2019 Cubs Minor League Camp Rosters

3/18 UPDATE

There's still two weeks left before the Cubs need to make final decisions, but the rosters for the Cubs four full season affiliates are beginning to take shape. 

RELEASED: RHP Mario Meza, RHP Brady Miller, RHP Nathan Sweeney, C Benny Kaleiwahea, C-1B Franklin Tineo, 1B Kevin Zamudio, OF Chris Carrier, and OF Kwangmin Kwon 

GOING DOWN 

IOWA to TENNESSEE: INF Christian Donahue and INF Nico Hoerner  

TENNESSEE to MYRTLE BEACH: INF Aramis Ademan, C Michael Cruz, and OF Brandon Hughes 

MYRTLE BEACH to SOUTH BEND: C Caleb Knight, 1B Tyler Durna, INF Austin Upshaw, and INF Delvin Zinn 

MOVING UP:  

MYRTLE BEACH to TENNESSEE: OF Luis Ayala 

SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: INF Levi Jordan, 1B-3B Luke Reynolds, OF Grant Fennell, and OF Nelson Velazquez 

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3/16 UPDATE

RELEASED: RHP Wilfre Delgado (from DOMINICAN ACADEMY) 

SIGNED: OF Felix Stevens (assigned to DOMINICAN ACADEMY) 

GOING DOWN: 

MLB CAMP to IOWA: RHP Christian Bergman, RHP Matt Carasiti, RHP George Kontos, RHP Dakota Mekkes, RHP James Norwood, RHP Duane Underwood Jr, RHP Rowan Wick, LHP Mike Zagurski, C Francisco Arcia, 1B-OF Jim Adduci, INF Ryan Court, INF Philip Evans, INF-OF Trent Giambrone, and INF Zach Short 

MLB CAMP to TENNESSEE: C P. J. Higgins  

IOWA to TENNESSEE: LHP Ian Clarkin, RHP Keegan Thompson, RHP Ryan Williams, and 3B Jesse Hodges (has LIMITED ACTIVITY restriction)

IOWA to REHAB THROWING PROGRAM: RHP Adbert Alzolay 

TENNESSEE to MYRTLE BEACH: RHP Casey Bloomquist, RHP Brian Glowicki, LHP Bryan Hudson, LHP Ryan Kellogg, and RHP Erich Uelmen 

MYRTLE BEACH to SOUTH BEND: RHP Jesus Camargo, RHP Riley McCauley, RHP Jake Steffens, and C Alexander Guerra

OTHER

DOMINICAN ACADEMY to REHAB THROWING PROGRAM (MESA): INF Santiago Blanco  

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3/11 UPDATE

In the aftermath of the "batch cut" at MLB CAMP a couple of days ago and with Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games starting later this week, there have been a number of roster moves made affecting MINOR LEAGUE CAMP over the past couple of days: 

RELEASED: RHP Rob Scahill (was NRI at MLB CAMP) 

RETIRED: RHP Mitch Stophel (was assigned to MYRTLE BEACH squad but did not report)

GOING DOWN

MLB CAMP TO IOWA: RHP Adbert Alzolay, RHP Craig Brooks, LHP Alberto Baldonado, RHP Carlos Ramirez, RHP Colin Rea, RHP Duncan Robinson, RHP Jen-Ho Tseng, C Ian Rice, OF Charcer Burks, OF Jacob Hannemann, and OF Evan Marzilli   

MLB CAMP to TENNESSEE: RHP Oscar de la Cruz and LHP Justin Steele (de la Cruz is on RESTRICTED LIST but he is participating in MINOR LEAGUE CAMP)

IOWA to TENNESSEE: RHP Mario Meza, RHP Jose Rosario, LHP Wyatt Short, C Jhonny Pereda, SS Aramis Ademan, OF Eddy Julio Martinez, OF Kevonte Mitchell, and OF D. J. Wilson 

