Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

62 players are at MLB Spring Training 

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full) 
22 players are MLB Spring Training NON-ROSTER INVITEES (NRI) 

Last updated 2-27-2024
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 21
Yency Almonte
Adbert Alzolay 
Michael Arias
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge
* Shota Imanaga
Caleb Kilian
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Julian Merryweather
Hector Neris 
Daniel Palencia
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski 
* Jordan Wicks

NRI PITCHERS: 11 
Colten Brewer 
Chris Clarke 
Carl Edwards Jr 
* Edwin Escobar 
* Richard Lovelady 
Sam McWilliams 
* Thomas Pannone 
Ethan Roberts 
Cam Sanders 
Riley Thompson 
* Brad Wieck 

CATCHERS: 2
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

NRI CATCHERS: 5  
Jorge Alfaro 
Pablo Aliendo
Joe Hudson 
Haydn McGeary
* Bryce Windham

INFIELDERS: 9
* Michael Busch 
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Matt Mervis
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Luis Vazquez
Patrick Wisdom

NRI INFIELDERS: 4 
David Bote 
Matt Shaw 
* Dominic Smith
Chase Strumpf 

OUTFIELDERS: 8
Kevin Alcantara
* Cody Bellinger 
Alexander Canario
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman 

NRI OUTFIELDERS: 2 
* Owen Caissie  
* David Peralta
 



Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

Rawhide Keeps Them Doggies Movin' at Fitch Park

Dan Vogelbach and Dustin Geiger slugged back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the 8th inning, and the Chiefs had the tying and winning runs in scoring position with no outs in the bottom of the 9th but could not score, as the South Bend Silver Hawks (Diamondbacks Full-Season Class-A affiliate) rode a two-run Jimmy Comerota triple and took advantage of four errors, holding-on to edge Peoria 6-5 on Field #2, while over on Field #3, Ryan Cuneo crashed a three-run home run in the 3rd to stake the Cubs to an early 4-1 lead, but the Visalia Rawhide (D’backs Advanced Class-A affiliate) rallied for two runs in the 8th and three more in the 9th to defeat Daytona 7-5, in Cactus League Minor League game action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

While the Daytona Cubs and Peoria Chiefs were in action at Fitch Park, the AAA Iowa Cubs and AA Tennessee Smokies traveled up the Loop 101 Freeway to play the Arizona Diamondbacks AAA Reno Aces and AA Mobile BayBears squads at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort.

Moved down from the Daytona squad to the Peoria squad prior to the game, Cubs 2010 #1 draft pick RHP Hayden Simpson got the start for Peoria on Fitch Park Field #2, throwing 2-2/3 innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits (three singles and two triples) before reaching his pre-planned pitch limit (30). He struck out two and did not issue any walks. His curve ball and change-up were fairly effective, but his fastball was hit hard by several of the Silver Hawks hitters.

Peoria trailed 6-2 going into the bottom of the 8th, but after Jeimer Candelario drew a lead-off walk, Dan Vogelbach crushed his home run over the RF fence and onto the roof of a house on the north side of 8th Street. Dustin Geiger followed the Vogel-Bomb with his own dinger, launching the solo shot beyond the LF fence and onto Center Street.

The Chiefs had a golden opportunity to tie or win the game in the bottom of the 9th, as catcher (ex-3B) Wilson Contreras laced a lead-off double into the LF corner, and advanced to 3rd base on a Shawon Dunston, Jr line-single to center. Dunston moved up a base on a wild pitch (still with no outs), but Delbis Arcila tapped back to the mound, and Jeimer Candelario and Yasiel Balaguert struck out swinging to extinguish the rally-flame.

Meanwhile over on Field #3, RHP A. J. Morris got the start for the Daytona Cubs and threw one shutout inning (10 pitches - 9 strikes). That might not seem like much, but is is significant because Morris missed the entire 2011 season rehabbing from post-2010 shoulder surgery. (The Cubs obtained Morris from the Washington Nationals in the January 2011 Tom Gorzelanny deal, and they must have thought pretty highly of him at the time, because they acquired him despite knowing that he had just undergone shoulder surgery).

After Morris threw his shutout inning, the D-Cubs scored a run in the bottom of the 1st on the strength of a Reggie Golden two-out RBI single that drove-home Pin-Chieh Chen (who drew a walk leading-off the inning, before moving up to 2nd base on a stolen base and to 3rd on a ground out), and then plated three more in the bottom of the 3rd on the Ryan Cuneo three-run HR over the right-centerfield fence.

