Cubs Sign German, Send Five to Minor League Camp

Apparently unhappy with what they've seen so far from Luis Rivas, the IF-OF to a minor league contract, with an NRI to Spring Training. German was released by the Kansas City Royals last Friday.

In 388 MLB games (with OAK, TEX, and mostly KC), German has played 2B-3B-SS-LF-CF, and even has gone behind the plate on ocacasion. A right-handed hitter, German has hit 277/358/383 over his big league career, with 28 SB (14 CS).

German possibly has a chance to make the Cubs 25-man Opening Day roster, although it would probably require the Cubs going with an 11-man pitching staff. Otherwise he will probably end up at Iowa.

In addition, the , optioning OF Richie Robnett (acquired from OAK in the Michael Wuertz deal) to AAA Iowa, and sending Pitchers J. R. Mathes, Brian Schlitter, and Matt Smith, and Catcher Steve Clevenger to minor league camp. None of the cuts are a surprise. Contrary to what it says in the Official Press Release, the Cubs big league camp Spring Training roster actually now stands at 54 (not 53). They didn't count Esteban German when they added up the total).

Also, veteran 3B has arrived at Cubs camp, and will be given a chance to show what he can do and if he has anything left. The 35-year old Koskie was a member of Team Canada in the WBC, after missing the 2006 and 2007 seasons with Post-Concussion Syndrome.  

My guess is that Koskie will go to Iowa to start the season as insurance in case something bad happens to Aramis Ramirez, with the understanding that he can request his release every 30 days (after 30 days, after 60 days, etc). The Cubs have had that type of arrangement in the past with veteran players who agree to play at AAA. 

 

Comments

I REALLY hope another Reed Johnson-type player falls into our laps at the end of spring training... we should go after Joe Beimel and see if we can sign him for 2/$3M, to get a second lefty in the pen.

Didn't the clubhouse go alcohol free a year or so ago? ...

Hmm. I kind of figured this would happen when he was released. Not a bad backup, I think.

put on waivers by the A's...

Thanks, Phil. Also-- what are you seeing in some of these ST outfielders like Robnett, Deeds, Snyder, Fuld, Dubois, Taguchi? (I don't include J. Fox in this list because it seems he's no longer considered an OF-er). I know what their stats tell me, and from what you've written about this summer's ST games (and of course we have a little bit of history on Fuld, Dubois, and Taguchi). But how do they compare to one another? Do any of them have a shot to contribute (this year, or in the future)? rock on, ROMERO

Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester has given an interview to Esquire magazine in which he contrasts former teammate Manny Ramirez to cancer. "The two don't even compare," Lester said. "Ramirez was some eccentric wacko I used to work with. Cancer kills thousands and thousands of people every year." http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3...

Wow. What kind of douche asked that question?

Well, it was a follow-up to Papelbon calling Ramirez a cancer.

Yeah, but it doesn't mean you need to call up a cancer survivor to validate at metaphor. "He used cancer as a metaphor...quick! get me someone with actual cancer." "He also said he's a real slave to his greed." "Ok, get me a black guy too!"

Where is this Lester quote. For the life of me I can't find it. [Edit, I see this is already been answered]

I'm confused, the Esquire interview was with Papelbon, not Lester and that link doesn't mention Lester at all, nor did a web search come up with anything.

where's the Lester quote from?

From The Onion, or The Heckler, if I wrote for those sites. Um, sorry for all the confusion, guys.

well-played then my friend....

Funny. I didn't even click the link, I was just responding to Stevens and WISC. Carry on.

Question AZ Phil... I'm trying to keep track of the Cubs' camp numbers. I thought they were at 53 with German. Koskie isn't official yet (he still has to pass a physical, I thought). Once Koskie is official, then it goes to 54, correct? Reading over the papers and blogs, sounds like he hasn't been cleared as of yet. Just wondering...thanks!

Not sure how he managed this, but LARRY ROTHSCHILD just got tossed out of the Cubs Angels game.

