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

Vitters' Stick Leads Cubs to Victory at Talking Stick

Josh Vitters singled twice and ripped an RBI double, Carlos Penalver doubled twice, scored a run, and knocked-in another, Trey Lang tossed three innings of no-run no-hit ball, and catcher Lance Rymel threw out five baseruners (four caught stealing and one picked-off), as the Cubs edged the Rockies 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.

Vitters was placed on the AAA Iowa Cubs DL with a back strain earlier this month, and before that he missed most of MLB Spring Training with a quad strain. He is presently on a rehab assignment with the EXST Cubs, and he played 1st base for five innings today and batted four times (once each in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings). All three of his hits were rockets, and even the F-7 out was a near HR. (He also played 3rd base in yesterday's intrasquad game -- see below).   

Cubs 2012 1st round draft pick Albert Almora (broken hamate bone during Minor League Camp) has started taking pre-game BP with the other position players, so I would think he will probably be seeing some EXST game action very soon, and then perhaps get moved-up to Kane County sometime next month.

Here is the box score from today's game (Cubs players only):  

CUBS LINEUP:
X. Josh Vitters, 1B: 3-4 (1B, 1B, F-7, 2B, R, RBI)
NOTE: Vitters batted four times, hitting 2nd in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
1a. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-4 (F-7, 1B, 1B, K)
1b. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 1-1 (2B)
2a. David Bote, 2B: 0-3 (F-9, F-8, 6-3)
2b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-2 (F-7, 1B, RBI)
3a. Xavier Batista, DH #1: 0-2 (K, F-8, BB, R)
3b. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-2 (F-9, 1-6-3 DP)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-4 (P-3, K, L-9, L-4)
5a. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-3 (2B, L-4, 1B, R)
5b. Brad Zapenas, 3B: 0-1 (K)
6a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 2-3 (F-8, 2B, 2B, R, RBI)
6b. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-1 (5-3)
7a. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 0-1 (4-3, F-7 SF, BB, RBI)
7b. Roberto Caro, LF: 0-1 (K)
8. Lance Rymel, C: 1-4 (K, K, K, 1B, R)
9a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
9b. Justin Marra, DH #2: 0-1 (F-8)

CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Kyler Burke: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 36 pitches (23 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
2. Trey Lang: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 38 pitches (20 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
3. Anthony Prieto: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 19 pitches (13 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
4. Daniel Adrian: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 35 pitches (25 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO
5. Carlos Martinez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 8 pitches (7 strikes), 1/2 GO/FO

CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. 2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (two-base throwing error trying to double runner off 1st base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Lance Rymel: 4-4 CS, 1 PO

ATTENDANCE: 11

WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 80's

NOTE: It wasn't a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game. but the Cubs did play a nine-inning intrasquad game yesterday (Thursday) at Fitch Park Field #4 (formerly known as "Field #3")

Veteran MLB RHP Guillermo Moscoso got the start for Squad "B" and he was absolutely dominating, throwing five innings (74 pitches) of two-hit shutout ball with ten strikeouts. He was sent to Extended Spring Training (after being outrighted) to get stretched-out as a starting pitcher after getting almost no innings in MLB Spring Training games with KC and TOR. He could be headed to the Iowa Cubs starting rotation in the near-future.   

RHP Duane Underwood threw three innings of one-hit shutout ball for Squad "A," but he struggled with his command (46 pitches - only 22 strikes), walking three.  

Josh Vitters (on the Iowa DL with a back strain) saw his first game action in a couple of weeks, playing 3B for five innings and batting four times. He went 0-3 (6-3, P-4, 1-3) with a walk.  

Kevin Encarnacion tripled twice for Squad "A,", and Jeffrey Baez doubled and tripled for Squad "B." Both had an RBI.

Bryant Flete left the game after being struck above the right eye with a bad-hop single.

Three of the pitchers who arrived from the Dominican Academy after the start of Extended Spring Training pitched in the intrasquad game. 22-year old RHRP Juan Francisco was dialing it up to 97, but he had zero command of his secondary stuff (he was consistently bouncing his slider in front of the plate), 19-year old Dominican RHP Alexander Santana (who was at AZ Instructs post-2011) looked great, throwing two easy 1-2-3 innings with two strikeouts and four ground outs (he could be the ace of the AZL Cubs starting rotation). and 19-year old Venezuelan LHP Angel Mejias threw 1.1 IP with two strikeouts. 