The D-Cubs held a 4-2 lead after seven, but two pitchers up from the Boise/Mesa squad (Ian Dickson and Tayler Scott) surrendered five runs between them over the last two innings.

Like Peoria, Daytona got the tying runs on base in the bottom of the 9th, but Pin-Chieh Chen and Ronald Torreyes lined out, and 2011 NWL HR champ Paul Hoilman (like the Mighty Casey that he is) struck out (swinging) on three pitches to end the threat and the game.

There are five squads at Minor League Camp, but only four play games, so players assigned to the fifth squad (Boise/Mesa) are dispersed among the four teams that were in action today. (Boise/Mesa will morph into the Cubs Extended Spring Training squad next month).

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played at Fitch Park (Cubs players only)

FITCH PARK FIELD #2

PEORIA LINEUP:
1a. Trey Martin, CF: 2-3 (1B, 1-3, 2B, R, RBI)
1b. Shawon Dunston, Jr, CF: 1-1 (HBP, 1B)
2a. Eduardo Gonzalez, LF: 1-2 (1B, BB, 4-3, RBI, SB)
2b. Delbis Arcila, LF: 0-2 (K, 1-2 FC)
3. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1-4 (3-2 DP, K, P-5, BB, K, R, SB)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-5 (6-3, 6-3, K, K, K)
5. Dan Vogelbach, DH: 1-4 (K, 5-3, 6-3, HR, R, 2 RBI)
6a. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 0-2 (P-5, F-7)
6b. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 1-2 (4-3, HR, R, RBI)
7a. Danny Lockhart, SS: 0-1 (BB, 3-U)
7b. Javier Baez, SS: 1-2 (P-4, 1B, CS)
8a. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-1 (1B, BB, R)
8b. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-2 (K, 3-1)
9a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 1-2 (L-6, 1B)
9b. Wilson Contreras, C: 1-1 (BB, 2B)

PEORIA PITCHERS:
1. Hayden Simpson: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 30 pitches (24 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
2. Yao-Lin Wang: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 24 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Sheldon McDonald: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 21 pitches (12 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Joe Zeller: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 21 pitches (17 strikes)
5. Charles Thomas: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 19 pitches (12 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
6. Felix Pena: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 6 pitches (5 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO

PEORIA ERRORS: 4
1. 3B Jeimer Candelario - E5 (errant throw with two outs allowed batter to reach base safely and runner on 3rd base to score unearned run)
2. SS Danny Lockhart - E6 (fielding error with two outs allowed batter to reach base safely and runner on 2nd base to score unearned run)
3. C Wilson Contreras - E2 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner on 1st base to advance to 2nd base and runner on 2nd base to score unearned run)
4. 2B Gioskar Amaya - E4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

FITCH PARK FIELD #3

DAYTONA LINEUP:
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 0-4 (BB, K, F-8, F-7, L-5, R, SB)
2a. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B: 0-2 (K, BB, 3-U, R)
2b. Ronald Torreyes, 2B: 1-2 (2B, L-4)
3a. Ryan Cuneo, 1B: 1-3 (6-3, HR, 3-U, R, 3 RBI)
3b. Paul Hoilman, 1B: 0-2 (K, K)
4a. Reggie Golden, DH: 1-3 (1B, 2-3, K, RBI)
4b. Brian Inoa, PH: 0-1 (P-4)
5a. Ben Klafczynski, LF: 1-3 (3-U, 1B, 6-3)
5b. Mayke Reyes, LF: 0-1 (F-8)
6a. Anthony Giansanti, C: 0-2 (5-3, 6-3)
6b. Sergio Burruel, C: 1-2 (1B, F-8)
7a. Elliot Soto, SS: 0-3 (K, K, 6-4 FC)
7b. Luis Acosta, SS: 0-0 (BB, R)
8a. Wes Darvill, 3B: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, L-6, PO)
8b. Kenny Socorro, 3B: 1-1 (1B)
9a. Blair Springfield, RF: 1-2 (HBP, 2B, 6-3, R, 2 SB)
9b. Xavier Batista, RF: 1-1 (1B, RBI)

DAYTONA PITCHERS:
1. A. J. Morris: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 10 pitches (9 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
2. Jose Rosario: 2.2 IP, 3 H 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 36 pitches (27 strikes), 6/1 GO/FO
3. Su-Min Jung: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 26 pitches (13 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
4. Brett Wallach: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 22 pitches (13 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
5. Ian Dickson: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (13 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
6. Tayler Scott: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 31 pitches (18 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO

DAYTONA ERRORS: NONE

DAYTONA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Sergio Burruel: 2-2 CS