In Tempe, Vs Angels, 2nd squad, Trammel managing. Gathright and Theriot ground out, Micah singles up the middle. Bradley K's looking on a 1-2 count.```Gaudin faces Figgins (GO to Scales at 2nd). Ibar works the count and walks on a 3-1 count. Kendrick flies out to Joey who has to chug to get it. Morales chops one to Scales toward center, tries the backhand flip but is too late to Theriot at second. But Rivera pops up to short right to end the threat. ````Doug Deeds leads off the 2nd. Angels announcers are nuts, as they say Cubs got swept in the AL playoffs last year, as happened the year before in the AL west. Deeds K's looking. Scales GO to 2nd. Taguchi fans on a 3-2 pitch from Mosley.````First batter in the Angels 2nd pops out to Deeds in right. Brandon Wood works Gaudin to 3-2 and Chad misses, ball 4. Buddy shoots one to right center, Wood to third. First and third one out. Pettit fouls a couple off then grounds to Rivas at third, "nice stop" to 2nd for one and not in time at first. Figgins singles past 2nd, one base advance. Ibar walks on 4 pitches. Rothschild to the mound. Gaudin nibbles the count on Kendrick to 2-2, 3-2 payoff is ball 4 just misses. Morales hits the 1st offering over the scoreboard for the slam. Rivera singles just off Rivas glove and Chad is done. 6 runs, 3 walks so far. Justin Berg (Matt Lawton trade) now pitching. Rivas commits an error, dropping the ball, shoulda been 3 outs. Theriot stops the bleeding with a nice throw to put out Wood. ````Mark Johnson pops to right center on 2 pitches. Rivas GO to Ibar. Rothschild get tossed by the home plate ump, apparently for arguing some of the close Gaudin pitches. Strike out ends the first time through the Cubs lineup. Sorry if there are name spelling problems for the Angels. 6-o Angels, bottom 3rd.

Thanks for the play-by-play! WTF is up with Gaudin?!

Marshall looked good again today, going into the 5th. The rest of the bullpen in that game also did well. Fontenot continues to hit. And in the other game Chad Fox continues to hold up, another perfect inning with a K.

Looking like a Heilman/Marshall battle at the moment. Still early I guess. Damn, Heilman has 12K in 8 IP, but Marshall's ERA is under 1. http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/stats/sortable_pl...

If they both continue to pitch well, they will both get the opportunity to start. Somebody in that rotation is going to miss games. If not, Heilman sure looks like he could be dominating in the bullpen—those Ks are encouraging.

Chad Fox: wasting bullets in Spring Training for too long. I figure he's got about 200-300 in-game pitches in his elbow per year. He shouldn't use them in March. Actually, I'm impressed that he's still in baseball. Rehab is never easy, so he must have some serious determination to stick around this long. As long as the Cubs don't let somebody go (an out of options youngster or a Rule 5 pick) in order to keep him on the active roster, I wish him lots of luck.

No way man, I say let him pitch whenever he feels like pitching. You want to start games? Sure.

German = Macias...

Miles=Macias Esteban German is actually a decent player. The cubs should have waited on a guy like this intead of giving Aaron Miles the contract that he got for 2 years.

Submitted by Cubbug on Fri, 03/13/2009 - 2:42pm.

Question AZ Phil... I'm trying to keep track of the Cubs' camp numbers. I thought they were at 53 with German. Koskie isn't official yet (he still has to pass a physical, I thought).

Once Koskie is official, then it goes to 54, correct? Reading over the papers and blogs, sounds like he hasn't been cleared as of yet. Just wondering...thanks!

===================================

CUB BUG: I don't know about Koskie's official status, but I included him on the roster, and so now cutting five and adding German makes 54 in big league camp.

Koskie passed his physical with Team Canada, so I would think he would be cleared to play by the Cubs medical staff, too, but you never know.

Submitted by Romero on Fri, 03/13/2009 - 1:22pm.

Thanks, Phil.

Also-- what are you seeing in some of these ST outfielders like Robnett, Deeds, Snyder, Fuld, Dubois, Taguchi? (I don't include J. Fox in this list because it seems he's no longer considered an OF-er).

I know what their stats tell me, and from what you've written about this summer's ST games (and of course we have a little bit of history on Fuld, Dubois, and Taguchi).

But how do they compare to one another? Do any of them have a shot to contribute (this year, or in the future)?

==================================================

ROMERO: Brad Snyder is football player-type "toolsy" guy with a plus-arm, plus-speed, and plus-power, but he is not a good hitter (lots & lots of swings & misses). You can see what scouts saw in him, but he is probably still as raw today as he was at Ball State, and time is running out on him (he's out of minor league options).

So Taguchi is probably in camp in case anything bad happens to Soriano or Reed Johnson before Opening Day, but otherwise he doesn't have a slot. He's an athletic defender, but has little power and he isn't much of a hitter. The Cubs might offer him the 4th OF slot at Iowa if he wants it, or otherwise he can probably get his release whenever he wants it.

Richie Robnett has plus-power, slightly above-averag speed, and he's an OK outfielder, but his arm isn't as good as I thought it would be. He's basically a young, raw Jacque Jones.

Sam Fuld is a solid player, a Gold Glove quality defender in CF witrh an outstanding arm. He is a good hitter with surprising power for a guy his size. He lost a step after the sports hernia surgery a couple of years agom, however, and so base-stealing is no longer a big part of his game. He should be the CF and lead-off hitter at Iowa in 2009, and would probably get the call if anything bad happens to Fukudome or Gathright.

