2017 Cubs Minor League Field Staff Assignments

The Cubs have announced Minor League Field Staff Assignments for 2017:


IOWA: Marty Pevey (Manager), Rod Nichols (Pitching Coach), Desi Wilson (Hitting Coach), and Mariano Duncan (Assistant Coach)
TENNESSEE: Mark Johnson (Manager), Terry Clark (Pitching Coach), Jacob Cruz (Hitting Coach), and Ricardo Medina (Assistant Coach)
MYRTLE BEACH: Buddy Bailey (Manager), Anderson Tavarez (Pitching Coach), Guillermo Martinez (Hitting Coach), and Ty Wright (Assistant Coach)
SOUTH BEND: Jimmy Gonzalez (Manager), Brian Lawrence (Pitching Coach), Jeremy Farrell (Hitting Coach), and Jonathan Mota (Assistant Coach)
EUGENE: Jesus Feliciano (Manager), David Rosario (Pitching Coach), Juan Cabreja (Hitting Coach), and Gary Van Tol (Assistant Coach)
AZL CUBS: Carmelo Martinez (Manager), Armando Gabino (Pitching Coach), Osmin Melendez (Hitting Coach), and Leo Perez (Assistant Coach)
MESA REHAB: Ron Villone (Rehab Pitching Coordinator), Ben Carhart (Rehab Coach), and Antonio Valerio (Assistant Rehab Coach)
DSL CUBS #1: Lance Rymel (Manager), Jose Cueto (Pitching Coach), Claudio Almonte (Hitting Coach), and Carlos Ramirez (Assistant Coach)
DSL CUBS #2: Pedro Gonzalez (Manager), Eduardo Villacis (Pitching Coach), TBA (Hitting Coach), and Carlos Rojas (Assistant Coach)
ATHLETIC TRAINERS: Shane Nelson and Jon Fierro (Iowa), Mike McNulty (Tennessee), Toby Williams (Myrtle Beach), Logan Severson (South Bend), James Edwards (Eugene), Sean Folan (AZL Cubs), Adrian Pettaway (DSL Cubs #1), and Arnoldo Goite (DSL Cubs #2)
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACHES: Ryan Clausen (Iowa), Mike Megrew (Tennessee), Jason Moriss (Myrtle Beach), Ryan Nordtvedt (South Bend), TBA (Eugene), TBA  (AZL Cubs), Amaury Gonzalez (DSL Cubs #1), and Manny Estrada (DSL Cubs #2)


There were a number of coaches assigned to different affiliates than where they were in 2016, but the most-notable new assignments for 2017 are Lance Rymel (who was a Mesa Rehab Coach in 2016) going down to the Dominican Academy where he will manage DSL Cubs #1 (and AZL Cubs trainer Adrian Pettaway will serve as the DSL Cubs #1 athletic trainer), and Jacob Cruz was been hired to be the AA Tennessee Hitting Coach after serving as an Arizona Diamondbacks minor league hitting coach for several years (Smokies 2016 Hitting Coach Desi Wilson was promoted to Hitting Coach at AAA Iowa).

Ex-Cubs minor leaguer Ben Carhart began his coaching career at Instructs post-2016, and he will be replacing Lance Rymel as a Mesa Rehab Coach. 

The only Cubs minor league managers/coaches not returning in 2017 are AAA Iowa Hitting Coach Brian Harper, DSL Cubs #1 Assistant Coach Jovanny Rosario, and DSL Cubs #2 Hitting Coach Franklin Blanco. Harper will be the new Hitting Coach at AAA Toledo (Detroit Tigers AAA affiliate).  

Record six MLB teams must pay luxury tax http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/18294258/l... the World Series champion Chicago Cubs ($2.96 million) also were sent bills Friday by the commissioner's office, according to information obtained by The Associated Press.

The EJax impact!

Brett Taylor at Bleacher Nation has a great piece on the Cubs and the Competitive Balance Tax (Luxury Tax) and what exactly it means. (Brett will be my attorney next time I'm arrested). 