IOWA to MYRTLE BEACH: C Miguel Amaya and INF Andy Weber 

IOWA to SOUTH BEND: LHP Luke Hagerty (with LIMITED ACTIVITY restriction) and OF Nelson Velazquez 

TENNESSEE to MYRTLE BEACH: RHP Casey Kelly, RHP Brendan King, LHP Eugenio Palma, RHP Jeffrey Passantino, RHP Jake Steffens, C Caleb Knight, 1B Tyler Durna, 3B Wladimir Galindo, 3B-1B Austin Filiere, INF Rafael Narea, and OF Jimmy Herron

TENNESSEE to SOUTH BEND: C Eric Gonzalez, C Benny Kaleiwahea, INF Fidel Mejia, OF Edmond Americaan, OF Brennen Davis, and OF Kevin Moreno 

MYRTLE BEACH to SOUTH BEND: RHP Maikel Aguiar, RHP Sean Barry, RHP Derek Casey, RHP Ivan Medina, RHP Zach Mort, LHP Jack Patterson, RHP Peyton Remy, RHP Ethan Roberts, RHP Casey Ryan, RHP Cam Sanders, C Henderson Perez, C (ex-INF) Orian Nunez, 3B-1B Luke Reynolds, INF Jake Slaughter, 1B-C Franklin Tineo, SS Luis Vazquez, OF Jamie Galazin, and OF Dalton Hurd.

MOVING UP

SOUTH BEND TO MYRTLE BEACH: RHP Robert Robbins, INF-OF Austin Upshaw, OF Chris Carrier, and OF Brandon Vicens

SOUTH BEND to TENNESSEE: OF Brandon Hughes 

MYRTLE BEACH to TENNESSEE: 1B (ex-C) Tyler Alamo, INF Robel Garcia, INF Yeiler Peguero, OF Roberto Caro, and OF Connor Myers  

OTHER

ASSIGNED TO IOWA (acquired in a trade with KC): OF Donnie Dewees

REHAB THROWING PROGRAM to TENNESSEE: RHP Casey Bloomquist 

TRADED to KC: RHP Stephen Ridings (from MYRTLE BEACH squad) 


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ORIGINAL POST 3/6

Here are the 2019 Cubs Minor League Camp rosters as of 12 noon 3/6. 

The rosters will be updated as changes are made. 

Keep in mind that players at Minor League Camp are often initially assigned to a level one or sometimes two (or even three) levels above where they will be on Opening Day. As players are sent to Minor League Camp from the MLB squad (the first "batch cut" should be next Sunday or Monday), there is a cascade effect as corresponding roster moves are made at each level (players are moved-down or released).  

Players who were selected by the Cubs in the AAA Phase of the 2018 MLB Rule 5 Draft (Rafelin Lorenzo, Luis Lugo, and Alexander Vargas) must be assigned to AAA Iowa for at least the first 15 days of Minor League Camp (Spring Training), but after that the players can be assigned to any of the Cubs minor league affiliates without restriction.   

There are no players who spent the 2018 season in the DSL at Cubs Minor League Camp, there are no 2018-19 IFA at Cubs Minor League Camp, and almost two dozen players who played in the AZL in 2018 are not at Minor League Camp, either.  


2019 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (last updated 3-21-2019):


*  bats or throws left 
# bats both

 
IOWA: 40+7
 
AAA

PITCHERS: 22+4
Adbert Alzolay (REHAB THROWING PROGRAM
* Alberto Baldonado 
Corey Black 
Craig Brooks
Matt Carasiti  
Trevor Clifton
Tom Hatch 
* Danny Hultzen
George Kontos 
* Conor Lillis-White (INACTIVE - SHUT DOWN
Brad Markey
Dakota Mekkes
Tommy Nance 
James Norwood 
Carlos Ramirez 
Colin Rea 
Duncan Robinson
Michael Rucker 
Jake Stinnett (REHAB THROWING PROGRAM)
Matt Swarmer 
Jen-Ho Tseng 
Duane Underwood Jr 
* Jerry Vasto (INACTIVE - SHUT DOWN)
Rowan Wick 
* Mike Zagurski 
* Rob Zastryzny

