Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

37 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (three slots are open)

Last updated 11-17-2023
* bats or throws left
# bats both

Adbert Alzolay 
Michael Arias
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge
* Bailey Horn
Caleb Kilian
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Julian Merryweather
Daniel Palencia
Michael Rucker
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski 
* Jordan Wicks

Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Matt Mervis
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Luis Vazquez
Patrick Wisdom

Kevin Alcantara
Alexander Canario
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman


Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

Aaron Cooks Cubs Goose

Reggie Golden smacked a solo HR and Matt Loosen threw four innings of one-run ball as the EXST Cubs and EXST Rockies played to a 4-4 tie on Red Mountain Field, and Rockies RHP Aaron Cook (60 day DL - broken ring finger on pitching hand) threw 2.2 IP (35 pitches) of one-hit shutout ball with no walks and three strikeouts, leading the other squad of EXST Rockies to a 7-2 victory over the other squad of EXST Cubs on Dust Storm Field, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played simultaneously on adjacent fields this morning at Salt River Fields at the Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale.

Both games were pre-scheduled as seven-inning affairs, but the game on Red Mountain Field was extended an extra half-inning to allow all of the Rockies pitchers who were due to throw today to get their scheduled work.

Augie Ojeda saw his first game action since suffering a back injury in Spring Training, getting an AB in each of the first five innings of the game played on Red Mountain Field, and going 0-5 (two ground outs, two fly outs, and a called third strike).

Once Augie has completed his rehab assignment at Extended Spring Training, he will likely assume the starting SS job at Iowa, and be available in case anything happens to Starlin Castro or Darwin Barney.

Here are today’s abridged box scores (Cubs players only):


1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 2-2 (1B+E-1, BB, 1B, RBI)
2. Yaniel Cabezas, C-DH: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B)
3. Marco Hernandez, SS: 0-3 (F-7, F-7, F-8)
4. Wilson Contreras, 1B: 0-3 (1-3, K, K)
5. Chad Noble, DH-C: 0-3 (F-9, P-4, K)
6. Jesus Morelli, RF: 0-3 (K, K, 5-3)
7. Dong-Yub Kim, DH #2: 0-3 (5-3, K, F-8)
8. Oliver Zapata, CF: 1-2 (4-3, 1B, R, SB)
9. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-2 (K, K)
10. Gregori Gonzalez, 3B: 1-2 (4-3, 3B, R, RBI)

1. Yao-Lin Wang: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 61 pitches (36 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Jin-Young Kim: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 45 pitches (33 strikes), 5/1 GO/FO
3. Luis Villalba: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 21 pitches (13 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO

SS Marco Hernandez - E6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)

Chad Noble: 0-1 CS



NOTE: Augie Ojeda was a DH and had five AB (one in each of the first five innings), batting third in the top of the 1st inning, second in the top of the 2nd inning, and first in the top of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings.

X. Augie Ojeda, DH #1: 0-5 (6-3, F-9, K, F-7, 4-3)
1. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 1-3 (F-8, 1-3, 1B, RBI, SB)
2. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 1-3 (1B, P-6, F-9, R, SB)
3. Reggie Golden, RF: 1-3 (HR, F-8, K, R, RBI)
4. Dustin Harrington, 3B: 2-3 (2B, 2B, 5-3)
5. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-2 (F-8, BB, 5-3)
6. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-3 (F-7, 6-4 FC, F-8)
7. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-2 (5-3, BB, F-7, R)
8. Xavier Batista, LF: 1-3 (4-3, 2B, 5-3, R, RBI)
9. Brian Inoa, DH #2: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, K, RBI, SB)

1. Matt Loosen: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 57 pitches (36 strikes), 4/4 GO/FO
2. Santo Rodriguez: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 25 pitches (15 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
3. Colin Richardson: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO


Johan DeJesus: 2-2 CS



WEATHER: Mostly sunny and VERY breezy with temperatures in the 70’s



Phil - thanks again for these great gives us in Boise a great opportunity to see what may be coming this way in a month. Will you be posting cumulative stats for Extended this year - it was interesting to see how they correlated with their numbers in Boise last summer.