As he explains (very clearly), it really isn't possible for an outsider not privy to a club's books to determine whether a club exceeded the Luxury Tax threshold. It isn't just payroll that determines whether a club must pay Luxury Tax, it's a lot of other extra miscellaneous expenses that get added to payroll to determine whether a club has exceeded the Luxury Tax.

Spoctrac lists the Cubs payroll outlays for 2016:


So the Cubs actual payroll in 2016 was about $165M (or $175M if you add signing bonuses and use AAV of contracts to determine payroll), but the Cubs outlay (determining Luxury Tax) was about $205M (more than $15M over the 2016 Luxury Tax threshold, but about $30M-$40M over the club's actual 2016 payroll!).  

"Next time"? As in there has been a previous time(s)?

AZ Phil should be listed somewhere on this group!

AZ PHIL, does Manny Ramirez have any coaching position with the Cubs anymore? Thanks.

I saw a report that he was going to play baseball in Japan (or was it Korea?) next year. Will try to find it.

Here is the tweet about him joining an independent league in Japan. No idea what the article says though: https://twitter.com/fukudasun/status/80450659...

Was that Chris Conte on the field for the Packers game-winning 60-yard bomb? Talk about deja vu. Nice comeback, and Barkley, Howard & Meredith look like useful pieces for the future, and losing helps the draft pick, but, my goodness -- under a minute, GB has no TOs, 3rd and long from their own 30, and the Bears allow GB's best receiver to run by them for a 60-yard bomb? I've seen this Bears/Packers movie way too many times.

I was thinking, seriously? No double coverage on Nelson? No deep safety staying behind their deepest receiver? That was literally the one play that would seal your fate and you don't prepare for it? You deserved that loss.

John Fox = 2010 Lou Piniella

"We won’t know whether these changes are effective until Heyward uses them against legitimate competition. With that said, this is a good thing. Heyward is working hard to put 2016 behind him and get back to being an effective player at the plate. Even if it doesn’t fully work out, it’s not like things can get any worse, right?" http://sports.yahoo.com/news/how-the-cubs-184...

20th time changing his swing is the charm! i wonder how 'heyward's new swing' compares to 'sandoval lost weight' in the amount of times it's come up over the years. anything has to be better than the dumpster fire of last season. that would be nearly impossible to replicate without injury. also, i wonder if standing in the back of the box is part of his swing tweak or if he's just set up there for the hell of it. given how late he was on stuff last season, breaking stuff could be a new issue...though the fastball was what he was having the most trouble with. 2.something months til we find out...

Tyson Ross gets the nickel tour http://www.thescore.com/mlb/news/1188418

John Heynan tweet Turns out, the mystery team in on Ziegler that was heavily involved was the Cubs. Mets, nats in, too, but fish got him

they dont need 2 guys who throw 85mph. the cubs will be fine.

I wonder if Joe Smith is still on the Cubs radar?

"Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports lists the Cubs, Rangers, Indians, Padres, and Pirates "among 20 or so teams" currently showing interest in free agent Tyson Ross." he's neat and all, but even when healthy he's a 5-6 inning guy...lots of Ks, lots of walks... still...wouldn't complain.

"Cubs signed INF Elliot Soto to a minor league contract." welcome back...i guess.

They already had a jersey made up laying around.

The Cubs had an opening for a shortstop at AAA Iowa, and ex-Cubs minor leaguer Elliot Soto (sent to Miami as part of the Dan Haren trade in 2015) fits that need perfectly.

Ideally you would want minor league shortstops to be good fielders even if they are offensively-challenged with an unlikely MLB future (like Soto, Penalver, and Flete are) because it helps give young pitchers the confidence to throw ground balls, instead of feeling like they need to strike everybody out. 

AZ PHIL- Did you ever hear who the PTBNL for Edgar Olmos was from BAL or did it just end up being cash?

CUBBIES-4-EVER: There was no PTBNL acquired from the Orioles for Olmos, so it became a cash deal. If a PTBNL isn't named within six months of the trade, the cash option kicks in (typically $50,000 if the the player traded was on an MLB 40-man roster, or $25,000 if the player traded is a minor leaguer). 