ATTENDANCE: 94

WEATHER: Temperature in the low 80's, overcast, & VERY breezy (expecting rain tomorrow)

Comments

AzPhil Any idea on Hayden's velocity? Curious if he's 100%, or still working his way back from, uh, the fracture (I think). I just have a hard time getting intrigued with Morris. I mean, he seems like a guy who, if the opportunity came, could perhaps find some role in the bigs, as the stuff from a couple years ago as decent, but he's 25 this year. Seems like a possible power pen arm that could move fast, I guess. I guess I shouldn't rule out his stuff perhaps improving from what I recall. Any take on how Luis Acosta looked as a shortstop? Last question - buy or sell Wilson Contreras as a catcher (granted, in the really early stages right now of that process)? It is somewhat intriguing, but then again, I had hopes that Jovan Rosa might be an intriguing move to catcher if he could maintain his offensive production.

[ ]

In reply to by toonsterwu

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 11:47pm — toonsterwu AzPhil Any idea on Hayden's velocity? Curious if he's 100%, or still working his way back from, uh, the fracture (I think). I just have a hard time getting intrigued with Morris. I mean, he seems like a guy who, if the opportunity came, could perhaps find some role in the bigs, as the stuff from a couple years ago as decent, but he's 25 this year. Seems like a possible power pen arm that could move fast, I guess. I guess I shouldn't rule out his stuff perhaps improving from what I recall. Any take on how Luis Acosta looked as a shortstop? Last question - buy or sell Wilson Contreras as a catcher (granted, in the really early stages right now of that process)? It is somewhat intriguing, but then again, I had hopes that Jovan Rosa might be an intriguing move to catcher if he could maintain his offensive production. ==================================== TOONSTER: I don't know what Simpson's velocity was, but he certainly did not blow anybody away. His curve (in particular) was really sharp today, though. I didn't mention A. J. Morris in the post because he is such a great prospect (he's not), but rather because I know what he went through last year (and how great he must feel just seeing game action again), and that the Cubs acquired him from Washington despite his just having undergone shoulder surgery (which seemed odd to me). Luis Acosta is a bit stiff at SS. In fact he looks now (at age 17) what Junior Lake looks like at age 21. I find it VERY hard to believe that Acosta will remain at SS. I would think 3B or RF would be his more likely ultimate defensive destination. He is a beast offensively, though. Loads of power. I think the Cubs moving Wilson Contreras to catcher is a last gasp effort to find some value in him. His bat does not play well enough at either 3B or 1B (plus he is a butcher at both positions), but he might hit enough to be a catcher IF he can be passably-adequate back there. The jury is still out on that, especially if you consider the fact that Contreras WAS a catcher when the Cubs signed him, but they immediatelty moved him to 3B.

Cafardo's Sunday Baseball Notes:
It has been well-documented that Lucchino has a greater role in baseball operations than he did in the later years of the Theo Epstein regime - though similar to what he had early in Epstein’s tenure - but he contends that he tailors his involvement to the situation.
Dusty still sour on Chicago, he hasn't spent time in Boston it seems...
7. Theo Epstein is going to have to be tough-minded and thick-skinned as he tries to convince Cubs fans that they need to exhibit patience as he rebuilds. Reds manager Dusty Baker, who spent four seasons at the Cubs helm (which included an NLCS appearance), said of Chicago fans, “From my experience, patience wasn’t a real virtue. They’ve been patient for 100 years. That’s a hard sell in Chicago, more patience. They might be patient for a little while, but unlike any other place I’ve been, they count. People count. And they can add real good in Chicago. Everybody - men, women, and children.’’
3. Chris Volstad, RHP, Cubs - The player acquired in the Carlos Zambrano deal with the Marlins has been very impressive in camp. The 6-foot-8-inch righty has exhibited a lot of control and a low-90s fastball that he has been able to get over for strikes. The Cubs feel he may be ready to emerge after a poor season in Florida last year.
and finally...because Az Phil mentioned Andrew Miller or Felix D's name as a possible Cub acquisition in the Theo Comp remaining from Boston (also Franklin Morales). Per Phil, "That makes it sound to me like the PTBNL might be a choice between the three LHRP on the Sox 40-man roster who are out of minor league options"
7. John Lannan, LHP, Nationals - Interest in Lannan has diminished with some teams that feel what they have is just as good (Boston being one, with Felix Doubront and Andrew Miller), and in fact, teams are more interested in lefty Ross Detwiler’s upside. But the Nationals may be leery of dealing either pitcher because of a hamstring injury to Chien-Ming Wang. 8. Felix Doubront, LHP, Red Sox - Scouts really like Doubront’s stuff, but one complaint is that he works very slowly. While Doubront does use a slide-step to hold runners, the feeling is that he is also very slow to the plate.
http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2012/03/18/red_so…

via rotowurld, via paul sulivan's twitter: "Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Rafael Dolis will be a setup man alongside Kerry Wood this season." "Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Jeff Samardzija is a "near lock" for the team's rotation."