[ ]

In reply to by BoiseHawks

Submitted by BoiseHawks on Tue, 05/10/2011 - 3:34pm. Phil - thanks again for these great gives us in Boise a great opportunity to see what may be coming this way in a month. Will you be posting cumulative stats for Extended this year - it was interesting to see how they correlated with their numbers in Boise last summer. ============================ B HAWK: I really would like to do that, but the problem is that this year for the first time the Cubs are sometimes playing two Extended Spring Training games at the same time at different facilities (miles apart), and while I am able to watch and score two games played simultaneously on adjacent fields, I am unable to do it when the games aren't played at the same facility. So any stats provided would be incomplete, because there already have been (and will be) a number of 2011 Extended Spring Training games that I just won't be able see and score.

[ ]

In reply to by Koyies Bansaw

Submitted by Koyies Bansaw on Tue, 05/10/2011 - 3:59pm. To go along with the Boise part of that, any predictions as to who will be on Boise's roster? Also, I know Brandon May is in injury rehab, but has there been a Ryan Cuneo sighting? ================================================== K BANSAW: As I recall, last year there were only two players selected in the 2010 June draft who signed fast enough to make the initial Opening Day Boise Hawks roster, (RHP Joe Zeller and catcher Jeff Vigurs), and the rest of the original Hawks roster came out of Extended Spring Training. Then as more players selected in the June draft signed, some of the players originally asigned to Boise were moved down to the AZL Cubs to make room for the new guys at Boise. So if that happens again this year, and without knowing who might get moved up to Peoria or Daytona over the next month, I would say the Boise Hawks roster will probably look something like this: * bats or throws left # bats both PITCHERS: * Hunter Ackerman * Kyler Burke Dustin Fitzgerald Jin-Young Kim Luis Liria Matt Loosen Austin Reed Colin Richardson Jose Rosario Larry Suarez Charles Thomas Yao-Lin Wang Ben Wells Joe Zeller CATCHERS: Yaniel Cabezas Chad Noble INFIELDERS: # Vismeldy Bieneme * Pin-Chieh Chen Wilson Contreras * Ryan Cuneo (presently on DL) * Wes Darvill Dustin Harrington Brandon May (presently on DL) OUTFIELDERS: Reggie Golden Jesus Morelli * Kyung-Min Na Blair Springfield # Jose Valdez However, I really doubt that Jose Valdez will actually end up at Boise. It's far more likely that Valdez will be at Peoria or even Daytona by this time next month. And I don't think Larry Suarez will actually be assigned to Boise, either. Either he moves up to Peoria by this time next month, or he gets released. If I had to make a prediction of what might happen over the next month, I could see Evan Crawford moving up to Tennessee from Daytona, and Jose Valdez getting assigned to Daytona as the D-Cubs 4th OF. Jesus Morelli could very well go up to Peoria and play LF, and then (if he doesn't start hitting pretty soon, or maybe even if he does) D. J. Fitzgerald might end up at Boise, or he could even get released, and/or Chiefs player-coach Smaily Borges could get placed on the DL with some vague injury to open up a Peoria roster slot for Morelli. If he is healthy enough to get some playing time down here, Brandon May could go up to Peoria without stopping first in Boise, with IF-OF Anthony Giansanti maybe getting assigned to Boise from Peoria. And pitchers like Luis Liria and Matt Loosen certainly could be at Peoria by NWL Opening Day, if not sooner. Once the MLB regular season starts and the full-season minor league teams (Iowa, Tennessee, Daytona, and Peoria) begin play, the "roster pressure" changes from being top-down (as it is throughout Spring Training) to bottom-up. As they get healthy, players (mostly pitchers) who have been rehabbing at Extended Spring Training are moved-up to where they were expected to be, and other players who got squeezed out of an Opening Day roster slot on a full-season affiliate force their way up the pipeline, as so-called "roster filler" and players who don't have a future are pushed aside. The pressure from below increases even more after the June draft, as players begin to sign and are assigned to Boise (and sometimes even Peoria), usually after getting their feet wet at AZL Cubs (Mesa) for a few days.

