2019 Cubs Minor League Camp Rosters (Updated 3/30)


IOWA to TENNESSEE: OF Charcer Burks 





The Cubs released what was described as the Myrtle Beach Opening Day roster on Friday, but as you will note it's exactly the same as the current Myrtle Beach Minor League Camp roster below, and it is three players over the Opening Day roster limit.  

So three of the Cubs four full season affiliates are getting close to the Opening Day 25-man limit but none of them are quite there yet, and Iowa keeps adding players! 

SIGNED: INF Dixon Machado (assigned to IOWA)



MYRTLE BEACH to EUGENE/MESA: RHP Casey Bloomquist (going back to the Rehab Throwing Program) and OF Brandon Hughes (is being converted to LHP)   

SOUTH BEND to EUGENE/MESA: RHP Sean Barry and OF Jose Gutierrez 


SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: RHP Jesus Camargo (replaces Bloomquist) and OF Grant Fennell (replaces Hughes) 



MLB CAMP to IOWA: LHP Brian Duensing 

RELEASED: C-1B Michael Cruz, 1B Tyler Alamo, INF Austin Upshaw, and OF Luis Ayala 


IOWA to TENNESSEE: RHP Craig Brooks, RHP Tom Hatch, and RHP Michael Rucker

IOWA to MYRTLE BEACH: C Tyler Payne 

TENNESSEE to MYRTLE BEACH: RHP Alex Lange, LHP Luis Lugo, INF Jhonny Bethencourt, INF Yeiler Peguero, 2B Carlos Sepulveda, and OF D. J. Wilson

TENNESSEE to SOUTH BEND: C Rafelin Lorenzo 

MYRTLE BEACH to SOUTH BEND: LHP Eugenio Palma, RHP Jeffrey Passantino, LHP Ryan Lawlor, INF Levi Jordan, INF Rafael Narea, INF Andy Weber, OF Jose Gutierrez, and OF Nelson Velazquez    


SOUTH BEND to EUGENE/MESA: RHP Ivan Medina, LHP Jack Patterson, RHP Jake Reindl, RHP Carlos Vega, C Alexander Guerra, C Caleb Knight, INF Jake Slaughter, SS Luis Vazquez, and OF Dalton Hurd


EUGENE/MESA to MYRTLE BEACH: C-INF Cam Balego (replaces M. Cruz as #3 catcher at MB) 



IOWA to TENNESSEE:  C-1B Ian Rice and INF Vimael Machin



The Cubs have optioned LHP Kyle Ryan to Iowa, signed RHP Junichi Tazawa (who was released by the Cubs on Saturday) to a new (different) 2019 minor league contract, and assigned Tazawa and MLB NRI RHP Allen Webster to Minor League Camp. 


With less than a week remaining before the Cubs four full-season minor league affiliates (Iowa, Tennessee, Myrtle Beach, and South Bend) leave Arizona in their rear-view mirrors, the rosters of the four full-season affiliates are becoming a bit more clear, although considerable adjustments and pruning are still needed (see updated 2019 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS below):    

2019 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (last updated 4-1-2019):

*  bats or throws left 
# bats both

IOWA: 35

* Alberto Baldonado 
Corey Black 
Matt Carasiti  
Trevor Clifton
* Tim Collins
* Brian Duensing
George Kontos 
Dillon Maples 
Brad Markey
Dakota Mekkes
James Norwood 
Colin Rea 
Duncan Robinson
* Kyle Ryan 
Matt Swarmer 
Junichi Tazawa
Jen-Ho Tseng 
Duane Underwood Jr 
Allen Webster
Rowan Wick 

* Francisco Arcia
Eric Castillo
Taylor Davis

# Cristhian Adames 
* Jim Adduci
Phillip Evans 
Trent Giambrone 
Dixon Machado
Zach Short 
Wynton Bernard
* Zach Borenstein
* Donnie Dewees
Johnny Field
* Jacob Hannemann
# Ian Happ


Cory Abbott
Craig Brooks  
Bailey Clark 
* Ian Clarkin
Scott Effross
Tom Hatch 
Zach Hedges 
Tyson Miller
* Jordan Minch
* Manuel Rondon 
Michael Rucker
* Wyatt Short 
* Justin Steele
Keegan Thompson 

P. J. Higgins 
Jhonny Pereda
Will Remillard (INACTIVE - serving as a COACH
Ian Rice
* Christian Donahue
# Robel Garcia 
Nico Hoerner
* Vimael Machin
* Jared Young 

Charcer Burks
# Roberto Caro 
Eddy Julio Martinez
Connor Myers  


Javier Assad
Jesus Camargo 
Brian Glowicki 
Ben Hecht 
* Bryan Hudson 
* Ryan Kellogg
Garrett Kelly 
Brendan King 
Alex Lange
* Luis Lugo 
Erling Moreno 
Tyler Peyton 
Paul Richan
Manuel Rodriguez 
Miguel Amaya
Cam Balego 
Tyler Payne
* Aramis Ademan
Jhonny Bethencourt 
Wladimir Galindo 
# Yeiler Peguero 
* Luke Reynolds 
* Carlos Sepulveda
# Zach Davis 
Grant Fennell
Jimmy Herron 
Kevonte Mitchell
* D. J. Wilson


* Faustino Carrera 
Derek Casey 
Dalton Geekie
* Ryan Lawlor 
* Brailyn Marquez 
Riley McCauley 
Zach Mort 
* Eugenio Palma 
Jeffrey Passantino 
Eury Ramos 
Peyton Remy 
Ethan Roberts 
Cam Sanders 
Riley Thompson 

Eric Gonzalez 
Rafelin Lorenzo
Gustavo Polanco 

* Tyler Durna 
Levi Jordan 
# Fidel Mejia
Rafael Narea 
Delvin Zinn 
* Andy Weber

* D. J. Artis 
* Cole Roederer
* Jonathan Sierra
Nelson Velazquez

EUGENE/MESA: 53+19   


NOTE: The Eugene/Mesa group is formed after Cactus League Minor League games begin in mid-March. Most of the players who are assigned to the Eugene/Mesa group will be assigned to EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING after the conclusion of MINOR LEAGUE CAMP  

Maikel Aguiar
Jose Albertos 
* Chris Allen 
Sean Barry 
Alfredo Colorado
Danis Correa
Yovanny Cruz
Jeremiah Estrada 
Kohl Franklin 
Jamie Galazin (ex-OF)
Fauris Guerrero
* Brandon Hughes (ex-OF) 
* Danny Hultzen 
Erick Leal 
Ivan Medina
Alec Mills
Tommy Nance  
Eduarniel Nunez
Carlos Ocampo 
* Pablo Ochoa 
Raidel Orta 
* Jack Patterson 
Yunior Perez 
Casey Ryan 
Jake Reindl 
Niels Stone
Alexander Vargas 
Carlos Vega
Blake Whitney 
Ryan Williams

Adbert Alzolay 
Casey Bloomquist
* Andres Bonalde 
Enrique de los Rios 
Jose Miguel Gonzalez
* Luke Hagerty
Chad Hockin 
* Conor Lillis White 
* Brendon Little
* Josh Sawyer 
Jake Stinnett 
Erich Uelmen
* Jerry Vasto 