6'6 230+ 24-year old ex-Diamondbacks minor league RHP Orbandy Rodriguez (formerly known as "Manuel Gil") and 17-year old Venezuelan LHP Carlos Rodriguez threw two innings a piece in a "sim" game on Field #3 (formerly Field #2) on Monday, so they will probably be getting into an EXST game pretty soon. I have not seen RHP Jorge Diaz or LHP Luis Villalba throw in a "sim" game yet (both were at Extended Spring Training last year), but they may have done so on a day when the EXST Cubs were on the road.    

Here is the box score frrom yesterday's intrasquad game:

CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 0-4 (K, F-8, 1-3, 4-3)
2. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-4 (K, K, 2B, K, R, 2 RBI)
3a. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-2 (K, 5-3)
3b. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 2-2 (3B, 3B, RBI)
4. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-3 (K, K, F-8, BB)
5. Jacob Rogers, 1B:  0-4 (L-8, K, F-7, K)
6a. Jose Dore, LF: 1-3 (2B, K, 3-U)
6b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
7a. Bryant Flete, SS: 0-1 (K)
7b. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 1-3 (1B, P-4, F-9, SB, PO)
8a. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-1 (6-3)
8b. Justin Marra, C: 2-2 (1B, 2B, R)
9a. Neftali Rosario, DH #1: 0-2 (K, K)
9b. Dong-Yub Kim, PH: 0-1 (K)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Rony Rodriguez, DH #2: 0-1 (BB, 1-3, R)

CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP
X. Josh Vitters, 3B: 0-3 (6-3, P-4, BB, 1-3)
NOTE: Vitters batted four times, hitting 2nd in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
1a. Rashad Carwford, CF: 1-2 (K, BB, 1B)
1b. Brad Zapenas, PH: 0-1 (6-3)
2a. Frandy de la Rosa, SS: 0-3 (1-3, 3-1, 3-1)
2b. Lance Rymel, PH: 0-1 (6-3)
3a. Wilfredo Petit, C-DH: 0-2 (E-6, BB, 6-3)
3b. Erick Castillo, C: 0-1 (4-3)
4. Trevor Gretzky, 1B: 0-2 (BB, P-2, F-7)
5. Carlos Escobar, DH-C-DH: 0-2 (P-3, 5-3 DP, BB, R)
6. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 2-3 (2B, K, 3B, RBI)
7. David Bote, 2B: 2-3 (1B, 1B, F-7, CS)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
8b. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-1 (BB, 1-3)
9a. Reggie Golden, LF: 0-2 (K, F-7)
9b. Roberto Caro, LF: 0-1 (K)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Garrett Schlecht, DH #2: 0-1 (K)

CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Dayan Diaz: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 35 pitches (23 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
NOTE: Bottom of 2nd inning was stopped with two outs when Diaz reached his pre-planned max pitch limit
2. Duane Underwood: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 46 pitches (22 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
3. Ethan Elias: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 2 WP,  29 pitches (14 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
4. Alexander Santana: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 24 pitches (16 strikes), 4/0 GO/FO

CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Guillermo Moscoso: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K, 1 PO, 74 pitches (46 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
2. Hunter Ackerman: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 32 pitches (18 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
3. Angel Mejias: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 26 pitches (13 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
4. Juan Francisco: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 19 pitches (11 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO 

CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 1
SS Bryant Flete - E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)

CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: NONE

CUBS SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Alberto Mineo: 1-1 CS

CUBS SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilfredo Petit: 0-1 CS

CUBS SQUAD "A" OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
1. LF Jose Dore - threw out batter (David Bote) 7-4 trying to stretch single into double
2. CF Shawon Dunston Jr - threw out baserunner (Mark Malave) trying to score from 2nd base on single 

 

 

Comments

no one seems to be calling feldman out for not touching the rubber before delivering the ball. on many pitches you can see a clear line of soil between his shoe and the rubber...he's not even making casual side-contact with the rubber. also, the ump has a crazy big zone for both pitchers tonight.

[ ]

In reply to by Rob G.

