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Cubs Release Four from Minor League Camp

The Cubs released four players from Minor League Camp this morning: 

Tyler Alamo, 1B (Cubs 2013 24th round draft pick - Cypress HS - Cypress, CA)  
Luis Ayala, OF (Cubs 2013 IFA - Venezuela) 
Michael Cruz, C-1B (Cubs 2016 7th round draft pick - Bethune Cookman)
Austin Upshaw, INF (Cubs 2017 13th round draft pick - Kennesaw State) 

2019 Cubs Spring Training Uniform Numbers

3/28 (MLB OPENING DAY) ABSOLUTE FINAL UPDATE

LHP Brian Duensing (who was Designated for Assigment this past Sunday) has cleared waivers and has accepted an Outright Assignment to AAA Iowa.

Because he has Article XIX-A status (player has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time), Duensing had to give his permission before he could be sent to ther minors.

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3/28 (MLB OPENING DAY) PRE-GAME FINAL UPDATE


And to get down to the MLB Opening Day 25-man Active List roster limit, the Cubs have indeed placed RHRP Tony Barnette (right shoulder inflammation), LHRP Xavier Cedeno (left wrist inflammation), and RHRP Brandon Morrow (November 2018 right elbow debridement surgery) on their MLB 10-day Injured List retroactive to March 25th (which is the furthest back the assignments can be backdated).  

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3/26 UPDATE


LHP Kyle Ryan has been optioned to AAA Iowa, and RHRP Allen Webster has been sent to Minor League Camp. 

So the Cubs MLB Active Roster now stands at 28, three above the MLB Opening Day limit of 25 players.

The three remaining moves that will get the Cubs Opening Day roster down to 25 will very likely involve placing RHP Tony Barnette (right shoulder), LHP Xavier Cedeno (left wrist), and RHP Brandon Morrow (November 2018 elbow surgery) on the MLB 10-day Injured List, retroactive to Monday 3/25.
NOTE: A 10-day Injured List assignment can be backdated up to three days -- including the three days prior to MLB Opening Day -- as long as the player being placed on the 10-day Injured List did not play in an MLB regular season game(s) and/or MLB Cactus League or Grapefruit League game(s) during the backdated period. 

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3/24 UPDATE


The Cubs have signed FA LHRP Tim Collins to an MLB contract, and LHRP Brian Duensing has been Designated for Assignment to make room on the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) for Collins.

Collins accepted an Optional Assignment to Iowa after signing with the Cubs, and because he has Article XIX-A rights (he has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time), he had to give his consent before he could be sent to the minors.

Collins was an Article XX-B MLB free-agent post-2018, and he signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins in February, so just like Junichi Tazawa and the Cubs, the Twins would have had to pay Collins a $100K retention bonus and he would would have received an automatic June 1st opt-out if the Twins hadn't released him (or added him to their MLB 40-man roster) by yesterday's deadline.   

So the Cubs now have seven days to either release or trade Duensing.   

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3/23 UPDATE
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The Cubs have released RHRP Junichi Tazawa.

In addition, RHRP Dillon Maples, C-1B Taylor Davis, and INF-OF Ian Happ were optioned to AAA Iowa.

Also, NRI INF Cristhian Adames and OF Johnny Field have been assigned to Minor League Camp. 

So the Cubs MLB Active List now stands at 30, with one NRI (RHRP Allen Webster) still in MLB Camp as well. 

The Cubs must reduce their Active List to 25 players by MLB Opening Day (Thursday 3/28).

An injured or ill player on a club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) can be placed on the club's MLB 10-day Injured List beginning on Opening Day, but the assignment can be backdated up to three days (including the three days prior to MLB Opening Day) as long as the player did not play in an MLB regular season game(s) and/or MLB Cactus League game(s) or Grapefruit League game(s) during the backdated period.  

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3/22 UPDATE:

The Cubs have optioned RHSP Alec Mills to Iowa. Mills suffered a lower back strain a couple of weeks ago and so he could not be optioned to the minors until he was healthy enough to pitch. 

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3/15 UPDATE

The Cubs have optioned RHP James Norwood, RHP Duane Underwood Jr, and RHP Rowan Wick to AAA Iowa. 

In addition, twelve NRI players (RHP Christian Bergman, RHP Matt Carasiti, RHP George Kontos, RHP Dakota Mekkes, LHP Mike Zagurski, C Francisco Arcia, C P. J. Higgins, 1B-OF Jim Adduci, INF Ryan Court, INF Philip Evans, INF Trent Giambrone, and INF Zach Short) have been sent to Minor League Camp.     

So the Cubs MLB Camp roster now stands at 38 (including four NRI).   


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3/9 UPDATE:

First "batch cut" from Cubs MLB Camp:  

The Cubs have optioned RHP Adbert Alzolay and RHP Jen-Ho Tseng to AAA Iowa and RHP Oscar de la Cruz and LHP Justin Steele to AA Tennessee (although he is on the Restricted List, de la Cruz was optioned so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time while on the MLB-MLBPA JDV suspension), sent LHP Alberto Baldonado, RHP Craig Brooks, LHP Ian Clarkin, RHP Carlos Ramirez, LHP Colin Rea, RHP Duncan Robinson, C Ian Rice, OF Charcer Burks, OF Jacob Hannemann, and OF Evan Marzilli to Minor League Camp, and released RHP Rob Scahill (who was signed to a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training).   