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In reply to by skokiejoe

Submitted by skokiejoe on Tue, 05/10/2011 - 4:01pm. Any Wells or Cashner sightings??? ============================== SKOKIE JOE: Both Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner are here, and they probably threw in a sim game yesterday. I would expect to see one or both pitch in an EXST game later this week.

Soto hurt something and is being PH for by Koyie in the 1st, who weakly pops out on the first pitch with the bases loaded. Ugh. UPDATE: Soto has a left groin strain. Paging Max Ramirez...

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In reply to by VirginiaPhil

well yes, if the Cubs want a single between first and second, Clevenger is the guy. He's on the Chirinos road to dominating a league in his third season there (although he has about a full season of at-bats there). if Soto goes on the DL, I'm sure it would be be Castillo as he's already on the 40-man although they do have an open spot.

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In reply to by Rob G.

Submitted by Rob G. on Tue, 05/10/2011 - 9:05pm. Muskat says Castillo pulled from Iowa Cubs game in 8th inning fwiw. ============================== ROB G: Actually Chris Robinson PH for Welington Castillo in the top of the 3rd inning of the Iowa game, all the more indication that W. Castillo was pulled from the lineup and told to get his ass to the airport ASAP and catch a flight to Chicago.

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In reply to by Dusty Baylor

Submitted by Dusty Baylor on Wed, 05/11/2011 - 9:24am. Az Phil: Is Steve Clevenger just a non-prospect? Even as a back-up C-3B-1B? I =================================== DUSTY B: Steve Clevenger was assigned to AA again this season only so he could get more regular playing time than he would have gotten as the back-up catcher at Iowa. But Clevenger does project as an MLB back-up C-1B-3B-LHPH.

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In reply to by Paul Noce

Submitted by Paul Noce on Tue, 05/10/2011 - 9:44pm. Assuming Soto does go on the DL, Castillo gets to come up and sit on the bench for two weeks while our proven veteran catcher keeps us in contention. LOL. ===================================== PAUL N: The catchers who really like Koyie Hill are Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, and Randy Wells, so I would think Welington Castillo might get the start behind the plate when Casey Coleman, Doug Davis and Matt Garza are pitching.

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In reply to by Dusty Baylor

If you need to call up a catcher to replace Soto, minor league hitting statistics should be a very, very small consideration. I would ask these questions: 1. Is he on the 40-man roster? 2. Does the guy have good plate discipline? (i.e.- not hacktastic) 3. Does he have a strong, accurate arm? If he more or less meets most of this criteria, then he's your guy.

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In reply to by Ryno

Castillo is on the 40 man, and has a strong arm...not sure on accuracy... Hacktastic? well...did I mention the he's on the 40 man roster? I still would like to see a couple weeks of Castillo over the Koyie Hill Experience....which I liked the first time as the Tim Blackwell Experience....

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In reply to by Rob G.

"well yes, if the Cubs want a single between first and second, Clevenger is the guy." Clevenger has a .547 slugging percentage in 97 PAs this season. Only Soriano beats that among Cub starters, by 3 percentage points. Not sure what your point is, anyway, about a guy who hits singles. Doesn't a single drive in the runs that the Cubs keep stranding on second and third? Clevenger has 17 RBI, more than any Cub except Soriano, in fewer PAs than any Cub regular.

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In reply to by Rob G.

