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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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 59 min ago (view)

    I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.

    That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.


  • crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    i wonder where the cubs will go with things.

    there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone.  as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team.  the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.

    bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...


  • Hagsag 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!


  • crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    "According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."

    by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him.  i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information. 


  • Cubster 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Giants hire Scott Harris, from Cubs front office,  as GM


  • Charlie 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    For anyone else who immediately wonders but is not invested enough to look it up, this is not Chris (Ryan) Young, former Padres starter and fisticuffs partner of Derrek Lee, but rather the two-years younger Chris Matthew Young.


  • crunch 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    rev up those off-season rumor fryers...

    Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
    Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter. The Cubs will get creative this winter, and with a deep catching free agent market, they could trade Contreras and begin retooling under new manager David Ross.


  • crunch 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    former padres manager andy green is gonna be ross's bench coach.

    green was c.rea's manager in SD, btw.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Last year the Cubs signed four free-agents to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft: LHP Alberto Baldonado, OF Wynton Bernard, RHP Corey Black, and RHP Jose Rosario. All four were members of the Cubs organization in 2018 but declined to sign a 2019 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent, but then came back to the Cubs after briefly testing the free-agent waters. 


  • crunch 4 days 17 hours ago (view)

    chris young to be named new bullpen coach (former phillies pitching coach)

    mixed messages on whether lester strode will have a new cubs role or leaving the cubs...


  • crunch 5 days 10 hours ago (view)

    t.clifton straight up falling off a cliff sucked to watch happen last year.

    i had a lot of faith in the guy to at least hold his own in AAA, even if he needed another season or 2 after to get ready for prime time.

    he ended up giving out homers like candy on halloween while retaining his high walk and injury rate.

    that said, his career is far from done.  most likely many other teams willing to give him a minor league deal.


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Keep in mind that most free-agents who sign a 2020 minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft are eligible for selection. (The only exception would be a free-agent who is not yet eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, such as a player whose only previous pro experience was in a foreign major league or in an independent minor league, or a player who was released by another MLB organization but is still not yet eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft).  


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 15 hours ago (view)

    If you're wondering if players who sign minor league successor contracts ever get taken in the Rule 5 Draft, the answer is most definitely - YES -. 

    The Cubs selected RHP Hector Rondon in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft after the Indians signed him to a minor league successor contract, and the Baltimore Orioles selected RHP Pedro Araujo in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft after the Cubs signed him to a minor league successor contract. 


  • Hagsag 5 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Got to get Taylor Davis back.


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 15 hours ago (view)

    So the Cubs were ultimately able to retain five of their seven most-valuable post-2019 minor league free-agent eligibles (Rea, Pereda, de la Cruz, Lugo, and Burks), losing only Clifton and Leal (both of whom are probably looking for a fresh start in another organization after maybe feeling stalled in the Cubs system).