Unless there is a specific raeson why a PTBNL can't be traded at the time of the trade (like if it's an injured player on an MLB 40-man roster who can't be traded between 7/31 and the conclusion of the MLB regular season, or if it's a minor league player eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft who can't be traded between 11/20 and the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draf), a PTBNL very often turns out to be cash instead, and the main reason a PTBNL would be a part of a deal instead of just making it a straight cash deal at the time of the trade is to give the club owed the PTBNL "first refusal" on any player who might be Designated for Assignment by the other club during the six months after the trade, or if the two clubs make another deal within six months after the first one, the clubs could agree to make the PTBNL from the first deal part of the second deal (the PTBNL owed from the first trade could be canceled by the terms of the second trade). 

"Rangers claimed LHP David Rollins off waivers from the Phillies." it won't stop. it will never stop. btw, today's his birthday.

I will miss Hollandsworth on the post-game. I think he did a good job of giving the players' perspective. But, he got a chance for a full-time, in-booth gig -- good for you, Hollie. Guesses on his replacement? Kerry Wood? Ryan Dempster? Bill Murray?

milton bradley is free on appeals

If Dumpster, We riot!!!

I can't stand David Kaplan so I could never watch post game but Holly always seemed like a really good analyst and I think he'll be in excellent in this new role.

"Astros prospect right-hander Brendan McCurry has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for methamphetamine." bruh... he came over from OAK in a straight up deal for jed lowrie's cheap ass contract...high end setup type with an outside edge on being a closer thanks to his control. that said, bruh...

indians pick up e.encarnacion on a 3yr deal (4th year option) good for them.

Haven't had a chance to get much involved with TCR lately - work has been crazy, but 30,000 points for all the great comments and the AZ Phil reporting, and Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Festivus to y'all!!

Talk about a rollercoaster ride! The Cubs just claimed Rollins again. That is 5th waiver claim on him in a little over a month

He's probably at least annoyed if not flat-out traumatized at this point. For him, the Cubs are the last team that can claim him before he clears waivers, and they've done it twice now. I am still strongly in favor of a rule that prevents this nonsense during the season. The guy's just trying to be a baseball player.

*awaits the "rollins rule" for the next CBA*

It's great to have David Rollins back with the Cubs. I really missed him. I can't believe it's been more than a month ago since he was claimed off the waivers the first time! David Rollins waiver claims may soon replace days, months, and years as a way to describe the passage of time. 

december 23rd is now christmas day as far as i'm concerned. i can't believe it's almost 55 rollins til the next christmas.

padres sign christian villanueva to a minor league deal.

Matt Eddy ‏@MattEddyBA #Padres sign 3B Christian Villanueva to minors deal. He had been non-tendered by #Cubs after missing 2016 with broken right leg.

Cubs signed a few more guys to minor league contracts: http://www.baseballamerica.com/statistics/pla... - Daniel Moskos - LHP - Fernando Rodriguez - RHP - Ali Solis - C - Jemile Weeks - 2B - and Elliot Soto (SS) was confirmed.

Padres GM A. J. Preller was Director of International Scouting for the Rangers when Texas signed Christian Villanueva as a 17-year old out of Mexico in 2008, so I figured he would end up in San Diego. 

Villanueva was rated a Top 100 Prospect (#100) by Baseball America when the Cubs got him and Kyle Hendricks from the Rangers for Ryan Dempster in July 2012, and it was Villanueva (not Hendricks) who was considered the big catch for the Cubs at the time. Hendricks was essentially a throw-in.  

Villanueva was blocked by Mike Olt in the Rangers system before he was traded to the Cubs, and then he was blocked by Olt again after the Cubs got Olt (and Carl Edwards Jr, Justin Grimm, and Neil Ramirez) from Texas in the Matt Garza deal in July 2013, plus he was eventually blocked by Kris Bryant, too, and now by Jeimer Candelario as well. 