Alexander Guerra 
Caleb Knight 
Marcus Mastrobuoni (REHAB
Orian Nunez (ex-INF) 
Richard Nunez
Raymond Pena 
Henderson Perez 
* Jonathan Soto 
Danny Zardon (ex-INF) 

Gioskar Amaya (REHAB)
Yasiel Balaguert (INACTIVE - serving as a COACH)
Clayton Daniel 
Luis Diaz 
Jesse Hodges (REHAB - right shoulder)
# Josue Huma
Rafael Mejia 
Christopher Morel 
# Yonathan Perlaza 
Jake Slaughter 
Luis Vazquez

* Edmond Americaan 
Jose Cardona (REHAB - right wrist)
Brennen Davis
# Jose Gutierrez
Dalton Hurd
Fernando Kelli 
Kevin Moreno 
* Chris Pieters (INACTIVE - serving as a COACH)
Brandon Vicens

EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING (PROJECTED): 24 additional beyond the EUEGENE/MESA squad from Minor League Camp

NOTE: The EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING group forms after the conclusion of MINOR LEAGUE CAMP in April and eventually upwards of 100 players will be assigned (including players rehabbing from injuries).  

The players listed below are - NOT - at MINOR LEAGUE CAMP as of 3/6, which means they are not competing for roster slots with the Cubs four full-season affiliates (listed above), but they are expected to be among the minor leaguers who will be reporting to the UAPC in Mesa prior to the start of EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING in April.  

* Jonathan Bruzual (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
Fernando Calderon (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
* Riger Fernandez (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
Emilio Ferrebus (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
Julio Guante (DSL eligibility has expired) 
Elias Herrera (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
Chi-Feng Lee (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
M. T. Minacci (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
* Ruben Reyes (ex-OF - was assigned AZL Cubs in 2018)
* Luis Silva (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
Jesus Tejada (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
* Didier Vargas (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
Omar Ventura (DSL eligibility has expired)  

Daniel Diaz (DSL eligibility has expired) 

# Reivaj Garcia (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
Ignacio Otano (DSL eligibility has expired)
Miguel Pabon (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
Henrry Pedra (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018) 
Luis Verdugo (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)

Yovanny Cuevas (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
Jose Alonso Gaitan (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)
* Ezequiel Pagan (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018) 
Carlos Pacheco (was assigned to AZL Cubs in 2018)  



NOTE: Cubs minor leaguers from Latin America who do not attend Minor League Camp in Mesa have their Spring Training at the Cubs Dominican Academy in Boca Chica, DR. About thirty of these players (mostly pitchers) will be moved-up to Extended Spring Training in April and compete for jobs with Eugene or with one of the two Cubs AZL teams.  

Jonathan Alvarez 
Keiber Arredondo 
Donato Auguste 
Willy Cabrera  
Keiber Carreno
* Alejandro Carrillo 
Luis Devers
Moises Diaz 
Manuel Espinoza 
Kelvin Feliz   
Francisco Fermin 
* Miseal Garcia  
* Jesus Gomez
Jose Gomez  
Edmar Gonzalez
Francisco Gracia
* Ferrol Heredia
Andy Hernandez
Gabriel Jaramillo  
* Johan Lopez
Luis Marte
Hector Matos (RESTRICTED LIST)   
* Anderson Parra
Carlos Paula 
Luis Ramos
Jorge Remon  
Benjamin Rodriguez
* Luis Rodriguez  
Alberto Sojo 
Edward Vasquez

Pablo Aliendo
Efren Aular 
Miller Chacon 
Miguel Fabrizio
Brayan Mancilla
Malcom Quintero
Juan Vasquez

Augusto Acevedo
# Flemin Bautista
Jeinser Brete 
* Rochest Cruz
Christhian Espinal 
Bestor Heredia
Widimer Joaquin 
* Ervis Marchan
# Pedro Martinez
Juan Mora
Fabian Pertuz
Oswaldo Pina 
Lizardo Ruiz
# Ronny Simon 
* Orlando Zapata 

# Ezequiel Alavado 
Samuel Duarte
# Josue Fernandez
Rafael Herrera
* Kelvin Hidalgo  
# Albert Hinirio 
* Kevin Miranda  
* Cristian More
Carlos Morfa   
* Brailin Pena   
Jonathan Rodriguez
Felix Stevens
* Marco Valenzuela
* Ricardo Verenzuela


IOWA: Marty Pevey (Manager), Rod Nichols (Pitching Coach), Desi Wilson (Hitting Coach), and Keoni DeRenne (Assistant Coach)
TENNESSEE: Jimmy Gonzalez (Manager), Terry Clark (Pitching Coach), Chad Allen (Hitting Coach), and Ben Carhart (Assistant Coach)
MYRTLE BEACH: Steve Lerud (Manager), Brian Lawrence (Pitching Coach), Ty Wright (Hitting Coach), and Osmin Melendez (Assistant Coach)
SOUTH BEND: Buddy Bailey (Manager), Jamie Vermilyea (Pitching Coach), Paul McAnulty (Hitting Coach), and Pedro Gonzalez (Assistant Coach)
EUGENE: Lance Rymel (Manager), Armando Gabino (Pitching Coach), Michael Carter (Hitting Coach), and Carlos Rojas (Assistant Coach)
AZL CUBS #1: Carmelo Martinez (Manager), Anderson Tavarez (Pitching Coach), Yasiel Balaguert (Hitting Coach), and Darnell McDonald (Assistant Coach)
AZL CUBS #2: Ricardo Medina (Manager), Manny Olivera (Pitching Coach), Claudio Almonte (Hitting Coach), and Jacob Rogers (Assistant Coach)
MESA REHAB: Ron Villone (Rehab Pitching Coordinator) and Tyler Pearson (Rehab Assistant Coach)
DSL CUBS #1: Leo Perez (Manager), Jose Cueto (Pitching Coach), D'Angelo Jimenez (Hitting Coach), Antonio Valerio (Assistant Coach), and Jose Zapata (Assistant Pitching Coach)
DSL CUBS #2: Carlos Ramirez (Manager), Luis Hernandez (Pitching Coach), Enrique Wilson (Hitting Coach), and Jovanny Rosario (Assistant Coach)
ATHLETIC TRAINERS: Ed Halbur and Mike McNulty (Iowa), Toby Williams (Tennessee), Logan Severson (Myrtle Beach), James Edwards (South Bend), Sean Folan (Eugene), Ike Ojata (AZL Cubs #1), Matthew Hussey (AZL Cubs #2), Brennan Connelly (DSL Cubs #1), and German Suncin and Arnoldo Goite (DSL Cubs #2)
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACHES: Ryan Clausen (Iowa), Jason Morriss (Tennessee), Keegan Knoll (Myrtle Beach), Ryan Nordtvedt (South Bend), Dallas Lopez (Eugene), Mike Megrew (AZL Cubs #1), Andres Rondon (AZL Cubs #2), Manny Estrada (DSL Cubs #1), and Amaury Gonzalez and Tomas Sanchez (DSL Cubs #2)


I wondered why Conor Lillis-White wasn’t in major league camp. What is the difference between “limited activity” and the “rehab throwing program?” Limited activity sounds like maybe he’s not even throwing? 

BRADSBEARD: Limited Activity means the player has some restriction that prohibits him from fully participating in workouts.  