I actually like Doug Deeds more than Snyder or Robnett. Deeds is an athletic defender in LF and RF with an OK arm, and he is a polished hitter with a solid line-drive stroke and occasional power. He has just average speed, though, probably not quite enough to play CF.

Jason Dubois will likely get released sometime before Opening Day, because he's essentially a 1B-DH right now, and Jake Fox probably will get that gig at Iowa. Dubois should be able to find a job in AAA with another organization, though.

 

"I actually like Doug Deeds more than Snyder or Robnett. Deeds is an athletic defender in LF and RF with an OK arm, and he is a polished hitter with a solid line-drive stroke and occasional power. He has just average speed, though, probably not quite enough to play CF." Sounds like Reed Johnson.

robnett running seems to have a nice eye for picking up the pitcher along with a nice first few steps to gain his momentum..."explosive" might be an overstatement, but he seems to get going real quick. that said, ive seen do this only a handful of times, but how he ran stood out to me.

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  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 hour 48 min ago (view)

    I believe this is the correct take. It's surprising that Len is leaving. He's good, but he had gotten a little too rationalizey over the past few years for me.

    However, it seemed he was heavily invested in the Cubs. His departure feels like there is some Ricketts-ish bullshit going on behind the scenes at Marquee that Len wants no part of. Anyway, I wish him well with the other Chicago team

     

  • crunch 2 hours 25 min ago (view)

    wtf...

    is everything the ricketts touch just falling to shit in 2021?  ....well, except their heavy investments in taking over the state of Nebraska politically with one of the sons and heavy investment in supportive state legislators...

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 55 min ago (view)

    This makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks Phil!

    (And that HR off Hader was unforgettable)

     

  • Hagsag 6 hours 19 min ago (view)

    Shocker!

     

  • Wrigley Rat 11 hours 47 min ago (view)

    Len Kasper is leaving the Cubs for the White Sox radio booth.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&so...

     

  • Charlie 16 hours 4 min ago (view)

    I would be happy to see the Cubs no longer spend DH time on Victor Caratini. Provided there's a Kyle Schwarber or better alternative, of course.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 min ago (view)

    DJL: I don't think Ildemaro Vargas being out of minor league options is much of a concern to the Cubs because as things stand right now he projects as the team's primary utility infielder in 2021. He can play all four INF positions (1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, plus corner OF, too), and he is switch hitter with some pop, especially from the right side (remember the 9th inning HR he hit off Josh Hader in September?). 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 50 min ago (view)

    I'm a little surprised Ildemaro Vargas was tendered, given that he's out of options. He has value and isn't expensive as he is pre-arb this year, but still a bit surprised. Have to think he's got an inside track to an Opening Day spot at this point

     

  • waveland 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    really appreciate the years and years of your updates

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Strumpf was wearing a cast on his hand in Minor League Camp before everything got shut-down in March so his not being at South Bend might have had something to do with that. I don't know why Rivas wasn't at the ATS. 

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Do you have any idea why Rivas and Strumpf weren't at the alternate site in South Bend? I thought Rivas especially showed enough in ST games to be viewed as a legitimate depth option, especially with the DH. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Alfonso Rivas reminds me a bit of Rafael Palmeiro when Palmeiro first came up to the big leagues and was a "doubles machine" (before he started hitting home runs).   

    Rivas played D-1 baseball at the University of Arizona, so (just like Nico Hoerner, who also played in the PAC-12) I don't think he needs a lot of additional time at AAA before he's ready for MLB. He's a very advanced hitter, as long as you are OK with lots of doubles & lots of walks but not many HR.   

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    I hadn't thought of that but I really like that option

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    I really hope Rivas has a chance at the LF job. Would ease some of the sting of Schwarber being cut loose. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: I got the impression that Ross had seen enough of Schwarber in LF, so implementing the universal DH may be necessary before Schwarber returns to the Cubs in 2021. I think the Cubs would be fine with Schwarber as their main DH going forward. 

    BTW, I strongly suspect that the universal DH will be included in the next CBA, but whether there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 is still TBA (which is really stupid, since clubs need to know right now for sure one way or the other whether or not there will be a DH in the N. L. in 2021). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    Besides the guys on the 40, Cubs 2021 NRI relievers with a legit chance to win a bullpen slot in Spring Training include LHRPs Josh Osich and Rex Brothers, and RHRPs Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Dakota Mekkes, Michael Rucker, and Joe Wieland (presuming they are not taken in the Rule 5 Draft). 

    Brothers and Wieland are out of minor league options, however, so if added to the 40 they could not ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" like the others could.