And as I have mentioned before, players who are optioned to the minors or sent to Minor League Camp can continue to play in MLB Cactus League games.  


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2/7 ORIGINAL POST

Smokies Hurlers Cloud Drillers Vision at Riverview

Robel Garcia (RBI single), P. J. Higgins (RBI single), Roberto Caro (two-run single), Nico Hoerner (sacrifice fly), and Connor Myers (solo HR) contributed RBI and Oscar de la Cruz and three relievers combined to hurl a five-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts, as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) blanked the Tulsa Drillers (Los Angeles Dodgers AA affiliate) 6-0 in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Wednesday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

Prior to the game, C-1B Ian Rice and INF Vimael Machin were moved-down to AA Tennessee from AAA Iowa. 

Also, C Rafelin Lorenzo, 1B Tyler Alamo, INF Jhonny Bethencourt, INF Yeiler Peguero, 2B Carlos Sepulveda, OF Luis Ayala, and OF D. J. Wilson were not on the Smokies bench, so they may have been moved-down to Myrtle Beach from Tennessee at the same time that Machin and Rice were moved down to Tennessee from Iowa.  

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):  

Cubs Release Tazawa... But He Could Be Back

3/26 UPDATE 

The Cubs have indeed re-signed RHP Junichi Tazawa to a new (different) 2019 minor league contract. 

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3/23 ORIGINAL POST 

The Cubs released NRI RHRP Junichi Tazawa today, but that might not be the end of the Tazawa-Cubs connection.

Because Tazawa was a post-2018 Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signed a minor league contract more than ten days prior to MLB Opening Day (he was signed on January 26th), the CBA mandates that if the Cubs did not release Tazawa by today (five days prior to MLB Opening Day), the Cubs would have had to either add him to their MLB 40-man roster (and 25-man roster) by MLB Opening Day or else pay him a $100K retention bonus with a June 1st opt-out. 

So it's possible that the Cubs will re-sign Tazawa to a new (different) minor league contract without the automatic Article XX-B retention bonus and/or the June 1st opt-out (the Cubs actually did exactly this in 2016 with Shane Victorino, Manny Parra, and Munenori Kawasaki).

Rucker & Hatch Steal the Yu Show at Riverview

Michael Rucker (five innings) and Tom Hatch (four no hit innings) combined to hurl a three-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts, but neither team could push across a run, and so the Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado Rockies AA affiliate) and the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) played to a scoreless tie on Field #5, and the Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies AAA affiliate) blistered five HR en route to a 13-5 drubbing of the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Cubs) on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Sunday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Zack Short drilled a two-run double for the I-Cubs in a losing cause. 

Yu Darvish came over to the Riverview backfields from MLB Camp and got the start for Iowa, going 4.1 IP (71 pitches - 47 strikes), and allowing three runs on five hits (a HR on the very first pitch of the game, a double, and three singles), no walks, one HBP, two wild pitches, eight strikeouts, and 1/4 GO/AO. Despite allowing the three runs, it actually was a decent outing for Yu.

INF Daniel Descalso, who has been nursing a sore shoulder, also came over to the Minor League side from MLB Camp. Descalso batted second in each of the first six innings, going a combined 0-5 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored, and two strikeouts (one swinging and one looking). He looked a bit rusty at the plate. He played 2B for three innings, then moved to 3B for two innings, and then served as a DH, before retiring to the clubhouse in the 7th.  

Here are the abridged box scores from the game (Cubs players only) 

Cubs Release Nine from Minor League Camp

The Cubs released nine players from Minor League Camp Sunday morning:

Ryan Court, INF 
Austin Filiere, 1B-3B (Cubs 2017 8th round draft pick - MIT) 
Evan Marzilli, OF 
Carlos Ramirez, RHRP 
Jose Rosario, RHRP (Cubs 2008 IFA) 
Chris Singleton, OF (Cubs 2017 19th round draft pick - Charleston Southern) 
Jake Steffens, RHRP (Cubs 2017 29th round draft pick - Santa Clara)
Chesny Young, INF (Cubs 2014 14th round draft pick - Mercer) 
Mike Zagurski, LHRP 

Cubs Bore-nstein A's to Tears with Grand Slam and One-Hitter at Fitch Park

SP Justin Steele and five relievers combined to hurl a one-hit shutout, Robel Garcia belted a solo HR and an RBI single, Eddy Julio Martinez drilled two RBI singles, walked, and scored, and Jhonny Bethencourt hammered a single and a double, stole a base, and scored two runs, as the Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs AA affiliate) blanked the Midland RockHounds (Oakland Athletics AA afffiliate) 8-0 on Field #3, and Zach Borenstein walloped a monster grand slam HR over the CF batter's eye, Zack Short ripped a solo HR and an RBI single and scored two runs, Fernando Arcia singled twice, walked, stole a base, and drove-in a run, and SP Duncan Robinson hurled 4.2 IP of one-run ball (he gave up his only run on a sac fly on his 71st and final pitch), propelling the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Cubs) to a 7-1 victory over the Las Vegas Aviators (AAA affiliate of the A's) on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Saturday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.   