G. Amaya and Mastrobuoni had knee surgery. I don't know what specifically Lillis-White's physical limitation is, but he is not in the Rehab Throwing Program at this time.

PHIL: Have you seen much of Trent Giambrone this Spring? Is he going to stick at 2B? Does he have legit power? Thanks!

E-MAN: I have seen quite a bit of Trent Giambrone in Minor League Camp last year, the AFL post-2018, and this year at MLB Camp, and while the Cubs are grooming him as a super-sub, he is below-average defensively, and in fact the one position he plays OK is 2B.  (He is a bit like Tommy LaStella defensively, maybe a tick better because Giambrone is faster than LaStella and has better range). So I think if they just leave Giambrone at 2B he could perhaps develop into a Brian Dozier-type bat-first 2B with a HR-SB combo. It's Zach Short who projects as a super-sub.  

n.hoerner in the lineup today (DH)...he got a 9th inning pinch hit appearance a few days ago (goundout to pitcher) and i think he was used as a pinch runner once.

not a good day for lester

3.2ip 4h 1bb 4k, 3r/er, 2hr, 1sb

...or kintzler

0.2ip 3h 1bb 1k, 3r/er

good day for hoerner, though (kinda)

3/3 (2 singles, a triple, and a HBP)

There are two or three important dates coming up over the next couple of weeks to keep an eye on because it could affect Cubs MLB roster construction. 

1. Today (Friday 3/8) is the first day that MLB Rule 6 Draft-Excluded players can be sent to the minors (optioned or outrighted). This will apply to three players on the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster): C-1B Taylor Davis, LHSP Justin Steele, and RHRP Rowan Wick.

It doesn't matter for NRI guys, but it's kind of important to option a player who is on the MLB 40-man roster to the minors as soon as the club determines that the player has zero chance of making the club's MLB Opening Day 25-man roster, because a player on an MLB 40-man roster who is injured during Spring Training cannot be optioned to the minors until he is healthy, and if placed on an Injured List, it would have to be an MLB Injured List, in which case the player (presuming he has a "split" contract) would be paid at the the major league rate (at least $575K) instead of the minor league rate (at least $90,000 for Davis and Wick or at least $45,000 for Steele) - AND - accrue MLB Service Time for as long as he remains on the MLB injured List.

So if the Cubs decide Steele has zero chance of making the Cubs MLB Opening Day 25-man roster (and that would appear to be the case), he needs to be optioned to the minors ASAP (like today) before he gets hurt. This would apply to any player on the 40 who has zero chance of making the MLB Opening Day 25-man roster, but in the case of Steele, by rule he could not be optioned to the minors before today.  

Also, keep in mind that when a player is optioned to the minors he can continue to play in Cactus League MLB Spring Training games, just like any other minor league player can. 

2. Next Wednesday (3/13) is the deadline to release a player signed to a non-guaranteed contract and pay the player 30 days' salary (paid at the minor league rate for players signed to a "split" contract) as termination pay.

A player signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released during Spring Training does not have his salary offset if he subsequently signs a contract with another MLB club, so (for example) if the Cubs determine that they do not need Xavier Cedeno (who is signed to a non-guaranteed contract), the Cubs can release him by next Wednesday and owe him just $75,000 as termination pay (30 days' pay or about 1/12 of his $900K base salary) whether or not he subsequently signs with another MLB club after being released. But if the Cubs were to release Cedeno after next Wednesday but prior to MLB Opening Day, they would owe him 45 days' pay (about $225K) as termination pay, which is $150K more than if they release him by next Wednesday. And if they release Cedeno after Opening Day (after the contract becomes guaranteed), the Cubs would owe Cedeno the entire $900K base salary plus a portion of the $300K in performance bonuses (depending on when he is released), offset by the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary if he were to sign a major league contract with another MLB club after being released. So clearly next Wednesday is an important deadline with regard to Cedeno (in particular).  

Another example would be a player signed to a "split" contract (like Jen-Ho Tseng, for example). If the Cubs decide to remove Tseng from the MLB 40-man roster and he is not claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers, they could either outright him to the minors and pay him $90,000 to pitch at Iowa, or (if they decide there is no room for him at Iowa, either), they could release him by next Wednesday rather than outright him to the minors and owe him just $7,500 as termination pay (1/12 of his $90,000 minor league "split" salary). But if the Cubs do not release Tseng by next Wednesday but do release him prior to MLB Opening Day, they would owe him 45 days pay (paid at the major league rate - which would be about $145K), considerably more than the $7,500 they would owe him if he is released by next Wednesday. (The Cubs would want to place Tseng on Outright Assignment Waivers first on the off chance he gets claimed and the claiming club assumes 100% of the salary - AND - the Cubs get the $50,000 waiver claim fee, but if he is not claimed, they would really need to make sure to release him by next Wednesday if they determine they don't need him at Iowa).

Remember, all non-guaranteed contracts become guaranteed on MLB Opening Day, so decisions like these need to be made prior to the end of Spring Training, and (if possible) preferably by next Wednesday. 

3. Unlike players like Cedeno and pre-arbitration players like Tseng, Brandon Kintzler and Brian Duensing are signed to guaranteed contracts, so no matter when they are released, the Cubs would be on the hook for 100% of the player's salary (which is $5M plus an additional $250K in potential performance bonuses based on GF for Kintzler and $3.5M with no performance bonuses for Duensing), offset by the pro-rated MLB minimum salary ($575K) if the player subsequently signs a major league contract with another MLB club after being released (and Kintzler's performance bonuses would be split beteen the Cubs and whatever club Kintzler subsequently signs with if he released after MLB Opening Day, depending on exactly when he is released and if and when he signs a major league contract with another MLB club). 

So the Cubs do not have to decide by next Wednesday or even by MLB Opening Day whether or not to release Kintzler or Duensing, but if they do decide to release one or both, the sooner they do so the sooner the player could sign a major league contract with another MLB club and receive the MLB minimum salary (which would reduce the money the Cubs would owe to the player by $575K if the player signs a major league contract with another MLB club by Opening Day, or else the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary if the player signs a major league contract with another MLB club after Opening Day). And releasing Kintzler prior to MLB Opening Day would matter because if he is released prior to MLB Opening Day, the Cubs would not be on the hook for any portion of his performance bonuses. 

An interesting case is Tony Barnette, who is signed to a guaranteed contract with a base salary of $750K and an additional $500K in roster bonuses. If the Cubs were to release Barnette prior to Opening Day they would be on the hook for only the MLB base salary ($750K) and no portion of the roster bonuses, meaning if he is released prior to MLB Opening Day and he subsequently signs a major league contract with another MLB club, the Cubs would be on the hook for only the $750K base salary, which would be offset by the MLB minimum salary ($575K) if he subsequently signs a major league contract with another MLB club after he is released. So the Cubs could release Barnette prior to Opening Day (and if that's the case, the sooner the better), and presuming he signs a major league contract with another MLB club, be on the hook for as little as $175K (the difference between his $750K base salary and the $575K MLB minmum salary). 

Obviously if Barnette pitches his way onto the MLB Opening Day 25-man roster during Spring Training all of this this would not matter, but if if turns out there just isn't room for him on the 25, the Cubs could release him prior to Opening Day and quite conceivably be on the hook for only $175K.    