Two more doubles this afternoon by Clevenger. My point is just that he's a big part of the hitting machine at Tennessee this year. Again today, they're down 4-1 in the sixth, no problem--two in the sixth, four in the seventh, now it's 7-5 in the ninth. Spencer hit his 6th, Flaherty his 8th. They do this quite often. They get the steamroller going in the late innings. Can you imagine a Cub team where they're down three or four in the sixth, and you don't feel like the game is over? Too bad there's no pitching machine at Tenn. Rusin with another underwhelming performance today. At least he's better than Raley.

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In reply to by Rob G.

Clevenger: 2008 AA 104 PA's.247/.316/.360 1 HR, 15 RBI 2009 AA 89 PA's .364/.443/.532,1 HR, 10 RBI(promoted) 2010 AA 294 PA's .317/.367/.461, 5HR, 47 RBI We all get it that Castillo is coming up, and is ahead of the food chain, and rightfully so. However, it looks like Clevenger has raked in AA in 2009-2011

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In reply to by Rob G.

Smokies lost that game, by the way. Blake Parker couldn't go two innings without giving up 7 runs. After the 2-run HR that tied it in the 9th, Harper left Parker in for four more runs. Harper's job is just not to wreck any young pitchers with all the high-scoring games they play. The pitching problems have been worsened lately with McNutt missing starts due to blisters and closer Cales going on the DL.

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In reply to by big_lowitzki

I don't think your starting right fielder should be given too much credit when he's slugging .395. (Clevenger is slugging .567 at the moment but that will almost certainly come down.) The context of my remarks was people wanting a backup catcher who hit better than Hill, not Fukudome. I do think Clevenger is a better hitter than either of them.

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In reply to by VirginiaPhil

In the minors Clevenger has had a .784 OPS, Fukudome has had a .783 OPS in the majors. Hill has had a .757 minor league OPS which has converted into .585 in the majors. There's certainly a lot of elements that come into play, but based on what we've seen, there's about 0% chance that Clevenger would match Fukudome's production, and when facing major league pitching he'd be a lot closer to Hill as a hitter than you'd apparently think.

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In reply to by The Real Neal

You're comparing a starting right fielder with a guy who projects as a backup catcher (for two reasons: not enough pop and not a particularly good throwing arm). Clevenger is a career .308 hitter so far. I just have no reason to believe that he's suddenly going to drop to Fukudome's .259 in the majors, let alone to Hill's .214. Sometimes there's a big conversion factor, sometimes not. Career minor leagues, Soto was .280/.360/.429/.789. Career majors, he's .265/.357/.464/.821. Clevenger's OPS was .829 last year and it's much higher this year. He's getting stronger, for one thing. He's a converted shortstop, so you have to give him a few years to beef up.

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In reply to by Rob G.

Submitted by Rob G. on Tue, 05/10/2011 - 7:27pm. Welington Castillo time probably, was hitting better than Ramirez anyway and that's not saying much. ============================== ROB G: One of the main reasons the Cubs released Max Ramirez was that he wasn't getting much PT with W. Castillo and Chris Robinson sharing the catching duties and Bryan Lahair firmly ensconced at 1B. If the Cubs had just waited another week they almost certainly wouldn't have released him.

sorry to pile on, but Hill is wearing his cap underneath his hockey goalie catchers mask. cmon.

Hayden Simpson left the game early tonight...1 ip, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K. Not sure what happened, though he hasn't been impressive and not sure he has been at 100% so far.

That double tag on the berkman fo, shows why cards always in contention and the cubs are the cubs.

From Bruce Miles: Pitching at Colorado Springs for Iowa, Doug Davis went 3.2 innings, giving up 4 hits and 2 runs. He walked none and struck out five, throwing 59 pitches, 41 strikes.

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In reply to by QuietMan

Submitted by QuietMan on Tue, 05/10/2011 - 10:09pm. From Bruce Miles: Pitching at Colorado Springs for Iowa, Doug Davis went 3.2 innings, giving up 4 hits and 2 runs. He walked none and struck out five, throwing 59 pitches, 41 strikes =========================== Q MAN: Obviously pitch count was held below 60 so he can start Saturday.

