Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full), plus two players are on the 60-DAY IL

26 players on MLB RESERVE LIST are ACTIVE, plus eight players are on OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT to minors and six players are on the 15-DAY IL

Last updated 5-25-2024

* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 13
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge 
* Shota Imanaga
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Tyson Miller
Hector Neris
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Hayden Wesneski

CATCHERS: 2
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

INFIELDERS: 7
* Michael Busch
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Luis Vazquez
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 4
* Cody Bellinger
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

OPTIONED: 8
Kevin Alcantara, OF
Michael Arias, P
Alexander Canario, OF
* Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF
Jose Cuas, P 
Brennen Davis, OF
* Miles Mastrobuoni, INF
* Matt Mervis, 1B

15-DAY IL: 6
Yency Almonte, P
Albert Alzolay, P
Colten Brewer, P
Daniel Palencia, P
Keegan Thompson, P
* Jordan Wicks, P

60-DAY IL: 2
Caleb Kilian, P
Julian Merryweather, P


Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

Echos of Long Toss and Towel Drills Past

Rich Harden was all the news yesterday even though there was nothing new going on. Harden was newsworthy because he's starting the spring camp with long toss rather than work off the mound like the other pitchers. He's been on an off-season strengthening program for an achy-breaky shoulder that everyone in Cubs camp is still struggling to label. It's kind of like having a family member with a psychiatric diagnosis in the 1950's. Nobody wants to label the poor fella because of the stigma and gossip. Sun-Times beat reporter Gordon Wittenmyer, in his blog, was irked that once again there was misinformation delivered this off-season regarding what the diagnosis of Harden's shoulder issues are.

Can anybody tell me what the advantage is in omitting those details and being vague about these things? It's not like the Cubs have to protect the information for the purposes of shopping Harden or for any on-the-field competitive reasons (scouts have eyes).

I've covered three other teams in my career, and the ones that were most up front about these kinds of things had the fewest headaches with the way the information got out. And the fans stayed well informed, without the yo-yo effect.

Bruce Miles, The Daily Herald's Cubs beat writer also chimed in via his blog:

Comment: This issue regarding his shoulder is beginning to sound too much like Prior all over again.. Hopefully not, though.

Bruce Miles: That was my first reaction, having lived through the Prior/prior nightmares. This is a little more nuanced. Kerry Wood made no bones about having a tear in his shoulder and telling us. A Cubs guy said Rich likes to handle it his own way. I'll give him that, respecting his privacy. I've always felt that if a team and/or player just comes out and says what the deal is, we deal with it and move on instead of operating under all this mystery. It's fair to say he's got some sort of tear in there.

As I said, the proof will be in how he throws the ball and how long he lasts.

Harden clearly doesn't use medical terminology but says he'll be fine. He can do what he wants, because it's his shoulder and there are laws that protect patients to their privacy although those rules get bent for celebrities and athletes via the press/paparazzi and the microscopes they put them under.

Carrie Muskat at mlb.com also interviewed Harden (here) generating this info:

He knows the word "tear" makes people skittish. There may be a tear, but it's nothing to fret about. Surgery was not something Harden considered.

To review, Harden had an MRI-Arthrogram in Oct 08, after his  loss in game 3 of the NLDS, which is the best diagnostic exam short of an arthroscopic procedure. The post test information released to the press was that Harden had "subtle laxity" but no rotator cuff or labrum damage. The Cubs subsequently picked up Harden's $7 Million option. Then during the January 09 Cubs Convention, GM Jim Hendry in discussing Harden said the word "tear" in describing Harden's problem. Thus providing Wittenmyer and Miles eye-rolling material as to what is going on.

Having a non-full thickness rotator cuff tear (ala Kerry Wood) can be managed non-surgically and that's what they are doing... including a spring training that will cast echos from the ghosts of springs past:
---
compare and contrast:

Harden:The right-hander did throw long toss and was seen smiling a lot on the first day of workouts.


Wood: "I'm letting it go and throwing all my pitches," Wood said. "It's nice to go on the mound and actually work on stuff instead of worrying if it's going to hurt. It's nice to get up and go."

He'd like to avoid the disabled list. Wood began last season still rehabbing from arthroscopic shoulder surgery, which he had in August 2005. He was able to pitch in four games from May 18 to June 6, but they weren't good outings and his velocity was off.

When the tear was revealed, Wood opted to skip another operation and rehab. That tear may never completely heal.