4. Clubs must decide by Saturday 3/23 whether to retain or release a post-2018 Article XX-B MLB free-agent signed to a minor league contract (all minor league contracts are non-guaranteed). This will apply to Junichi Tazawa, the only such Cubs minor lerague player.

If a club does not release an Article XX-B minor leaguer (like Tazawa) by the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day and/or add the player to the club's MLB 40-man roster by Opening Day, the player is assigned to the minors but receives an automatic $100K retention bonus and an automatic June 1st opt-out. So the Cubs must decide by the Saturday prior to Opening Day if keeping Tazawa at Iowa until June 1st (plus paying him an extra $100K) is better than just releasing him and banking the $100K (which could be used to make a couple of waiver claims at a later date).  

5. And then there is the issue of Brandon Morrow.

It's pretty much a given that Morrow will begin the season on the Cubs MLB 10-day Injured List, but when he is ready to be reinstated (probably sometime in May), somebody in the bullpen will have to go. It would be a lot easier (and cheaper) if the pitcher who Morrow replaces on the 25 can be optioned to Iowa, and at present, of the Cubs relievers most-likely to make the Cubs MLB Opening Day 25-man roster, only Carl Edwards Jr has usable options, and he is not likely to be the victim when Morrow returns. So it actually would be better for the Cubs to release Kintzler or Duensing prior to MLB Opening Day (to maximize the opportunity for the pitcher to sign a major league contract with another club so that his salary can be offset ASAP) and have a pitcher who can be optioned to the minors (like Dillon Maples, James Norwood, Randy Rosario, Rowan Wick, or Alec Mills) occupy the roster slot until Morrow is reinstated.

6. And finally there is this: 

Because of off days, the Cubs will need only four starting pitchers over the first ten days of the MLB regular season. Ten days happens to be the magic number for the number of days a player must spend on the MLB 10-day Injured List before he can be reinstated and it's also the number of days a player must spend on Optional Assignment to the minors before he can be recalled.  

So (if possible) it would be smart to place one of the Cubs five SP (doesn't really matter which one) on the MLB 10-day Injured List on Opening Day and carry either a 9th arm in the pen or an extra bat on the bench for the first ten days of the regular season, and then have the pitcher who is on the Injured List remain in Mesa and start in an EXST intrasquad "sim" game on Monday April 8th before rejoining the club and being reinstated from the Injured List in time to start the game in Milwaukee on Sunday April 14th.  

The problem is, the pitcher will have to have a legitimate short-term injury or illness that can be documented by the club physician. MLB would look very carefully at this if a Cubs SP were to be placed on the 10-day Injured List while only four SP are needed and then suddenly and magically be healthy enough to be reinstated from the Injured List on the very day when a 5th starter is needed for the first time.  

The other possibility (and this is really outside the box, but it makes sense if you think about it because it doesn't requre placing a SP on the 10-day Injured List) would be to option Kyle Hendricks (who has minor league options left and who does not have enough MLB Service Time to decline a minor league assignment) to Eugene on Opening Day, and have him just remain in Mesa when the club leaves for Texas and stay on his schedule and throw in one Extended Spring Training intrasquad "sim" game on Monday April 8 and then be recalled on Sunday April 14 to start the game in Milwaukee, which would be the first game where a 5th starter will be needed. Because he would be optioned for less than twenty days he would accrue a full season of MLB Service Time, and it would just mean staying in Mesa an extra five days (he could rejoin the club in Atlanta after he pitches in the EXST intrasquad game and he could even throw his between-starts bullpen session in Atlanta on Wednesday or Thursday before getting the start in Milwaukee on Sunday). 

Phil, you are a jem!

Phil, have you seen Hagerty throw this spring?

HAGSAG: Luke Hagerty is not throwing at this time. He has been reassigned to the South Bend squad with a "Limited Activity" restriction (he is participating in PFP drills only). 

Per report in the Tribune this morning, "Hagerty is sidelined by a sore flexor tendon in his left elbow, and while he and the Cubs are proceeding with caution — he hopes to resume playing catch this weekend at minor-league camp."

3B-1B Fidel Mejia has reported to Minor League Camp and he has been assigned to the Tennessee squad. 

deleted...found answer.

RHRP Maikel Aguiar has arrived at Minor League Camp and he has been assigned to the Myrtle Beach squad. 

As always, thank you so much, Phil. 

With regards to Hagerty being limited in activity, is it related to an injury or are they just bringing him along slowly?

RAISIN: Hagerty is participating fully in conditioning drills and PFP with the South Bend squad but he is not throwing bullpens. I haven't even seen him play long-toss. So he will almost for sure be assigned to Extended Spring Training for an indefinite period of time. It reminds me a bit of Danny Hultzen last year. 

Even after the most-recent roster moves made at Minor League Camp, six 2018 Cubs draft picks (RHSP Paul Richan, RHSP Riley McCauley, 1B Tyler Durna, 2B Andy Weber, LF Jimmy Herron, and INF Levi Jordan) remain assigned to the Myrtle Beach group (with nobody blocking Durna, Weber, and Herron), and a seventh 2018 draft pick (SS Nico Hoerner) is still at AAA Iowa (note that Hoerner stayed with the AAA group while Aramis Ademan was moved down to AA Tennessee). This does not mean that Hoerner will begin the regular season at AAA Iowa, but it does improve his chances to start the season at AA Tennessee. 

Also, two recently-signed NDFA (RHP Robert Robbins and OF Brandon Vicens) showed enough in the first week of Minor League Camp to get a bump up to Myrtle Beach from South Bend on Monday. It doesn't mean they will stay there, and they are both older guys (Robbins is 24 and Vicens is 23) so they need to "hit the ground running" and then keep moving forward (like another NDFA -- Taylor Davis -- did a few years ago). But they both have impressed the Player Development staff. 

"Live" BP/'sim" games on all four backfields at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa this morning: 

THREE INNINGS (45 pitches each) 

Duncan Robinson 
Jen-Ho Tseng 

Tom Hatch 
Tyson Miller 

Bryan Hudson 
Paul Richan 

Derek Casey 
Cam Sanders 


ONE INNING (20 pitches each): 

Corey Black (REHAB)
Trevor Clifton 

Casey Bloomquist (just completed REHAB THROWING PROGRAM)

Jesus Camargo 
Dalton Geekie 
Brian Glowicki 
Ben Hecht 
Brendan King 
* Eugenio Palma 
Manuel Rodriguez 

Kohl Franklin 
Fauris Guerrero 
* Pablo Ochoa (REHAB) 
Raidel Orta 
* Jack Patterson   
Jake Reindl
Niels Stone 
Carlos Vega 
Blake Whitney 

So what we can glean from this is that going into Cactus League Minor League Camp games, Robinson and Tseng are 2/5 of the Iowa proto-starting rotation, Hatch and T. Miller are 2/5 of the Tennessee proto-startng rotation, Hudson and Richan are 2/5 of the proto-Myrtle Beach starting rotration, and Casey and Sanders are 2/5 of the proto-South Bend starting rotation. 

Also, Clifton is being transitioned to the bullpen with Iowa, and Franklin will be limited in his Spring Training outings to one-inning, and then will probably be stretched-out as a SP over the course of Extended Spring Training. 