Of the ten Cubs minor league pitchers who threw in the games at Fitch Park on Saturday, only two (Duncan Robinson and George Kontos) are actually assigned to the AAA Iowa squad at Minor League Camp. The other eight who threw (including two who pitched in the AAA game) are assigned to the AA Tennessee squad.   

Speaking of the AA Tennessee pitching staff, with Bailey Clark throwing three innings for Tennessee in Friday's intrasquad game at Riverview and Ian Clarkin and Tyson Miller working out of the Smokies bullpen Saturday at Fitch Park (each threw only 19 pitches), it would appear that the Cubs may be prepping Clark to be a SP and Clarkin and T. Miller to be bullpen guys at Tennessee (which is the exact opposite of how things looked just a week ago).   

Here are the abridged box scores from Saturday's games (Cubs players only):  

Cubs Pitchers Fan the Blaze at Riverview

Delvin Zinn walloped a solo HR, doubled, reach base on an HBP, and scored three runs, Yonathan Perlaza tripled, walked, stole two bases, and scored two runs, Chris Singleton singled twice, stole two bases, and scored two runs, and seven Cub pitchers combined to toss a one-hitter with 14 strikeouts (including five by SP Yunior Perez in just 1.2 IP), as the Mesa Cubs thrashed the Langley Blaze 7-1 in Minor League Camp game action Friday morning on Field #4 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

A member of the British Columbia Premier Baseball League (BCPBL), the Langley Blaze are one of the top amateur baseball clubs in Canada. Notable alumni include Brett Lawrie and Scott Mathieson, as well as ex-Cub minor leaguer Wes Darvill. 

The Blaze are on a ten-day Arizona Spring Training Trip, where they are playing minor league teams, and college and high school teams. The Blaze are scheduled to play one or two (and sometimes even three!) games per day, including morning games, afternoon games, night games, doubleheaders, and split squad games, so the Canadian lads (age 15-18) are playing a LOT of baseball in the Valley of the Sun.
 
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only): 

Giants Rally to Edge Pelicans at Indian School Park

Diego Rincones blasted a two-run HR in the 1st inning and an RBI double in the 3rd, and then with their team trailing by a run with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, Fabian Pena and Dalton Combs belted back-to-back RBI doubles for the walk-off victory, as the San Jose Giants (Hi-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) rallied to edge the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) 5-4 on Field #1, and Luis Vazquez drilled a two-run single, walked, and stole a base for the Cubs, and Marco Luciano rifled a two-run double for the Greenjackets, as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) and Augusta Greenjackets (Giants Lo-A affiliate) played to a 3-3 tie on Field #2, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Wednesday afternoon at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ. 

Cole Roederer (who smacked a HR in the Cactus League MLB game at Sloan Park on Tuesday) tripled, singled, walked, and scored two runs for the Pelicans in a losing cause on Field #1. 

Here are the abridged box scores from the games (Cubs players only): 

Lester Goes Six on the Backfields and Ademan Belts Solo HR

Tyler Durna singled twice, doubled, scored a run, knocked-in a run with a sacrifice fly, and stole a base, D. J. Artis reached base three times (a single and two walks) and scored a run, Dalton Hurd smacked an RBI triple and a single and scored a run, Josue Huma ripped a two-run triple, and SP Cam Sanders tossed three innings of no run/no hit ball, leading the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Cubs) to a 4-1 victory over the Asheville Tourists (Colorado Rockies Lo-A affiliate) on Field #5, and Aramis Ademan belted a HR leading off the bottom of the 1st inning, singled, walked and scored, Miguel Amaya roped an RBI double into the LF corner and scored, Jimmy Herron drilled an RBI single, reached base on an HBP, and stole a base, and Jon Lester hurled six innings (87 pitches) of two-run ball (five hits, two walks, seven strikeouts, and a wild pitch) and combined with Bryan Hudson to fan 13, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) edged the Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies Hi-A affiliate) 3-2 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Monday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ. 

The rest of the Cubs MLB squad had the day off, but Victor Caratini came over to the Riverview backfields to catch Lester, and he had one AB in each of the first six innings (while he and Lester were in the game), going 1-5 with a double and a walk.  

In Cubs Minor League Camp news, OF Jamie Galazin (Cubs 2018 22nd round draft pick - St. John's) is being converted to a RHP. He was drafted by the Cubs as an outfielder, but he did pitch a bit in college (10 games), so he is at least somewhat familiar with the pitching thing. Whether Galazin will be used strictly as a pitcher or possibly as the now popular "two-way player" remains to be seen, but in either case he will be remaining at Extended Spring Training while he proceeds forward with the mound conversion.  

Here are the abridged box scores from the games (Cubs players only): 

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