CATCHERS: 4+1
* Francisco Arcia
Eric Castillo
Tyler Payne
Will Remillard (INACTIVE
Ian Rice

INFIELDERS: 8+1
* Jim Adduci
Gioskar Amaya (LIMITED ACTIVITY - knee & hip) 
Yasiel Balaguert
Ryan Court
Philip Evans 
Trent Giambrone 
* Vimael Machin  
Zach Short 
Chesny Young
 
OUTFIELDERS: 6+1
Wynton Bernard
* Zach Borenstein
Charcer Burks 
Jose Cardona (LIMITED ACTIVITY - right wrist)
* Donnie Dewees
* Jacob Hannemann
* Evan Marzilli
 
 
TENNESSEE: 35+3
 
AA

PITCHERS: 18+2
Cory Abbott 
Bailey Clark 
* Ian Clarkin
Oscar de la Cruz (ACTIVE - RESTRICTED LIST
Scott Effross
Zach Hedges 
Chad Hockin (REHAB THROWING PROGRAM)
Alex Lange 
Erick Leal (INACTIVE - SHUT DOWN)
* Luis Lugo
Tyson Miller
* Jordan Minch
Tyler Peyton 
* Manuel Rondon 
Jose Rosario 
* Wyatt Short 
* Justin Steele
Keegan Thompson 
Alexander Vargas
Ryan Williams

CATCHERS: 3 
P. J. Higgins 
Rafelin Lorenzo
Jhonny Pereda
 
INFIELDERS: 8+1
Tyler Alamo (ex-C) 
Jhonny Bethencourt 
* Christian Donahue
# Robel Garcia 
Nico Hoerner
Jesse Hodges (LIMITED ACTIVITY - right shoulder)
# Yeiler Peguero 
* Carlos Sepulveda 
* Jared Young 

OUTFIELDERS: 6 
* Luis Ayala
# Roberto Caro 
Eddy Julio Martinez
Kevonte Mitchell
Connor Myers  
* D. J. Wilson  
 

MYRTLE BEACH: 33+2
 
Hi-A

PITCHERS: 17+1 
Javier Assad
Casey Bloomquist 
Dalton Geekie 
Ryan Glowicki 
Ben Hecht 
* Bryan Hudson 
* Ryan Kellogg
Garrett Kelly 
Brendan King 
* Ryan Lawlor 
* Brendan Little 
Erling Moreno 
* Eugenio Palma 
Jeffrey Passantino 
Paul Richan
Robert Robbins 
Manuel Rodriguez 
Erich Uelmen (LIMITED ACTIVITY)
 
CATCHERS: 3 
Miguel Amaya
* Michael Cruz
* Jonathan Soto 
 
INFIELDERS: 7   
* Aramis Ademan
Austin Filiere 
Wladimir Galindo 
Levi Jordan 
Rafael Narea
* Luke Reynolds 
* Andy Weber
 
OUTFIELDERS: 6+1
# Zach Davis 
Grant Fennell 
# Jose Gutierrez (INACTIVE
Jimmy Herron 
# Branfon Hughes
Nelson Velazquez
Brandon Vicens 