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Only reading the stuff from AZ Phil and the MLB recaps, I don't see anyone has 'out-pitched' Dolis. If Samardzija is going to make the rotation, then having Dolis and K. Wood as RH set up roles makes sense. I see 2012 as a year (depending on their April-June performance) that Dolis could take over Marmol's closer role, Rizzo moves LaHair to the bench or LF (if they can finally find a taker for Soriano), BJax forces the Byrd trade, and Castillo makes a better value at Catcher than paying Soto $6-8M in 2013. The off-field moves in 2012 might be a lot more interesting to watch.

cubs-rangers in Vegas, Volstad thru 2 IP very sharp, harmless two out singles in each inning. No score. Game is on mlb.com website TV, Rangers broadcasters The Game vs WSox is in a rain delay.

Volstad has pretty much wrapped up a starting spot unless he implodes in the next 10 days. That leaves only one spot left, and since I believe that the Cubs will want a lefty in the rotation, Maholm is likely to get the last spot unless he really stinks up the rest of the month.

Recent comments

  • crunch (view)

    now that the bellinger contract is done and we're waiting on the dude to show up in games...

    it can be argued that bellinger at 30m a year for 1-2 seasons (or 80m over 3 years) isn't good value.  ...and it probably won't be a good deal.  free agent signings at this level of pay have an extremely high ceiling to realize a return on investment based on numbers and stats, alone.

    what it does give, is a specific need for weaknesses of this specific club.  he provides coverage for 2 of the 3 main position weaknesses and he's a lefty bat with pop.

    every slot on the team is pretty much solidified except CF, 1st, and 3rd.  bellinger covers CF and 1st adequately and i doubt many people think he couldn't cover either over the next 3 seasons.

    the cubs have PCA and busch/mervis at CF and 1st respectively.  the team no longer needs guys at both positions to rise to the occasion.

    plus there's the whole DH thing.

    this is a gamble, but it's not a thoughtless gamble throwing money at a bat for the sake of having a bat.  he's capable of filling numerous roles the team could use for a short period of time in the prime of his career...even if it could end up he's overpaid for what the club gets from him.
     

  • crunch (view)

    as far as i can tell this isn't injury/rest related, and they've been throwing for weeks.

    we're at the point in spring games where throwing 20-40 pitches for multi-inning guys is the norm, and that's not much different than airing out a few dozen on the mound in a non-game training situation.

    i wonder if these specific guys are getting additional instruction without working things out vs live batters and they don't want to do that and tax the arms doing both at once.  no idea...not heard anything about these guys or what they're doing in ARZ recently.

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Eight days into the Cactus League schedule, six Cubs pitchers who are officially at MLB Spring Training have yet to throw in a Cactus League game: 

    Yency Almonte 
    Michael Arias 
    Shota Imanaga 
    Ethan Roberts (NRI - TJS rehab)
    Jameson Taillon 
    Keegan Thompson 

    Meanwhile, 13 pitchers assigned to Cubs Minor League Camp have pitched in MLB Cactus League games, including Blake Weiman twice and Hunter Bigge three times!  
     

  • crunch (view)

    player of the game: the sun

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Here are the pitcher reports from Friday's White Sox - Cubs game at Sloan Park: 

    JUSTIN STEELE
    FB: 90-92 
    CT: 88-89  
    SL: 81-84 
    CH: 78-81  
    CV: 75-76 
    COMMENT: Threw two no run / no hit innings to start the game (a L-1 comeback that almost took Steele's head off on the first pitch of the game, then a BB on a 3-2 pitch, a 5-4 FC that should have been an inning-ending DP but wasn't as the result of a Matt Shaw grip / bobble at 3B -- lucky to get one out on the play, and an F-9 to end the inning)... then a K-looking, an F-9, and a 6-3 GO in an easy 1-2-3 10-pitch second inning... allowed two runs on two hits in the third inning (a three-pitch K-swinging on a SL, then an infield topper that Steele couldn't pick up and was scored a hit but should have been an E-1 -- and should have been the second out but wasn't, then a hard-hit double, an F-8 SF to plate the first run and advance the other runner from second to third, then a WP on a bouncing 55-foot SL that scored the second run, and finally an F-7 FO to end the inning and the outing)... Steele threw 47 pitches over the course of his three innings of work (32 strikes - four swing & miss, two on SL and two on CT - plus an incredible 11 foul balls!)... threw a lot more different types of pitches than his usual FB / SL combo... a very nice "clean" outing, except for the E-1 topper that was inexplicably scored as a hit...    