So who are the other SP at Iowa, Tennessee, Myrtle Beach, and South Bend going into Cactus League Minor League Camp play? 


Besides Robinson and Tseng (Iowa) and Hatch and T. Miller (Tennessee), we know that Keegan Thompson has been stretched-out as a SP with the Iowa squad, and Matt Swarmer has, too (presuming his blister heals quickly). However, one of them will need to move-down to Tennessee (and/or to the bullpen) once Adbert Alzolay gets stetched-out as a SP and Alec Mills is optioned to Iowa. 

Justin Steele (optioned to Tennessee last Saturday) will be a SP at Tennessee once he gets stretched-out, and together with Hatch and T. Miller, that's 3/5 of the Tenessee proto-rotation right there. Cory Abbott, Alex Lange, and Erich Uelmen have been stretched-out as SP with Tennessee as well, so that makes six SP with the Tennessee squad (Steele, Hatch, T. Miller, Abbott, Lange, and Uelmen). And if (let's say) K. Thompson and Swarmer get moved-down to Tennessee to make room for Alzolay and Mills in the Iowa rotation, that will impact the Tennessee starters. And that doesn't even include Michael Rucker (if he were to get stretched-out as a SP as he was last season).   


So Hudson and Richan are presently 2/5 of the Myrtle Beach proto-starting rotation, and Riley McCauley, Erling Moreno, Javier Asaad, and Brendan Little have been stretched out as a SP with the Myrtle Beach squad as well. So that's six SP with the Myrtle Beach squad right now. And again, it may be necessary to move one or two SP down to Myrtle Beach from Tennessee, and that would eventually impact whether Hudson, Richan, McCauley, Moreno, Assad, and/or Little remain in the Myrtle Beach rotation, and so how they pitch in Cactus League Minor League games will matter a lot.    


Yovanny Cruz, Brailyn Marquez and Faustino Carrera have been stretched-out as SP with the South Bend squad, so they will very likely join Casey and Sanders as the other three members of the South Bend proto-starting rotation - UNLESS - the cascade effect of starting pitchers moving down to Myrtle Beach from Tennessee causes a ripple effect at South Bend. (Riley Tiompson and Eury Ramos were moved to the back of the SP line with the South Bend squad after throwing two innings a piece in their first "live" BP last week).  

So while Marquez, Carrera, Y. Cruz, Casey, and Sanders are presently the South Bend proto-starting rotation, that could change if McCauley, Moreno, Assad, and/or Little get moved-down to the South Bend squad from Myrtle Beach.  

Obviously it will be interesting to see how this game of musical chairs plays out over the course of Cactus Leaguer Minor League Camp games. 

The most likely solution to make sure that minor league starting pitchers get "starter's innings" and do so at the appropriate level for each pitcher would be to make extensive use of the "piggy-back" system at all levels below AAA (where two startng pitchers essentially split a game in half, with each throwing four innings).

Phil, do you see a piggy-back situation with the starting rotation at South Bend or Myrlte Beach in April? 

VIDEOGRAPHER: I suspect the Cubs will employ at least one piggy-back combo (which pitchers still TBD) at Tennessee, at least one at Myrtle Beach, and at least one at South Bend, at the outset of the minor league regular season. 

Deciding which pitchers to piggy-back and which to use as a traditional SP would be based on what the individual pitchers show at Minor League Camp and in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games. 

If Iowa uses a piggy-back it could be Underwood/K.Ryan (with Mills, Tseng, Alzolay, and Robinson or K. Thompson the base four), but otherwise the I-Cubs are the least likely Cubs affiliate to do it, since the Cubs would probably prefer a more-traditional five man rotation at Iowa likely consisting of Mills, Tseng, Alzolay, Robinson, and K. Thompson, with an eight-man bullpen (at this point, the eight would probably be Maples, Norwood, Webster, R. Rosario, Wick, Baldonado, Underwood, and K. Ryan, with Carasiti and Clifton in the mix but probably needing somebody to get hurt prior to Opening Day to make the cut).    

The Cubs have released DSL Cubs #1 RHP Wilfre Delgado. He was suspended for 72 games on January 12, 2018, after testing positive for a prohibited substance (Stanozolol). 

The Cubs have released RHSP Christian Bergman from Minor League Camp. He was an NRI to MLB Camp, but was sent down to Minor League Camp last week 

Here is how the Cubs starting pitching is trending at Minor League Camp as of this morning (Thursday 3/21). There will be changes before the affiliates leave town in about ten days, but here is how things stand right now:  

1. Jen-Ho Tseng 
2. Duncan Robinson  
3. Michael Rucker 
4. Tom Hatch 
5. Matt Swarmer (missed start with blister issue) 
6. Trevor Clifton (began ST in I-Cubs bullpen but is now getting stretched-out)
7. Colin Rea (is now piggy-backing with Clifton)  
8. Alec Mills (has lower back strain at MLB Camp & cannot be optioned until healthy) 
9. Adbert Alzolay (is in REHAB THROWING PROGRAM at Minor League Camp) 
Christian Bergman 

1. Cory Abbott 
2. Alex Lange 
3. Keegan Thompson 
4. Tyson Miller
5. Ian Clarkin 
6. Justin Steele (was a bit behind but is now getting stretched-out)

1. Bryan Hudson 
2. Javier Assad 
3. Ryan Lawlor 
4. Brendan King 
5. Erling Moreno 
6. Paul Richan 
7. Erich Uelmen 
8. Brendon Little

1. Yovanny Cruz 
2. Faustino Carrera 
3. Derek Casey 
4. Riley Thompson 
5. Cam Sanders 
6. Eury Ramos 
7. Zach Mort 
8. Brailyn Marquez

I would expect at least six (maybe even seven) SP to be assigned to the Tennessee, Myrtle Beach, and South Bend Opening Day rosters, with at least one (or maybe even two) piggy-back combos at each level until all SP are fully conditioned/stretched-out.

Even with that, some of the SP listed above will be left behind at Extended Spring Training, either to rehab, build up arm strength, or get regular innings at EXST in preparation of being a SP at Eugene.

Hi Arizona Phil - does throwing bullpens mean they were previously injured and working back from the setback? And do you know what ailent Brendon Little has?

RAISIN: Throwing bullpens means the pitcher is throwing off a bullpen mound on a regular schedule but is not pitching in games. It's usually done so that the pitcher and a designated pitching coach can work on a particular mechanical issue that needs to be addressed.   

I don't know why Brendon Little (and Conor Lillis-White, Jerry Vasto, Erick Leal, and Josh Sawyer) are shut down, but Little and Leal were at least throwing "live" sim/BP prior to being shut down. The other three (Lillis-White, Vasto, and Sawyer) were shut down when they arrived at Minor League Camp, but I have no specific info on any of the circimstances right now. None of them are engaged in the Rehab Throwing Program at this time.

The current participants in the Rehab Throwing Program are Adbert Alzolay, Jake Stinnett, Chad Hockin, Enrique de los Rios, Luke Hagerty, Alfredo Colorado, Jose Miguel Gonzalez, and Andres Bonalde (all pitchers), plus INF Santiago Blanco, who was brought up to Mesa from the Dominican Academy about a week ago for rehab.    

Casey Bloomquist, Corey Black, and Pablo Ochoa were in the Rehab Throwing Program earlier in Minor League Camp but they are fully active now. 