"Probably not all the way, but it's definitely strong enough to do it's job," he said. (2-14-07)


Prior: "I had some issues," Prior said. "I had some significant things I had to correct. He saw some things [in his shoulder] that weren't as good as he'd like to see in a 26-year-old."

Prior has "looseness" in his shoulder, which is genetic, and which helps his delivery but also means he has to do a lot of shoulder strengthening exercises. His problems began when he collided with Atlanta's Marcus Giles in 2003. (2-16-07)

 Wood: Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood did his long toss drills on Friday, and may be ahead of schedule..."It's pretty amazing," Wood said Friday. "It feels pretty good today, and today's better than yesterday. I expect the same tomorrow." (3-10-06)


Prior: Chicago Cubs pitcher Mark Prior is taking a different approach in an attempt to get through Spring Training injury-free.

"We're doing a lot more endurance," Prior said Tuesday. "I've been on throwing programs before but this is a little bit more structured and we're trying to build up more arm strength, doing extended amounts of sets, if that makes sense. I'm sitting out there throwing 20, 25 at a certain distance, then taking a little break, then going back a little farther.

"It's a lot more structured," he said. "I think I'm responding to it well. We talked about it last year to take it slower, a little more methodical. I don't enjoy not being on the mound right now. But whatever you're dealt with, you deal with it." (2-21-06)

Finally, I've found the link that defines the purpose of the now infamous "towel drill". It's a rehab bonanza article by Carrie Muskat discussing the simultaneous February 22, 2006 rehab status of Wood, Prior, Wade Miller and Angel Guzman, a virtual superfecta!

Mark Prior also did his long-toss drills early as well as some towel drills off the mound. The towel drills are designed to get the pitchers back on the mound, acclimated to the slope and getting their balance.

Comments

Given that Jimbo had to trade off or let go guys of like DeRosa and Woody to fit in a tight payroll limit, I doubt he would have picked up Harden's option if he did not feel like he could make atleast 2/3rds of his starts, which is 22 for a top of the rotation type guy that you would expect 34 starts from. With this weak division all we need Harden for is October anyway, we should just try the first 6-man rotation in MLB history with Z-Harden-Lilly-Dempster-Marshall-Heilman.

I'm tired of the Prior/Wood saga...they are gone....it's sickening to have to deal with this again with Harden....i don't care! As long as we stay healthy the division should be easy....therefore as long as he's ready to pitch the second half of the year...i'm fine with it! We knew what we got when we picked him up...so let's just deal with it. Why there isn't more worry with Zambrano is what bothers me...nobody thinks his eye infection is a problem, there aren't any details on what type of infection, is it corneal ulcer or conjunctivitis? Then the whole issue of Lasix, what doctor is going to operate on a guy with an infection. I think this depth (Marshall, Heilman, Guadin, Shark) that Hendry has picked up may be of considerable importance in the upcoming months...4 man rotation for most of the first month is great (limited Harden). Nice to hear this peavy nonsense go away...don't want to hear about it again...unless we are actually getting him and back ups for catastrophic injurys are still on the team. Looks like the back up third basemen is going to be a reed johnson like acquisition which is great, however it may be the end of Hoffpower. Go Cubs!

ah the towel drill... it helps you get your mechanics straight by not putting a familiar weight/balance load on your hand. it's natural to grip and rip, but when you take the grip out of the equation someone can concentrate on "other" pitching mechanics by taking the familiar feel out of pitching while providing enough of a balance/load/resistance on the end of the arm so the shoulder doesn't feel like it's going to fly off. ...but it's more fun to just make 10,000 stupid jokes about towels, doughnuts, and infield rakes. i wonder what some would think of the rubberbands-on-a-fence shoulder rehab tool...it looks just about as stupid as the towels.

[ ]

In reply to by Rob G.

beginning to hate twitter already... "Gaudin looks like he's starting his own clubhouse Amish clique with a supergoat. 1 day ago" ...along with other vague as all hell micro-statements hope it pays well...brings a new definition to "McNews"...watch out USA Today.

"If Kurt Warner can disappear for five years, I can disappear for three." — Mark Prior, who hopes he's healthy enough to get a job in San Diego's starting rotation. Not getting the comparison Mark.

What do you guys think the chances are that we'll bring Harden back beyond 2009? Assuming he makes his 20-25 starts and does OK, what would he command in the market? $15-20 million a year? I just think we have about a 2-3 year window left with our current core group of players (Lee, Ramirez, Zambrano, Soriano) before we need to move to the next phase, and I don't really see where we are going long-term. We have a LOT of backloaded contracts due over the next few years, so what then?