Love, absolutely love this pick. You know who Bostic reminds me of? Lance Briggs. Now, that said, he really might be a better fit outside, but we needed youth and athleticism at LB. I had mixed feelings about our first pick. I like Kyle Long a ton (people forget how coveted he was out of HS as a OL prospect, before deciding to pursue baseball). I think he can play guard, I think he can play tackle. But ... you move Carimi inside, sign decent veterans in Slauson/Britton, add Bushrod outside, and still have Jon Scott as a swing tackle. Now, that said, Britton never panned out the way some hoped, and Slauson is at best a stopgap, so you needed more OL at some point. Still ... first? Particularly when there were other needs. IAt some point, you need to add CB youth. Maybe you get lucky in the 4th/5th and find someone. All that said, we did need more OL talent. I think the Long pick is as much a signal to the interior players (namely, Carimi, as the veterans are clear stopgaps) as it is to J'Marcus Webb. If Webb doesn't step it up at RT, it isn't hard to imagine Kyle Long getting a shot to be the RT of the future.

[ ]

In reply to by toonsterwu

Agree on the Long pick - might have been a reach but I really like his game. You can dream on him being an LT but definitely think he could play LG or RT at a high level. I thought Briggs too when I saw Bostic. He can run a bit faster though. Not seeing the OLB for him, I think he's a better fit inside.

[ ]

In reply to by toonsterwu

On my phone I get team stream/bleacher report which is really not a very good app so I obviously haven't done my app homework regarding sports, but they had two reports on Bostic. One said he had lots of speed and wouldn't just be a two down LB and the other said he didn't have great speed and relied on a physical game and would be primarily a two down LB. Oh well. I don't know enough about college football to have an opinion. About either pick, really. All I know is that I wanted the Bears to address the O Line and linebacker position in the draft. Or maybe defensive line @ my mantra you can never have too many good linemen. I'm really glad that Emery has taken the O Line seriously this year - he didn't last year, not really, and I wonder if Trestman, on coming in said, "hey, look, you're gonna kill Cutler and throw away his final season here if you don't clean up the O Line". If he said that, I already like him. A lot of people thought Emery was reaching but he at least recognized the areas of need. I agree with you on CB - need to get some young help there. It's also encouraging that you like Bostic so much. It does sound like at a bare minimum he'll be good on the outside. And from what I've read, he really fits the Chicago linebacker mold - he seems to enjoy fighting with offensive linemen.

[ ]

In reply to by Old and Blue

He's a fast and athletic guy (fastest time of middle LBs) who needs work on instincts and getting to the ball handler. It's interesting because I think both players can be good but both are more long term projects and not year one difference makers imo. I don't think our team is currently good enough to compete for the SB and so I'm wondering if they're really looking more at a short term rebuild despite their words to the contrary.

[ ]

In reply to by johann

My guess is that Emery and Co. are viewing the roster as one that doesn't have a lot of holes, and as such, he's going for upside. Pre-draft, I was fine with the options at OL. I figured we could get decent interior guard play from Carimi/Slauson/Britton etceteras. I was fine with the LB options, as James Anderson and DJ Williams looked to be decent stopgaps. This isn't to say our options at those positions were great, but we had decent enough options there. If Long and Bostic get on the field in base packages in Year 1, then that's a testament to them. That said, I'm befuddled at the lack of a CB pick. Their 5th round pick is about to come up, but this late in the juncture, you are just hoping for luck. I guess, with the way they aggressively attacked OL this year, CB may be the focus next year, but ... would've been nice to get a young body in. I like Khaseem Greene, but I didn't see the need to draft both Greene and Bostic. Guess the CB value was that much lower than Greene's in the 4th. On paper, I like how this roster looks. I don't love Bushrod, but Kromer believes in him, and on paper, Bushrod/Webb should be our best tackle combination since ... what the Tait days? The skill talent looks solid, and on paper, probably a good fit for Trestman's system. We finally got a decent-solid TE, someone who offers good all-around ability. Defensively, assuming Melton continues to develop, the front four should be solid, and the LB's should be more rangy than before. If I have a concern, it's at CB. That said, I think this is a team that can compete for the playoffs in the NFC, and if a lot of things go right, perhaps do more. A long way to go. That said, one thing that hasn't been talked about as much is that this is a huge year for Jay Cutler. Emery's basically saying to him - no more excuses. It's his contract year. I'm a big Jay Cutler fan, and now, he has, on paper, an improved OL, and if Jeffry develops at WR, his most talented WR crew, and a TE weapon.