Erich Uelmen is on Limited Activity status (is participating in drills).  

Among the position players, C Will Remillard is inactive, and OF Jose Cardona (right wrist), INF Gioskar Amaya (knee surgery rehab), and C Marcus Mastrobuoni (hip surgery rehab) are on Limited Activity restrictions. 3B Jesse Hodges (right shoulder) just came back to full activity status on Friday after being on Limited Activity status for a couple of weeks. 

Because they played in the Eugene/Mesa game today, it is likely that three Tennessee infielders (Hodges, Peguero, and Sepulveda) are in flux (that is, they will be assigned to either Myrtle Beach, South Bend, or EXST, but it is still TBD). And so it appears that 3B Robel Garcia (who has had a great ST) and utility infielder Jhonny Bethencourt will join 1B Jared Young (who has also been playing LF), 2B Christian Donahue (who has had a very good Minor League Camp), and SS Nico Hoerner as the Smokies infielders.

Jimmy Herron and Andy Weber played in the Eugene./Mesa game, so they will probably not remain with Myrtle Beach, but whether they will be assigned to South Bend or EXST is still TBD. Also, Wladimir Galindo (Myrtle Beach) has been playing only 1B for the last several days, so he may be moving off 3B (again, TBD). That could possibly open up 3B for either Jesse Hodges or Luke Reynolds at Myrtle Beach.

And note that Kevonte Mitchell was moved down from Tennessee to Myrtle Beach, Grant Fennell was moved down from Myrtle Beach to South Bend, and Brennen Davis and Christopher Morel (among others) were moved down from South Bend to Eugene/Mesa this morning, but CF Cole Roederer and 3B Fidel Mejia (as well as C Jonathan Soto, who is still with the Myrtle Beach squad) are still very much in play for the South Bend Opening Day roster (TBD), and OF Nelson Velazquez still remains a candidate for the Myrtle Beach Opening Day roster (once again, TBD).  

And finally, although he is signed to a 2019 minor league player contract, the plan right now is for Yasiel Balaguert to be the hitting coach at AZL Cubs #1. He just got assigned to Carmelo Martinez's Eugene/Mesa (EXST) coaching staff. 

The Cubs have released LHP Rob Zastryzny and RHP Robert Robbins.  

Now 26 (his 27th birthday is tomorrow), Zastryzny was the Cubs 2nd round draft pick in 2013 out of the University of Missouri, and he pitched for the Cubs in parts of three different seasons (including the 2016 World Series Championship season), but he was never able to establish himself at the MLB level. 

The 24-year old Robbins was signed out of Driveline in Seattle at the same time the Cubs signed Luke Hagerty. Robbins has a mid-90's FB but not much else. 

PHIL: What happened to Rob Z? Also, didn’t the Cubs lose Cory Black to Rule 5 a year ago, or am I mistaken? Finally, did Tseng have a nice final run of starts to be anointed #1 at AAA? Thanks.

E-MAN: Rob Zastryzny was just a victim of circumstance. There was no place for him in the Iowa bullpen or starting rotation, and he was scheduled to be a minor league 6YFA post-2019. So getting released now just gives him a year's head start on finding another job in baseball.

The Cubs acquired Corey Black from the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano in July 2013, and he was progressing nicely through the Cubs system and was a legit MLB closer prospect through the 2016 season, before undergoing TJS in February 2017. And he hasn't pitched (much) since. He tried to come back last Spring Training but got shut down in the middle of an inning, but now he is throwing in games at Minor League Camp and has been flashing a mid-90's FB. However, there probably isn't a spot for him right now in the Iowa bullpen, so either he gets assigned to Tennessee or Myrtle Beach, or he goes to Extended Spring Training and waits for an opening with a full season affiliate, or he gets traded, or he gets released. Like Zastryzny, Black is eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2019. And while he has never been selected in the Rule 5 Draft, he was first-time Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2016 and was considered at that time to be a good candidate to get selected after a strong showing as a closer in Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (AKA the Puerto Rican Winter League). 

Jen-Ho Tseng has a spot in the Iowa rotation right now mainly because two other I-Cubs SP -- Alec Mills (lower back strain) and Adbert Alzolay (Rehab Throwing Program) -- have been delayed getting ready for the 2019 season. Once Mills and Alzolay are fully stretched-out and ready to roll, Tseng could be odd man out. Tseng also is a good candidate to get moved off the Cubs MLB 40-man roster whenever a slot is needed (like when Addison Russell and Oscar de la Cruz have finished serving their suspensions and are reinstated from the Restricited List). 

j.tazawa signs a minor league contract...

"He'll begin the year in extended spring training and would make a $900,000 salary in the majors."

The Chicago Cubs and right-handed starter Kyle Hendricks have agreed on a four-year contract extension with an option for 2024.

Including his deal for this year at $7.405 million, the 29-year-old will earn $63 million before the option, sources told ESPN's Jesse Rogers.


not the off-season extension i was hoping for, but the price is decent.

hope maddux-lite keeps it up.

via rosenthal...

Breakdown on Hendricks, per source. 2019: $7.405M. 2020: $12M. 2021: $14M. 2022: $14M. 2023: $14M. 2024: $16M vesting option or $1.5M buyout. Option vests based on Cy finish in 2020. NOT a club option. Deal also includes $3M per season in Cy escalators. Can max out at $79.8M.

Chris Pieters joins Yasiel Balaguert as a new AZL Cubs coach. Like Balaguert, Pieters is signed to a 2019 minor league player contract.  

More simultaneous triple-header minor league intrasquad games this morning at Rivervew. 

FIELD #6: 

Keegan Thompson (five innings) 
NOTE: K. Thompson, Abbott, Lange are fully-stretched-out as Tennessee SP... 
Steele will need piggy-back partner for a while (could be Brady Clark or T. Miller) or else a bit of EXST... 
Oscar de la Cruz is also stretched-out as SP with Tennessee squad and he will likely remain so at EXST while he waits for suspension to end... 

Duane Underwood Jr (three innings) 
Trevor Clifton (three innings) 
NOTE: Underwood/Clifton could be a piggy-back combo at Iowa until one or both are fully stretched-out...
Tseng, Robinson, Swarmer, Rucker, and Hatch are fully stretched-out as Iowa SP, but one will likely go back to Tennessee if there is an Underwood/Clifton piggy-back combo at Iowa...   
Mills could go to EXST to get stretched-out as SP...
Also, Ian Happ hit a HR off K. Thompson on the very first pitch he saw in the bottom of the 1st inning. 

FIELD #5: 

Brailyn Marquez (three innings)
NOTE: There were three SB relievers (one inning each) who followed Marquez but I don't have info on them... 
Probably Barry, Roberts, and McCauley...  
Miguel Amaya homered off Marquez... 
Marquez will probably need a piggy-back partner until he's fully stretched-out (could be Ramos, Mort, or Remy) or else some EXST... 
Y. Cruz, Carrera, Casey, R. Thompson, and Sanders are already fully stretched-out as SP with SB...  