[ ]

In reply to by Ahone Ahtwo Ahthree

I believe Harden will be the only Cubs starter coming off of the books after 2009. I don't know what other pitchers will be free agents around the majors, but I would think another offseason like this one is on it's way next year--meaning that if the American economy rebounds later, long-term contracts signed in the 2009-2010 offseason will look favorable to clubs 2012-ish. Harden isn't the sort of guy you sign when it's a buyers market. He's the sort of guy you gamble on when it's a seller's market because you can't afford the other guys who don't have tears in their rotator cuffs. That's how I've come to think of him at least. Harden seems like a bad gamble going forth. Actually, right now picking up his option for 2009 seems like it was probably a bad gamble, but I'm not sure what other way I would've used that money (well, if I were a GM).

[ ]

In reply to by Ahone Ahtwo Ahthree

IF Harden is healthy by the end of the year and his agent is worth anything, he'll sell himself to the highest bidder. Not like he can really count on a bunch of mult-year deals for the rest of his career. He's still young enough that people will bank somewhat on his potential as well as past performance.

[ ]

In reply to by Rob G.

He's probably going to find some good offers if he is healthy, too. Pretty thin market on quality FA's: Beckett with a club option, Webb with a club option, Cliff Lee with a club option, Hudson with a mutual option, John Lackey, Brett Myers, and Justin Duchscerer. Then you get to the Bedard's and Brad Penny's of the world. Going to be thin on front line guys next year.

[ ]

In reply to by Ahone Ahtwo Ahthree

Long term I am sure the Cubs' intention is to develop their core. They just haven't done a good job of that in recent times, maybe with Vitters and Co. coming up (if they aren't traded) that will change. Next season the backloads really start to hit. So this year's economic conditions at Wrigley Field will dictate where they go with a lot of players. I am certain the recession is going to hit MLB, and I don't think anyone is going to be shielded from it. Then there's new ownership, which at this point is yet another variable.

I do think Hendry deserves some credit for stockpiling starting pitchers; Z, Dempster, Lilly, Harden, Heilman, Gaudin, Marshall, and Samarddzjia. That's 8 legit starting pitchers, and I can remember Cubs' teams in the not-too-distant past that were scraping their 5th (and sometimes 4th) starters togerther from a bunch of suspects and retreads in the last week of ST. In those years, we would have been putting our hopes on a guy like Atkins to fill out the ML rotation, while this year he can take his time to shop for a nice apartment in Des Moines.

[ ]

In reply to by OakLawnGuy

In years past, if a Harden had gone down with an injury, we would have been left with the Derek Botelho's of the world as our only recourse. Now, we do have pitchers like Gaudin who have been successful starters in the past. And while Heilman and Samardzjia may not have the same credentials, they have been successful ML pitchers who have shown the capacity to be successful starters. Would another solid starter be an asset? Of course. Would Peavy be a great addition to this team? I would love to see him acquired. But for once, even if we simply stand pat, we are in a position to succeed nicely with what we have on hand.

Recent comments

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    Those million dollar systems need to be better, or the people interpreting those systems need to.

    You can’t compare those teams to the Cubs. Their lineups are stacked (and coincidentally they spend a lot of money on stars hmm correlation???). They can afford a bum backup IF. Here’s the other part. Hernandez plays everywhere but catcher. Merrifield can handle the OF. Short can play SS. None of them are locked to two positions defensively like Madrigal. Further, the issue being address wasn’t his being a waste of roster space right now (he is), it’s that his presence on the roster could have been used to hold Estrada, or someone like him. But instead, he held it despite his being a dime a dozen type, and primarily because Jed refuses to give up on a player everyone can see needs to go. Is this team wide slump due to Madrigal? No. But he adds nothing to the equation. 
    Your continued pounding of the drum about players who have gotten paid will never stop befuddling me. This is their job! Happ isn’t in a comfort zone, he’s just a flawed player. Swanson looks lost and he’s pressing so hard I’m surprised we haven’t seen skid marks on his pants. Everyone knew this is what Tauchman was. Morel is growing as a player and we’re witnessing some of the growing pains. I heard on a broadcast something that legitimately made me think of you. I think Boog said “it sucks to suck.” I.e. players don’t like slumping or struggling. He said it in relation to I think Swanson. The majority of these guys are hyper competitive and not used to being bad at this. You could be making a billion dollars, and if you were struggling to the point your home fans boo you, you’re feeling it deep down. The flaws on this team ultimately come down to the guy who saw last year’s team, decided to mainly run it back except with a shiny new coach, Shota, and a few odds and ends.