    JAVIER ASSAD
    FB: 91-94 
    CT: 87-89 
    CH: 86
    SL: 79-80
    CV: 74-76
    COMMENT: Threw two innings (37 pitches - 22 strikes - three swing & miss - three foul balls)... allowed a broken bat infield single to lead-off hitter in the top of the 4th, then a P-3 DP (fantastic over the shoulder catch by Busch while running out into RF foul territory followed by a perfect throw back to 1st base to double the runner off base), and a 3-U GO (our man Busch again!)... second inning began with an HBP (PCA was hit by a pitch in the previous half-inning), then PCA took a bad route (might have briefly lost the ball in the sun) chasing a fly ball in CF that fell for a double on the warning track, putting runners at 2nd & 3rd... then a lazy routine fly ball was lost in the sun by PCA in CF for a gift-double, then after an RBI 6-3 GO for the first out of the inning (should have been the third out!), PCA lost still ANOTHER FLY BALL IN THE SUN in short right-center to further extend the inning, then a walk on a 3-2 pitch, an F-7 FO for what was essentially the fifth out of the inning, then a hard-hit RBI single through the box and into CF (PCA missed the cut-off man with the throw home), and finally a 1-3 come-backer on Assad's 26th pitch of the inning for what should have been the sixth out of the inning... so while he technically threw just two innings and allowed four "earned" runs on five "hits" (including three  "doubles"), Assad got what were essentially nine outs, and should have allowed no runs on two hits (both singles -- one of which was a broken bat infield hit), one walk, and one HBP...        

    JULIAN MERRYWEATHER
    FB: 96-98
    SL: 84-87
    CH: 79
    COMMENT: 1-2-3 inning (K-swinging on a 1-2 SL, F-7, F-8)... 16 pitches (12 strikes - three swinging, two on FB and one on SL - five foul balls)... Matt Mervis lost a pop fly foul ball in the sun prior to the K-swinging...     

    JOSE CUAS
    FB: 91-94
    SL: 81-84 
    COMMENT: Inning started with a gift-triple (Cole Roederer lost can o' corn fly ball in the sun before it bounced off warning track in the RF corner)... Cuas then induced a P-3 for the first out and got a K-swinging for the second out, before hitting a batter with a 2-2 SL to put runners at the corners... then he a got 5-3 GO to end the inning... a cool head 22-pitch "no sweat" masterful extrication act to strand the runner at 3rd after the lead-off "sun triple"... two swing & miss -- one on FB and one on SL -- and five foul balls among his 14 strikes (Cuas gets a LOT of foul balls on "emergency hacks" when he pitches)... 

    COLTEN BREWER
    FB: 93-95
    CH: 89 
    SL: 84-85 
    CV: 79 
    COMMENT: Threw a shutout 8th inning... 10 pitches (seven strikes - one swing & miss on FB)... surrendered two soft-contact singles sandwiched around an F-8, and induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP... 

    RILEY THOMPSON
    FB: 95-96
    CH: 89 
    SL: 83-85 
    COMMENT: Tossed a 1-2-3 (3-1 GO, K-swinging on three pitches, F-8) 12-pitch 9th (10 strikes - one swing & miss on SL - four foul balls)... good FB velo in combo with the slider, and he threw strikes... eight of his twelve pitches were SL (he loves those sliders!)... 

  • crunch (view)

    not yet...dunno what his plan is with the team.

    he's not getting any younger.  dude turns 29 in a bit over a week.  they still want him on the roster and 40-man for some reason.

    i like what he throws, but at some point you have to show what's coming out of your arm is MLB-quality.

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    Has Keegan pitched yet? If not I wonder if they’re even entertaining him as a SP as an option. Genuinely no idea on either of those thoughts

  • crunch (view)

    so...unless keegan thompson comes running into the ring to hit jordan wicks with a steel chair, it's looking like wicks vs himself.

    or they could sign jordan montgomery or something like that.

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    Wesneski was also pretty unimpressive

  • crunch (view)

    it's only a couple outings, but assad and smyly are firmly removing themselves from the 5-slot battle rather quickly.