Brendon King (five innings) 
Manuel Rodriguez (one inning) 
Ben Hecht (one inning)
NOTE: Hudson, Assad, and King are fully stretched-out as MB SP...
Moreno and Richan are up to three innings each but both may need piggy-back partners...  
Lawlor could be one of the piggy-back partners for Moreno or Richan at Myrtle Beach...   
T. Miller could get moved down from Tennessee to MB to piggy-back with Moreno or Richan...  
Hecht & M. Rodriguez could be co-closers at MB...  


Eugene/Mesa SQUAD "A" 
Yovanny Cruz (five innings) 
Eduarniel Nunez (two innings) 

Eugene/Mesa SQUAD "B" 
Faustino Carrera (five innings)
Maikel Aguiar (one inning) 
Alfredo Colorado (one inning) 

NOTE: Y. Cruz and Carrera are assigned to South Bend squad but were moved down for the day...  
Y. Cruz FB velo was 94-96... 
Albertos FB velo was 89-92 yesterday... 

Do you know how far away Adbert Alzolay might be? 

PHIL: First off, thank you, once again, for your tireless efforts in bringing us the stellar spring training info! 

Two questions. Do you have any sense of whether Gallardo and Machado will be brought up and play in the AZL this year, and when will we likely know for sure? And yesterday, you listed Yovanny Cruz as sitting 94-96 (nice!) and Albertos at 89-92, but didn't have Albertos listed as throwing that day (instead it was Carrera who started). Did you mean Carrera or has Albertos' velocity really dropped that much?


PHIL: Also, do you have any info as to what is bothering Brendon Little and how serious it is?

K-DUB: I wrote that the Albertos FB velo was from the day before (I wrote "yesterday") because I forgot to mention it at the time.   

I don't know who specifically is coming to EXST or to the AZL from the Cubs Dominican Academy. 

I don't know why Brendon Little was shut down. 

Thanks, Phil. 

Wow, Albertos has really fallen off in more ways than one...

Obviously not Phil, but my guess is he should be invited to Extended Spring Training. (If it were me, I'd invite 30 from the DSL, but that's unlikely.) Let him pitch a bit for an inning or two, seeing how he progresses. If he's getting outs early, plan on him being in Mesa. If he's wild, or getting pounded, return him to Boca Chica.

BRADSBEARD: Adbert Alzolay is still in the Rehab Throwing Program, so it could be a while. Hopefully he will be ready to face hitters soon. But he will almost certainly begin the 2019 minor league regular season at Extended Spring Training. 

That’s a bummer. He’s so close to the majors but missed so much time. Still hoping he can be at least an option out of the MLB pen down the stretch. 

PHIL: MiLB.com says that Iowa and Tennessee can only carry 25 players at any one time while Myrtle Beach and South Bend can have 35 players on their roster while only 25 can be active for any one game. 

Is this accurate? You are the master when it comes to roster ins and outs. Are there reserve lists for each level and stuff like that? (As an ETHS alum, I should have a better memory for such things, but I'm getting old...)


K-DUB: The advanced short-season leagues (like NWL and NYP) have had a 35 man reserve list limit and a 35-man active list limit with 25 players designated "active" for each game (of which at least ten must be pitchers) since 2017, and the short-season "rookie" leagues (like AZL and DSL) have had a 35 man reserve list and 35 man active list with 30 players designated "active" for each game (of which at least ten must be pitchers) for many years. But I wasn't aware that the active list limit at full-season single-"A" has been changed to mirror advanced short-season leagues. If so, it will be a new rule in 2019.  

If the roster limit rule has in fact been changed this year, that would actually make some sense, because it would allow the younger pitchers who populate single-"A" rosters to get more rest (since most of the extra players carried on an expanded single-"A" active list would be very likely be pitchers), and it would almost certainly encourage six-man starting rotations and/or multiple "piggy-back" combos. 

Thanks, Phil. 

So for AAA and AA, they've got to get down to a strict 25 man roster? Is there any sort of reserve list for those two levels?

K-DUB: Yes. It's 38 for AAA and 37 for AA. 

FYI, there's no date on the page, but here is what is currently up on milb.com

"Here are the roster limits by league:

Triple-A: International, Pacific Coast - 25 active.
Double-A: Eastern, Southern, Texas - 25 active.
Class A Advanced: California, Carolina, Florida State - 25 active; 35 under control; no more than two players and one player-coach on active list may have six or more years of prior Minor League service.
Class A: Midwest, South Atlantic - 25 active; 35 under control; no more than two players on active list may have five or more years of prior Minor League service.
Class A Short-Season: New York-Penn, Northwest - 35 active. No more than three players on the Active List may have four or more years of prior Minor League service.
Rookie: Appalachian, Pioneer leagues - 35 active. No more than three players on the Active List may have three or more years of prior Minor League service.
Rookie: Arizona, Gulf Coast leagues - 35 active. No player on the Active List may have three or more years of prior Minor League service.

Rookie: Venezuelan Summer, Dominican Summer - 35 active. No player on the Active List may have four or more years of prior Minor League Service. No Draft-eligible player from the U.S. or Canada (not including players from Puerto Rico) may participate in the DSL or VSL."


K-DUB: 35 players "under control" refers to the club's reserve list. The "25 players active" is not just for each game, it is like the MLB 25-man roster. So I don't see any rules change for 2019 there. 

Awesome, Thanks, Phil. So, from your lists of Cubs minor league camp rosters, the numbers teams have to cut down to before their seasons start are: 

Iowa - 38, Tenn - 37, Myrtle Beach - 35 and South Bend - 35. Do I understand that correctly?

KDUB: The four Cubs full-season minor league affilliates have to get their active rosters down to 25 players by minor league Opening Day next Thursday (4/4). Each affiliate will no doubt place additional players on its 7-day Injured List on Opening Day and those players (in addition to the 25 players on the affiliate's active roster) will count against the affiliate's reserve lists limit (38 at Iowa, 37 at Tennessee, and 35 at Myrtle Beach and South Bend). 

However, players on the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are optioned to the minors do - NOT - count against the affiliate's reserve list limit (because they are on the Cubs MLB reserve list), but they - DO - count against the affiliate's active list limit. 

BTW, the reserve lists of the four full-season affiliates (unlike the MLB reserve list) are almost never full, but on 11/20 MLB clubs do fill-up their 38-man AAA affiliate's reserve list with Rule 5 Draft-eligible players they do not want to lose in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft. 

Also, the reserve lists of the Cubs two AZL teams and the Eugene affiliate as well as the two DSL teams are usually filled-up to the max (35) after the June draft and after the conclusion of that year's ISP on June 15th, but a lot of the players on the AZL and Eugene reserve lists (as well as some of the players on the two DSL reserve lists) are reassigned to the reserve lists of the other affiliates on 11/20. 

At the bottom of the page linked below are the current Cubs minor league reserve lists (which include players optioned to the affiliate from the MLB reserve list but who do not count against the minor league affiliate's reserve list), and the minor league reserve lists are different from the Minor League Camp rosters.  


So with Thursday's releases and roster movement (mostly downward) at Minor League Camp (see 3/28 UPDATE in post above), the Cubs four full-season affiliate rosters now number: 

IOWA: 36 

So essentially 23 more roster moves will be needed over the next couple of days to get all four affiliates down to the Opening Day 25-man limit. 