[ ]

In reply to by toonsterwu

Imo it's difficult to overrate how bad our o-line has been. Cutler (and Forte) made them seem even better then they looked with his scrambling ability and ability to make something out of nothing. They couldn't even block on max protect. It was an atrocious line and anything will be an improvement. Cutler has already proven himself way too often and I'm sort of tired of hearing that this has to be the year he proves himself and I don't think what they have gotten is that much of an improvement. Imo this is the year for the line (and coaches) to prove to Cutler they know what they're doing.

[ ]

In reply to by johann

The first and second round picks were puzzling. In the first I would have selected any of the three guys that were picked directly after the Bears. Second round I would have taken the LB from K. State instead. I don't know why they always insist on taking project players instead of guy that could contribute right away. The previous regime was guilty of this too. Meh, Go Cubs.

[ ]

In reply to by johann

I've been a fan of Cutler since his college days. Thought it wasn't even close that he was the best QB in his draft class. I agree the supporting cast has been bad, and the skill talent hasn't been that good (while Cutler can be blamed for some of the interceptions, too often, it was a poor route by Earl Bennett or Johnny Knox or someone, or a WR not coming back for ball). That said, the big thing is, this is his contract year. It's hard to say that the current OL isn't much of an improvement. Bushrod has at least shown that he's a solid NFL starting left tackle. That was our biggest problem in recent years. The talent level at guard/RT was never that horrendous, but without a solid LT, you end up having to max protect, or have TE's/RB's chip, which diminishes the potential of the pass game (or you "Martz" it, and don't chip, and get your QB killed). Is Bushrod a stud? Probably not. Could Webb, with more time, have developed into Bushrod-ish? Perhaps, but Bushrod is an upgrade now. Webb, physically, is a good fit at RT. We still have a concern in the middle, but I understand them wanting a veteran presence in Garza there. One thing to be said is that this is probably the best offensive system for Cutler's skillset. It should run fairly similar to what the Shanahan's did in Denver. We drafted an OT? Odd. A bit over-kill on Emery's part. Granted, it's the 5th round, but very curious that they didn't see value anywhere else, ranging from RB, to QB, to C, to CB, to DL. Not the biggest deal, but a bit odd.

a.rizzo and d.barney both make it to .200 BA tonight. these AAA teams are awesome to play against.

Hi AZ Phil, What's the story on Orbandy Rodriguez (formerly known as "Manuel Gil")? He sure sounds interesting, if for no other reason, just for his size. Also, is Daury Torrez still hurt? I remember you listing him in the list of those rehabbing earlier in the spring.

[ ]

In reply to by Raisin101

RAISIN: Daury Torrez and Erick Leal were the only two pitchers from the Dominican Acdemy who were invited to make their U. S. debut at Minor League Camp in March (the others reported after the start of Extended Spring Training a couple of weeks ago). And while Leal (acquired from Arizona in the Tony Campa trade) is progressing nicely and has pitched in EXST games, Torrez was shut-down at the end of Minor League Camp and has yet to pitch in an EXST game. But it doesn't look like the problem is too serious because he is playing catch, he's participating in PFPs, and he's shagging balls during BP. BTW, Ryan McNeil was shut-down after his last outing (a week ago Monday), and (like Torrez) he is participating fully in all drills with the other pitchers. 

If everybody is healthy, I would think the AZL Cubs starting rotation would probably be Torrez, Santana, Leal, C. Rodriguez, and A. Mejias.

As for Orbandy Rodriguez, all I have been able to find out is that he signed with the Diamondbacks as (supposed) 16-year old "Manuel Gil" in January 2008 and then he pitched for the DSL Diamondbacks in 2008-09 (where he was a teammate of Juan Carlos Paniagua, who was known at the time as "Juan Callado"). Gil (Rodriguez) suffered a stress fracture in his elbow in 2009 and was released by the D'backs in 2010. I don't know if he was released because of the elbow injury, or because of the identity issue, or both. The Cubs signed him after giving him a try-out at DSL Instructs last November. So (apparently) he hasn't pitched anywhere since 2009. When he became Orbandy Rodriguez and changed his DOB to 9-29-1988 (meaning he was actually 19 when he signed with Arizona in 2008) I don't know. but whoever he is and no matter how old he is, he is one huge dude. 