AzPhil, I might have missed past commentary on this, but was wondering on your general take of the XST crop this year. Outside of some intriguing, but raw arms, and a couple intriguing positional players (Golden, still intrigued with Darvill), this seems like a fairly pedestrian crop at best. How does this compare to recent history down there (I don't recall last year's XST crop as that exciting either)? Would the top 5 prospect talents down there be something along the lines of Liria, Reed, Wells, Golden, and maybe JY Kim? Also, two side questions - what's your take on Cabezas in general, but specifically, the bat? Also, do you have any opinions on the explosion in performance that Bour and Ridling are having this year? I'm just not sure what to make of it, particularly Bour's power (considering past reports). Heck, I thought I liked Cuneo more out of college than Bour.

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In reply to by toonsterwu

Submitted by toonsterwu on Wed, 05/11/2011 - 12:47am. AzPhil, I might have missed past commentary on this, but was wondering on your general take of the XST crop this year. Outside of some intriguing, but raw arms, and a couple intriguing positional players (Golden, still intrigued with Darvill), this seems like a fairly pedestrian crop at best. How does this compare to recent history down there (I don't recall last year's XST crop as that exciting either)? Would the top 5 prospect talents down there be something along the lines of Liria, Reed, Wells, Golden, and maybe JY Kim? Also, two side questions - what's your take on Cabezas in general, but specifically, the bat? Also, do you have any opinions on the explosion in performance that Bour and Ridling are having this year? I'm just not sure what to make of it, particularly Bour's power (considering past reports). Heck, I thought I liked Cuneo more out of college than Bour. ============================================================ TOONSTER: As the Cubs have expanded their operation in Latin America and the Pacific Rim, the EXST Cubs roster has become very heavy with young Latin players ans Asian players who may or may not be ready for this level. For instance, 18 players who played in the DSL last year (about 40% of the EXST roster) are at Fitch Park right now. This is the highest percentage of Latin players at EXST than anytime in the past, and some of them (especially the pitchers) have struggled. Watching the EXST Cubs play the other "east-side" teams (Angels, A's, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Giants, and Rockies) a lot, it is pretty clear that the best EXST teams down here are the Angels, Rockies, and Giants. The Cubs are down toward the bottom (with the D'backs), possibly because they have over-emphasized speed over hitting skills and power/slugging when signing Latin players in recent years. Yaniel Cabezas has looked OK both in the field and at the plate. He is a very "bossy" catcher and likes to run the game for the pitchers (something he probably learned in Cuba), but his arm and receiving skills are just average. He has a nice opposite field stroke, though, and usually hits 2nd in the batting order. As for Rebel Ridling and Justin Bour, Ridling got a late start last season after missing Minor League Camp after undergoing an appendectomy (with complications), and never really seemed to get his stroke and strength back. But this year Ridling appears to finally be 100%, and what you are seeing is what he is capable of doing. Ridling is also a good defensive 1B and can play LF (although he has a below-average arm). I would describe him as a RH Micah Hoffpauir. Justin Bour came to Instructs last year to work on developing a power (HR) stroke, and it sure has worked out beautifully (so far). Prior to that Bour was a lumbering 6'4 250+ behemoth with good plate discipline and a line-drive stroke, but if he can consistently hit HR without losing either his plate discipline or the ability to hit line drives when needed he becomes an MLB prospect. Of course he will have to continue to slug as he has moves up the line, and he must improve his defense around 1B, too.

Sam Fuld watch- Last multi-hit game was April 22 when he was hitting .366... Hitting .085 since (last 15 games).

Meanwhile, Sam Zell laughs and laughs. "I put some lipstick on that pig, then sold it to some sucker at the absolute peak of the market! Bwahahaha!" Ah, Mr. Ricketts? Your banker is on line one. He wants to know why you are not returning his call.