With Thomas Hatch and Michael Rucker having been moved down from Iowa to Tennessee and with Alex Lange moved down from Tennessee to Myrtle Beach (as I reported here yesterday), that should clear things up a bit with regard to the starting rotations at the four Cubs full-season affiliates: 

IOWA: Tseng, Robinson, Swarmer, Clifton, and Underwood Jr, with Mills left behind at EXST and with neither Clifton nor Underwood piggy-backing with anyone else.  

TENNESSEE: Rucker, Hatch, Abbott, K. Thompson, and B. Clark (who has been stretched-out as a SP at Minor League Camp), with Steele left behind at EXST  

MYRTLE BEACH: Lange, Hudson, Assad, Moreno, and Richan, plus Brendan King is stretched-out as a SP in case Moreno or Richan need a piggy-back partner. 

SOUTH BEND: Marquez, Y. Cruz, R. Thompson, Casey, and either Carrera, Sanders, or Ramos the #5 and then one of the other two could be a potential piggy-back partner with Marquez (if one is needed). 

Hi Arizona Phil,

is Tyson Miller injured or is he transitioning to the bullpen? He seems like the most notable full season pitcher you didn’t mention.


RAISIN: Tyson Miller was working out of the bullpen the last couple of times I saw him pitch. 

There will be a number of pitchers left behind at EXST once the four full-season affiliates leave town. Some will be working on correcting mechanical flaws, some will be building up innings and/or pitch counts, some will be rehabbing from minor physical issues, and some will be just hanging around waiting for siomething to happen.  

I like the looks of the South Bend group. Especially if Roederer makes the team.

Wasn't Michael Cruz regarded as a legitimate catching prospect, at least as a backup? 

SEAMER: Michael Cruz is a DH who can catch and play a little 1B. He has plus-HR power but not much else. 

Dixon Machado? Why?

Just to clarify so that it is not misunderstood, while Iowa RHSP Adbert Alzolay (lat strain) - IS - "throwing," it is just part of the Rehab Throwing Program, and he is not anywhere close to returning to the Iowa starting rotation (he is at least a month away, presuming no set-backs along the way).

This was the AA Tennessee Smokies provisional Opening Day roster as of Saturday 3/30: 

STARTING PITCHERS: Cory Abbott, Bailey Clark, Tom Hatch, Michael Rucker, and Keegan Thompson 
BULLPEN: Craig Brooks, Ian Clarkin, Scott Effross, Zach Hedges, Tyson Miller, Jordan Minch, Manuel Rondon, and Wyatt Short 
CATCHERS: P. J. Higgins, Jhonny Pereda, and Ian Rice 
INFIELDERS: Christian Donahue, Robel Garcia, Nico Hoerner, Vimael Machin, and Jared Young  
OUTFIELDERS: Charcer Burks, Roberto Caro, Eddy Julio Martinez, and Connor Myers 

One more player (probably a pitcher) will need to be removed from active roster by Opening Day on Thursday. It's possible that Justin Steele (who had TJS in July 2017) could be left behind at EXST to get stretched-out slowly and so that the Cubs can manage his 2019 innings more closely right from the gitgo. 

In addition, 3B Jesse Hodges (right shoulder) and OF Jose Cardona (right wrist) will be left behind at Extended Spring Training to rehab injuries suffered during Spring Training.  

Also, the AAA Iowa roster still had 37 players active as of Saturday 3/30, and it is possible that one or more of the players on the Iowa roster could be moved-down to AA Tennessee prior to Opening Day on Thursday.  

really interested in what this AA SP crew is gonna do this season.

any one of those guys could make the jump to being a next-level prospect...but at the same time they could flame out and it wouldn't shock anyone.  it's nice to have 5 legit fringe-that-could-be-better guys to watch in a system that could use some players to watch, though.

CRUNCH: The Cubs may not have any elite SP prospects right now, but they sure have a lot of depth and redundancy.

It helps to remember that Jacob deGrom was projected as an MLB #4 starter coming up through the Mets system, and Corey Kluber was projected as an MLB #5 starter or middle-reliever coming up through the Padres and Indians systems.

So not all MLB TOR SP were projected to be MLB TOR SP as they metriculated and percolated up the ladder. 


"It helps to remember that," looking at amateur pitchers, this group has a poor track record going back to Boston of identifying major-league talent. Or, for that matter, looking at major-league pitchers like Chatwood and Darvish and identifying head cases.

Sorry for the outburst. I'll feel better at the end of the season when they let the manager go and fire all the coaches (again).

And this was the bloated Iowa roster at Minor League Camp as of Saturday 3/30:

STARTING PITCHERS: Trevor Clifton, Duncan Robinson, Matt Swarmer, Jen-Ho Tseng, and Duane Underwood Jr (all are locks right now, but Mills and Alzolay will be back eventually)
PIGGY-BACK STARTER: Alec Mills (probably will be left behind at EXST to get fully stretched-out) 
BULLPEN (TOP GROUP): Alberto Baldonado, Matt Carasiti, Tim Collins, Dillon Maples, Brad Markey, Dakota Mekkes, James Norwood, Kyle Ryan, Allen Webster, and Rowan Wick (will need to cut two or - MAYBE - one if nine-man bullpen)
BULLPEN (SECOND GROUP): Corey Black, Brian Duensing, Danny Hultzen, George Kontos, Colin Rea, and Junichi Tazawa (either EXST or released - take your pick) 

Adbert Alzolay (lat strain) is still in the Rehab Throwing Program and so it will probably be another month before he will be ready to join the Iowa starting rotation (and that's presuming no medical set-backs along the way). He could return much sooner if he is not stretched-out as a starter and is instead used as a one or two-inning reliever, except the Iowa bullpen is already overcrowded and the starting rotation maybe not so much.  

CATCHERS: Francisco Arcia, Erick Castillo, and Taylor Davis (probably one catcher will need to be cut from Active Roster - possibly "phantom IL" for Castillo?)

INFIELDERS: Cristhian Adames, Jim Adduci, Phillip Evans, Trent Giambrone, Dixon Machado, and Zack Short (one infielder will probably need to be cut from active roster, depending on whether four or five outfielders are on roster - remember, Ian Happ is OF but can play can play INF, too) 

OUTFIELDERS: Wynton Bernard, Zach Borenstein, Donnie Dewees, Johnny Field, Jacob Hannemann, and Ian Happ (at least one or maybe even two outfielders still need to be cut from Iowa active roster -- and that's not even including Charcer Burks, who was just moved-down to AA Tennessee)

Ron Villone is the new Pitching Coach at AA Tennessee, replacing Terry Clark. Assistant Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mike Mason will temporarily replace Ron Villone as Mesa Rehab Pitching Coordinator. 

MiLB transaction list Giambrone, Z. Short, Swarmer, and Nance on the MB roster. Have they been left behind in Mesa until the Iowa roster is trimmed?

HAGSAG: Giambrone, Short, and Swarmer are assigned to Iowa and Nance is assigned to the Eugene/Mesa roster (soon to be the Cubs Extended Spring Training squad) at Minor League Camp.

All four were assigned to the Myrtle Beach reserve list during the off-season, however, so milb probably did that because the Iowa Opening Day roster hasn't been released (yet) and there was no place else to put them.

It is possible that Nance will be placed on the MB 7-day DL on Opening Day (Thursday 4/4), since he is assigned to the Myrtle Beach reserve list.  

Ok, you are our GOAT Phi.