Recent comments

  • 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.

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    The short answer there is yes he gets credit for the wins but he also gets credit for the losses.

    Phil’s point about the crystal ball is spot on. If all of the machinery and data and systems they have don’t manifest into essentially a crystal ball, what use is all of that? Somebody messed up.

    As for who else could have gone, I agree with Phil that a pitcher like Estrada, as awful as he looked last year, had shown he had at least 1-2 legit MLB caliber pitches, it was just a matter of finding them again. He was pre arb young power arm. Whereas let’s say Madrigal was entering year 2 of 4 arb years. He’d proven to be a defense first backup infielder incapable of playing SS. You want to talk dime a dozen, THAT is dime a dozen. THAT is a NRI. I can squint and see the argument to not lose Wisdom’s power as a bench bat. Or even Boner as a utility guy who can play OF and handle an emergency SS run, who also hits left handed and has options. But choosing Madrigal over an arm like Estrada was a poor decision, even at the time.

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Ok, so it’s the end of 2023 and going into the postseason. Cuas, Alzolay, Leiter, and Merriwether all had respectable seasons last year.

    So among Killian, Wesneski, Estrada, Palencia, Brown, Horn, Rodriguez, Little, Hughes, Wicks, all of whom had huge potential but huge questions heading into 2024, 1) How are you going to protect all of them? 2) If you can’t, who do you protect?

    How many times was the phrase “good problem to have” tossed around?

    If it had been Palencia going to another team and hitting a May hot streak, which could just as easily have happened, would we not be having the identical conversation?

    Brown just pitched seven no hit innings yesterday. Does Jed get any credit for keeping him around? Does he get credit for ditching Horn and getting something with very decent upside, Thompson, in return? How about picking up Miller, who has been stellar so far? Does he get the blame for Meriwether, and Killian, who burned up the spring, getting hurt? And is there a single organization out there that can’t say they wish they had a reliever or two they had recently back?

    There is very definitely a “lottery” aspect to relief pitching. In the last couple of years the Cubs largely won the lottery and spun much of that good fortune into prospect gold. This year others have won and the Cubs for the most part appear to be holding the short stick. So are we really going to have the neck of the GM who took this team from the utter doldrums to the brink of contention and a number three rated system over the course of a couple of years?

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Except Jed Hoyer does in fact have a crystal ball and it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The equipment and programs acquired by the Cubs are not just used in player development. They are also used in self-evaluation (self-scouting). With the information available these mistakes should not be happening. The mistakes also include the Cubs post-2023 November 40-man roster strategy that values guys like Madrigal, Mastrobuoni, and Hendricks over younger talent with more upside. 

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Quick reminder that during much of the offseason the question marks were at third base, first base and centerfield. While the organization was stacked with outfield prospects, Mervis was coming off a solid season in AAA and was being considered a serious candidate for first base. There simply wasn’t room at the inn for everyone. There was clearly a place for Perlaza somewhere but he simply didn’t possess the complete toolset that some of the other Cub outfield prospects do. For myself, I’ve always had a soft spot for Darius Hill. Unfortunately, he’s another odd man out in a stacked system.

    And hindsight is always 20/20. For example, Estrada always had potential but was totally erratic in 2023. Cuas had a much lower ceiling but he was a steady presence in a relief corp with many question marks. Sure, it seems like a silly decision now, but Jed doesn’t have the benefit of a crystal ball. Everyone, probably Jed included, hated to see Estrada go, but it wasn’t such a crazy idea at the time. BTW, in terms of Estrada leaving via waivers, does anyone honestly think Jed didn’t try to shop him first? I have to assume no one was willing to to give up anything for him.

    Even given the way the season has gone, I think the only place where Jed solidly and clearly missed the mark that could/should have been foreseen was with Hendricks, as just about everybody on this board recognized at the time. Still, even Hendricks wasn’t a totally illogical move because they had exactly two locks for starting pitching at the time - Steele and Taillon.