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In reply to by billybucks

Since you mention it, 4 bankers were talked about when the deal was made: $425 million from Joe Ricketts and $450 million from JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America. Tom convinced his dad to invest by telling him the fans would show up even if he put a shitty team out on the field (uh oh). And the big banks came onboard (albeit with short term financing) when the Ricketts subordinated their debt.

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In reply to by Newport

Youtube, Crains Chicago, Investment News... Lemme summarize some things Joe said about the deal. Joe didn't know Tom was a Cubs fan. Joe wasn't a fan at all. Doesn't watch sports. Tom didn't finish his degree on time because he was hanging out in Wrigleyville. The family came to graduation and Tom had to tell them he wasn't getting his sheepskin. When the Trib let it be known that the Cubs were for sale, Tom told his dad they should buy the team. His sale pitch was, "Dad they sell every ticket to every game, win or lose." Tom's bond business wasn't profitable until recently, but Joe insisted he hand it off to another CEO and spend 100% of his time running the Cubs 24/7. Joe wasn't interested in doing it himself. So Tom got his "dream job." Joe thinks (or used to) that Tom is doing a great job selling himself to the fans. And that "the plan" is to get to the playoffs every year because, according to Tom, the Cubs have the players they need and a great organization. Joe has to be having second thoughts right now...

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In reply to by Rob G.

Nor do I think they used short-term financing. If they were given short-term financing they must have been able to show the the Cubs are making a shit-fuck-ton of money... if the Cubs were making that much money, a million of the lower price seats going unsold isn't going to kill them. Once Pujols/Fielder comes on board in November the ticket sales will be fixed, at least for a year.

Fukudome RF, Barney 2B, Byrd CF, Ramirez 3B, Peña 1B, Castro SS, Soriano LF, Hill C, Garza P

Chris Archer with another meh start 5 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 4 K and the loss Guyer was optioned back to AAA two days after the one game he played in Hak Ju Lee at 407/451/604 in Hi-A Fuld mentioned in comment #37, it's not pretty Chirinos at 190/261/202 and striking out 27% of the time, he's usually been in the 11-15% range.

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In reply to by Rob G.

Hak-Ju Lee is presently leading the FSL in hitting, is 2nd in OBP, 3rd in SLG, and 10th in SB (despite missing the first ten days while on the DL with chicken pox).

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In reply to by Ryno

Where's the funny video of the other guys in left field who had to run on wet grass lately? Anyway, I don't think he had to move an inch to catch the ball, so not sure why his wheels were spinning in the first place. He made another goofy play last night. (Because it wasn't nearly as goofy, he was actually charged with an error.) This one was more his usual hand-to-eye coordination problem. They catch balls better in bush leagues. He's like a little leaguer out there.

Recent comments

  • Cubster (view)

    I blame Jason Schmidt’s 3/44

  • Craig A. (view)

    Was all that stuff with the Blue Jays just to squeeze an extra $10 million/yr out of the Dodgers?  It's more than enough to cover his California income taxes!

  • crunch (view)

    unless he pitches into his late-30 that is gonna sting.  a 70m DH...ow.

    it's great to take care of 2 roster spots in 1 player, and i'm sure the team will cut into the pay with the amount of merch/etc he can sell just by being attached to the team....but yeah, i'm not mad the cubs didn't go that extreme.

  • WebAdmin (view)

    Shohei Ohtani to join Dodgers according to ESPN. 10 years for $700 m
  • Cubster (view)

    I'm getting the feeling that Todd Walker might be a Shaw comp. A valuable hit first player but limited albeit not awful on defense. Hopefully, he has more upside. Not a bad floor if Steve Garvey is his ceiling.