Villanueva broke his leg in an infield drill at Spring Training this past February and spent the entire 2016 MLB regular season on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL (thus accruing a full season of MLB Service Time while earning $507,500 - the MLB minimum salary), but he looked very good in Advanced Instructs post-2016, and I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up the Padres starting 3B in 2017. He has plus-power and he is a legitimate third-baseman (reminds me a bit of a young Vinny Castilla).

Talking baseball to take my mind off them sad sad Bears.

Out of the playoffs for the 9th time in 10 seasons (and six in a row). Bears and Bulls in a race for irrelevance. Two clueless franchises, marked by ridiculous coaching hires (Trestman and Hoiberg) who were over their heads and had no respect from players.

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  • QuietMan 1 hour 11 min ago (view)

    Edwards optioned to Iowa per Jesse Rogers,


  • George Altman 1 hour 25 min ago (view)

    Yeah.....yeah. I think I'm good too. Put him and Strop in the Shawn Greene deal.


  • Mike Wellman 3 hours 34 min ago (view)

    I feel like I've already waited & seen enough of CEJ...


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 56 min ago (view)

    Not as much as it makes his stomach tighten!

    i dont think we should trade him. We would get nothing of value back. But I don’t think he should be a bullpen piece on a playoff contender either. He should be in Iowa. Reassess where he’s at for September and next year. If they don’t like what they see, non-tender.


  • Charlie 4 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Cheap may not be the right word, but has put up reasonable value per dollar compared to other relievers prior to this ear.

    He accrued 2.9 bWAR 2017-2018. Strop put up 3.2 bWAR during the same period. Edwards is making $1.5M this year. Strop is making $6.25M. He'll get a bump again this offseason even if he doesn't rebound in the second half, of course. I just don't see a need to trade him unless the Cubs are being offered value in return.

    That said, it does make my stomach knot up a bit when I see they are bringing him into a close game.


  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Carl Edwards Jr will be out of minor league options next season (2020), and he will (once again) be arbitration-eligible post-2019 (he was "Super Two" arb eligible post-2018) and he will be a FA post-2022. 


  • crunch 17 hours 48 min ago (view)

    cubs lose, cards win, brews win.



  • Dolorous Jon Lester 19 hours 34 min ago (view)

    I think this is his last option year. And he’s not as cheap as you’d think, he’s a super two qualified player this year.


  • Charlie 19 hours 43 min ago (view)

    Edwards is frustrating at times. Some of that frustration comes from thinking he could be much better than he currently is. But prior to this year (in which he has pitched very few innings), he's overall been an OK relief pitcher in the majors. I'm happy to wait and see on him for quite a while. Still has an option and is cheap, right?


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 20 hours 42 min ago (view)

    I feel pretty safe in saying that 1. They don’t want him and 2. If they did, things wouldn’t improve for CJ.

    Allowing inherited runners and 1-2 of your own in a close game is what I like to call the “Carl Jr Special.” It was formerly a Justin Grimm special, thankfully Carl stepped up to fill that void.


  • crunch 20 hours 50 min ago (view)

    there's always nick castellanos for a chance to rid of edwards...at which point a couple month rental will probably turn edwards into their ace closer or something just as awesome.


  • Eric S 20 hours 50 min ago (view)

    The bitter side of me thinks it should have been a two for one trade for Maldonado 

    Anyways, has not been a clean series for the Cubs against the Padres - fortunate to have won the series and a 7-2 home stand is a pretty big dill. Or deal. Or something


  • crunch 20 hours 56 min ago (view)

    edwards gonna edwards...blah


  • bradsbeard 22 hours 24 min ago (view)

    Thanks for the clarification. Guess we’ll find out what he’s going to do sooner than later. 


  • crunch 23 hours 28 min ago (view)

    delay over, game on.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    And if Zobrist were to consent to an Optional Assignment to the minors for the purpose of getting into playing shape, it could very well be to AA Tennessee (close to his home in Nashville) rather than to AAA Iowa. He might even just play home games for the Smokies and then work out on his own while they are on the road.