signed.


  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 39 min ago (view)

    TIM: Richard Gallardo doesn't seem to be progressing as a SP, so he has apparently been moved to the bullpen.  He has a tendency to labor through innings and nibble too much and throw a lot of pitches. 


  • tim815 15 hours 52 min ago (view)

    Anything on Gallardo, of interest, from today?


  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 54 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have released LHP Ryan Kellogg, RHP Alex Moore, 3B Fidel Mejia, OF Jose Gutierrez, OF Eddy Julio Martinez, and OF Zac Taylor from Minor League Camp. 


  • Arizona Phil 16 hours 1 min ago (view)

    And despite what you might read elsewhere, It was - NOT - a "hot" gun.  


  • Arizona Phil 16 hours 27 min ago (view)

    He certainly could have forced the Cubs to release him with full salary as termination pay, so he must like it with the Cubs.  


  • Charlie 18 hours 17 min ago (view)

    Follow-up on last week's discussion of Baez's contact and plate discipline woes. Another Fangraphs article notes that he is among league leaders in combined positive change in zone swing rates (swinging at more pitches inside the strike zone) and reduction in chase rate (swinging at pitches outside the zone). See the last table: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/lets-look-at-some-earl...

    This makes his 45% strikeout rate and 1.7% BB rate all the more strange.


  • crunch 21 hours 19 min ago (view)

    he may not be worth much to us as fans, but every indication points to him being quite popular in the dugout.  nice to see him stick around as an emergency callup catcher.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Tony Wolters clears waivers and is sent to the Alternate Training site in South Bend.


  • bigsky33 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Hi Phil, are they letting you into Sloan?  Great to see your write-ups!!