  • Wrigley Rat (view)

    AZ Phil - If that's the level of return, I would want NO part of that trade to Cleveland for Clase and Bieber. I have some faith that the Cubs have a strong plan for which prospects they will keep (even if they dangle them in trade talks) and which they will move, because they have plenty of solid prospects they can trade but they shouldn't be trading any of the ones they hope will be future core players. Some guys are redundant, so I hope they choose the right players to keep and the right players to move. It's always important for a team to know its own minor league players better than scouts from other teams (obviously), but I don't think that's always been the case for the Cubs and many other clubs. 

    Cubster - I watched an interview with Carter Hawkins a couple days ago where he said that although Morel hasn't gotten into any Dominican games at 1B, the Cubs did send coaches down with Morel to work on first base skills during practice. So he is developing those skills, whether the Cubs end up using him there or not will probably be dependent on a lot of factors including how those coaches think he looks at the position while training. 

  • tim815 (view)

    He could still play SS at Double-A, but Vazquez, Hoerner, and Swanson are much better defensively, arm strength or not. I'd be good leaving Shaw at SS with McGeary and Ballesteros around, but by the first of June (?), 1B might make sense in DM.

  • crunch (view)

    i have no reason to see a problem, it just seems like it's his most obvious reason to give pause on him at 1st.

    the cubs situation dictates 2nd/SS isn't an option.  his arm dictates 3rd isn't an option.  1st or CF seems to be his best path and he's only played CF in summer ball back in highschool/college...and of course PCA is a better + closer to the bigs CF.

    it's a lot safer to say he's made for 1st than it is he's made for 3rd.  even as a SS his arm is weak, and it's not like his glove is so great he needs to stay in the middle-IF.

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    CRUNCH: Steve Garvey (one of Shaw's comps as a hitter) was a 5'10 right-handed throwing first-baseman with a rag arm. Jeff Bagwell (another Shaw comp) was a 6'0 right-handed throwing first-baseman with a rag arm. Carlos Santana (who played 1B for Counsell in Milwaukee last season and is an above-average defensive first-baseman) is 5'11. It's not like Shaw is 5'7 or 5'8. I don't really see the problem. 

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    CUBSTER: It's not that Matt Shaw can't play SS (or 2B). Shaw was a SS his last two years in college at Maryland and apparently was OK defensively. It's just that there are certain throws a big league SS has to make (the backhand / flat-foot throw from deep in the 5.5 hole and the leap & change direction throw after fielding a ball up the middle after ranging to his left) that you might not see every game. So while he might appear to be passable at SS, over time the below-average arm at SS will catch up with the player and cost the team runs. 

    Shaw is a good fielder so he could play SS (like Ryan Theriot did) and you would just live with the below-average arm strength that would rear its ugly head every now & again, because he is a plus-plus hitter. But the Cubs have Dansby Swanson locked-in at SS through 2029, so Shaw won't be playing there even if he were to improve his arm strength and remake his throwing mechanics.  

    As far as second-base is concerned, that would seem to be Shaw's best position, because the position requires a plus-glove but not a plus-arm. Nico Hoerner is presently the Cubs' 2B and is signed through 2026 (although he does NOT have "no trade" rights, so he could be traded at any time). So Shaw could move to 2B in 2027 after Hoerner's contract expires (presuming Hoerner does not sign another extension in the meantime), or the Cubs could preemptively trade Hoerner at some point prior to the conclusion of the 2026 season and install Shaw at 2B before 2027. 

    The thing is, the Cubs have three other prospects who also project as second-basemen, including Top 10 prospect James Triantos, Top 10 prospect Jefferson Rojas, and Top 30 prospect Pedro Ramirez. So while Shaw could very well eventually be the Cubs second-baseman, there are other legit candidates who could eventually take-over the position after Hoerner departs. But for second-base to open up before 2027, Hoerner has to be traded.  