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    The roster mistakes I am talking about occur in November, when decisions are made regarding minor league free-agents, Rule 5 protection, exercising club options, and the tendering of contracts to players on the MLB 40-man roster. The idea should be to maximize long-term control of talented young players (including minor leaguers yet to establish themselves in MLB). 

    Roster slots that can be filled by Spring Training NRI should not be allocated in November to marginal non-prospects expected to fill non-critical positions on the 26-man roster (like back-up catcher, utility infielders, 4th outfielder, and middle relievers) or to older players likely to decline. 

    And as far as self-evaluation (self-scouting) is concerned, the Cubs have invested literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in proprietary player development and analytical technology and have doubled the player development staff, so they should not be making some of the piss-poor roster decisions in November as they have been making. 

    There are ex-Cub relievers on other MLB clubs who could be in the Cubs bullpen right now and would clearly be upgrades over what's there, but they are someplace else. No excuses. Clearly somebody screwed up.

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    As long as there isn't a sore thumb / weak link in the group, a six-man rotation is preferable if a club wants to minimize innings for younger starting pitchers and keep veteran guys from wearing down in September. So Imanaga, Steele, Assad, Brown, Taillon, and Wicks would be the six, and that is actually probably one of the best group of starting pitchers in MLB (a lot of clubs couldn't run a decent six-man rotation even if they wanted to).  

    A six-man rotation does require a solid seven-man bullpen with no weak links and a lock-down closer, however, and unfortunately the Cubs bullpen as it is presently constituted (with Hendricks and Smyly in the pen) is one of the worst and least-reliable in MLB. 

    It would definitely help if the 2023 version of Julian Merryweather can come back 100% next month (TBD), but even that is not enough. 

    And Hendricks and Smyly absolutely cannot be in the pen if the Cubs want to compete for a post-season slot. If one or both can be moved as part of a salary offset in a trade (and keep in mind that Hendricks gets "10 / 5 no-trade" rights as of June 26th), that's fine, but otherwise the Cubs will just have to bite the bullet and release them and be prepared to eat some payroll.  

  • Childersb3 (view)

    You're only thinking about the 26man roster. Perlaza should've been added to the 40man roster. He then would have three option years.
    No GM is perfect. Theo wasn't. Jed has done some really good things. Pitching has improved wholeheartedly under Jed. 
    RPs like Hudson and Estrada are going to hit and miss. 
    Giving Hendricks 16.5mil can now be stated as a clear miss, and Kyle needs to be moved off the roster. They have to pay him. But the Bullpen spot needs to go to someone else. Kyle isn't a bullpen guy. But he's not a SP anymore either. 2016 Nostalgia doesn't win.
    Perlaza got more money in the KBO than he'd have gotten on the 40man, but Jed had the choice to give him a shot anyway. Mervis would probably do really well in the KBO also. But having watched Perlaza's bat speed for three years, I think he was better than Mervis.
    And Phil made a good point about giving Happ an extension (after having not traded him at the TDL in 2022 along with not trading Willy) when you're real prospect depth was in the OF. Happ is a really good 7th hitter on a good team. 17 HRs and 70 RBIs with good LF defense. That's Ben Zobrist like #'s. The issue is we have a lot of those kind of guys already. We needed a bomber some where in the lineup and LF, RF, 3B, 1B and DH usually provide those bombs.
    Seiya is good when healthy. He's gotten hurt every year, but he's a 20HR 80RBI guy when healthy. He just hasn't been healthy for a year to provide those #'s.
    Happ isn't a bomber.
    Morel is getting his chance to work out 3B. I'm glad Jed has kept him.
    1B? Hopefully Busch becomes 20HRs and 80 RBIs.
    DH? There's our biggest issue. We don't have a guy who can bop there. Just a real hitter. Mervis missed it. That's why Perlaza leaving without a 40man chance burns me.
     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    Generally I’ve agreed with almost all the points you’re making but Wicks is one I think we shouldn’t put in the pen. I also think wesneski is being done a disservice in the pen, he’s clearly more comfortable starting. Smyly is fine as an 8th man, but I agree they could better use Hendricks spot, much as it’s sad to say.