  • Eric S (view)

    Appreciate the link, Crunch! Hopefully he can get back to Ben Brown mph territory later this summer. 

  • crunch (view)

    DFA imanaga

  • crunch (view)

    he's throwing mid-90s+ as early as a few weeks ago last i checked on how he was doing.  i guess mid-90s+ is a bit generous based on this writeup below, though.

    found this article from a couple weeks ago...  https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/baseball/news/cubs-cade-horton-velocity-slightly-down-from-2023/

    "Horton averaged 93.4 mph (touched 94.9 mph) with his fastball in his first start for Triple-A Iowa on May 4 and averaged 93.9 mph (touched 95.5 mph) in his second start May 10 after sitting at 95-97 mph with his fastball and regularly touching 98 mph in 2023."

  • Eric S (view)

    Anyone know how much his average velo has dropped this year? Gave up a triple and a home run (reportedly was crushed) in the first inning. 

  • crunch (view)

    at least it's during warmups, not after a mid-90s+ heater.  hopefully it's minor.  hell, hopefully it's a blister...not looking like it, though.

    still, he needs development and building up stamina.  he's not got a 2024 home, but he's very much in the 2025+ mix.

    -edit- it's "back soreness"

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Cade Horton walked off the field with the trainer in Iowa while warming up for the second inning. Nervous time.

  • George Altman (view)

    I couldn't agree more with everything you've said here Phil. It's 40-man Roster malpractice by Jed since November. Hendricks, Madrigal, and Mastrobuoni shouldn't be on the 40-man, let alone the 26-man. Add Smyly to that group, too.

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Those million dollar systems are hardly infallible. AI does not yet dictate how the prospects develop or how game is played. If it did what would be the use of playing? Team with the best projected stats would win every time. We all know better

    Brailyn Marquez and Jose Albertos both had tremendous arms and potentially major league pitches. So did Kris Jensen. Problem is none of them could harness it and, even if they could, MLB players can hit good fastballs. Estrada sure looked to be on that kind of trajectory. Very likely that by mid summer he will be again once the law of averages catches up with the May superstardom.

    Now let’s take a moment to focus on Madrigal. You know, the best team in the league at the moment, the Phillies, have Whit Merrifield. 105 PA and batting .181. Dodgers are second best and have Kiki Hernandez on the bench. 125 plate appearances and .193. The Braves spread the AB’s a little more but they see fit to keep former Cub farmhand Zack Short around. 47 PA’s and .158. Nobody complains much about those guys. I didn’t do the digging but I would venture to say that each have another light hitting utility guy taking up a 40 man roster spot as well. Two wasted 40 man roster spots each on these winning teams, not dissimilar to the Cubs. So while an awful lot of keystrokes on here are spent discussing Madrigal and Mastrobouni as they are - let’s just say, somewhat underwhelming, they are not at the core of what ails this team.

    The real problem is that the guys who are paid to hit aren’t hitting. The league has caught up with Busch, Suzuki, and Morel, and while I believe they will adjust at some point, it’s a process. Swanson, Happ and Hoerner seem to be in that multi year contract comfort zone that folks on here tell me don’t exist. The offense from their catching sucks and seems unlikely to improve much with current personnel. Tauchman has come down to Earth to be the true player he is. To his credit and counter to my expectations, the only guy who may be turning corner a bit seems to be Bellinger.

    None of them seem willing to play the small ball, hustle game that gets teams out of slumps. They show no plate discipline and, to add insult to injury, they have been quite unlucky at times. The lack of offense and less than stellar infield fielding has greatly magnified the issues with the bullpen, as well as their low performing utility guys.

    So let’s ease off the Madrigal/Mastribouni scapegoating. They are not stars and never will be, but they are not enigmas either. Utility players are what they are, and replacing them with other utility players, while possible, isn’t likely to solve very much - nor is the other approach of bringing up farmhands and letting them ride the pine - until the “stars” break out of their May malaise and start hitting and fielding better.

  • crunch (view)

    just to throw a bit of salt in the j.estrada wound...

    he has struck out 13 batters in a row over his last 3 outings.