    As far as third-base is concerned, the Cubs already have a Top 15 prospect (B. J. Murray) who plays 3B and plays it well, and he should be considered the Cubs third-baseman of the future (possibly as soon as sometime during the 2024 season). Also, I don't think that Christopher Morel has the "touch" required to play 3B (he is an athletic and rangy player who plays like the proverbial "Bull in a China Shop" or like a point guard who plays too fast and turns the ball over too much), while Shaw simply does not appear to have the arm strength required to play 3B. It is true that Nick Madrigal has made himself into an above-average defensive-third baseman, but I would not be too quick to generalize and say that because Madrigal did it, that anybody can do it. Also, 3B requires different perception, reaction, and tracking skills than does SS and 2B (which is why a lot of catchers can often play 3B fairly well), so not all middle infielders can play 3B well-enough to be an MLB-regular at the position. 

    The one position that is wide-open on the Chicago Cubs going forward is 1st base. Matt Shaw is a plus-fielder with a below-average arm but with a plus-plus bat, so he could be a fit at 1st base. Sort of like Padres first-baseman Jake Cronenworth, but Shaw has a higher ceiling as a hitter. If the Cubs were to move Shaw to 1st base in Spring Training 2024 and presuming he is able to play the position without difficulty, he could be in Chicago by the end of the 2024 season. I understand why the Cubs might think about Christopher Morel as a possible first-baseman because they want to get his power into the lineup any way they can, but Morel's two best attributes are HR power and raw arm strength. He is a rangy infielder (not needed at 1st base) with a plus-arm (also not needed at 1st base), but he also doesn't have the "flyhawk" skills needed to play CF. Morel's best position would be LF, but Ian Happ is firmly ensconced there (with a full "no trade") through 2026, which makes Morel a prime trade chip to be used to acquire pitching (or maybe a catcher).  

    As far as Matt Chapman is concerned, I would hope the Cubs don't sign him. It's not just losing the draft pick (Chapman got a QO from the Jays) or that he blocks B. J. Murray long-term, because that wouldn't matter if Chapman is still the hitter he was earlier in his career. But after a red-hot April last year he fell off the table at the plate the last five months. Granted he is a Gold Glove-quality defender at 3B, but you're essentially getting Patrick Wisdom offensively, and so he is not worth the financial investment (money & years) and losing a draft pick on top of it if you sign him. 

    If the Cubs don't sign Ohtani, Yakamoto, or Bellinger (and I am becoming increasingly pessimistic that they can), I would hope that they will sign position player free agents only to one year deals (with maybe a second year option) that can be easily moved at the Trade Deadline, and then get ready to unleash the youth (PCA, Shaw, Caissie, Ballesteros, Murray, et al) in 2025 (or perhaps even over the last two months of the 2024 season, if the Cubs are not in contention). 

    As for possible free agents the Cubs might target, Brandon Belt and Carlos Santana (who played for Craig Counsell in Milwaukee last season) would provide some LH power at 1B & DH (Santana is an above-average defensive first-baseman, and Belt still hits RHP very well).  

    I can see the Cubs maybe acquiring a pitcher like Tyler Glasnow in a trade and then signing him to an extension (Glasnow has the same agency representation as Kyle Hendricks, so an extension should be possible), which would not be the case with Corbin Burnes or Dylan Cease (both are Boras clients).   

    I think in part because of the Carter Hawkins connection with Cleveland, even more-likely than a trade for Glasnow might be a trade for SP Shane Bieber (a post-2024 FA but as a Rosenhaus client he should be open to signing an extension) and closer Emmanuel Clase (signed through 2026 with club options both in 2027 and 2028). The Guardians need power hitters and the Cubs have Christopher Morel, although Morel would not be anywhere near enough to get both Bieber and Clase (or to get Glasnow if the trade is with the Rays). If the trade is with Cleveland for Bieber and Clase, the Cubs would probably have to give up some combination of Christopher Morel, Owen Caissie, Moises Ballestereos, Kevin Alcantara, Jefferson Rojas, and/or James Triantos (probably three from that group), one Top 10 pitching prospect like Ben Brown or Jackson Ferris, and an MLB-ready reliever with closer potential like Daniel Palencia or Luke Little.