SOUTH BEND: 66+7
 
Lo-A

PITCHERS: 35+6
Maikel Aguiar 
Jose Albertos 
* Chris Allen 
Sean Barry 
* Andres Bonalde (REHAB THROWING PROGRAM
Jesus Camargo 
* Faustino Carrera 
Derek Casey 
Alfredo Colorado (REHAB THROWING PROGRAM
Danis Correa
Yovanny Cruz 
Enrique de los Rioa (REHAB THROWING PROGRAM
Jeremiah Estrada 
Kohl Franklin
Jamie Galazin (ex-OF) 
Jose Miguel Gonzalez (REHAB THROWING PROGRAM
Fauris Guerrero 
* Luke Hagerty (LIMITED ACTIVITY)
* Brailyn Marquez 
Riley McCauley 
Ivan Medina 
Zach Mort 
Eduarniel Nunez 
Carlos Ocampo
* Pablo Ochoa 
Raidel Orta
* Jack Patterson  
Yunior Perez 
Eury Ramos 
Jake Reindl 
Peyton Remy 
Ethan Roberts 
Robert Robbins
Casey Ryan  
Cam Sanders 
* Josh Sawyer (INACTIVE - SHUT DOWN
Jake Steffens 
Niels Stone 
Riley Thompson 
Carlos Vega 
Blake Whitney 

CATCHERS: 9+1
Cam Balego 
Eric Gonzalez 
Alexander Guerra
Caleb Knight
Marcus Mastrobuoni (LIMITED ACTIVITY
Orian Nunez (ex-INF) 
Richard Nunez 
Raymond Pena
Henderson Perez  
Gustavo Polanco 

INFIELDERS: 12
Clayton Daniel 
Luis Diaz 
* Tyler Durna 
# Josue Huma 
# Fidel Mejia
Rafael Mejia 
Christopher Morel 
# Yonathan Perlaza 
Jake Slaughter 
* Austin Upshaw
Luis Vazquez 
Delvin Zinn 

OUTFIELDERS: 10
* Edmond Americaan 
* D. J. Artis 
Brennen Davis 
Dalton Hurd 
Fernando Kelli 
Kevin Moreno
* Chris Pieters 
* Cole Roederer
* Jonathan Sierra
Chris Singleton


EUGENE/MESA: TBA  

SS 

NOTE: The Eugene/Mesa group is formed when 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  

PITCHERS
TBA

CATCHERS
TBA 

INFIELDERS
TBA

OUTFIELDERS
TBA

 
EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING: 24 

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.  

PITCHERS: 14 
* 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)
Braxton Light (RESTRICTED LIST
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)  

CATCHERS: 1  
Daniel Diaz (DSL eligibility has expired) 

INFIELDERS: 5 
# 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)

OUTFIELDERS: 4 
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)  


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 
DOMINICAN ACADEMY: 75 

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.  

PITCHERS: 35
Keiber Arredondo 
Donato Auguste 
Willy Cabrera  
Keiber Carreno
* Alejandro Carrillo 
Luis Devers
Moises Diaz 
Manuel Espinoza 
Kelvin Feliz   
Francisco Fermin 
Richard Gallardo (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE)
* Miseal Garcia  
* Jesus Gomez
Jose Gomez  
Edmar Gonzalez
Francisco Gracia
Darling Grullon (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE
* Ferrol Heredia
Manuel Heredia (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE
Andy Hernandez
Gabriel Jaramillo  
* Johan Lopez
* Joel Machado (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE)  
Luis Marte
Hector Matos (RESTRICTED LIST)   
Yander Montero (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE
* Anderson Parra
Carlos Paula 
Luis Ramos
Jorge Remon  
Benjamin Rodriguez
* Luis Rodriguez  
Alberto Sojo 
Edward Vasquez
* Saul Vazquez (RESTRICTED LIST

CATCHERS: 7
Pablo Aliendo
Efren Aular 
Miller Chacon 
Miguel Fabrizio
Brayan Mancilla
Malcom Quintero
Juan Vasquez

INFIELDERS: 17+1 
Augusto Acevedo
# Flemin Bautista
# Santiago Blanco (REHAB THROWING PROGRAM - MESA)
Jeinser Brete 
Edwin Castillo (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE)
* Rochest Cruz
Christhian Espinal 
Bestor Heredia
Widimer Joaquin 
* Ervis Marchan
# Pedro Martinez
Juan Mora
Rafael Morel (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE
Fabian Pertuz
Oswaldo Pina 
Lizardo Ruiz
# Ronny Simon 
* Orlando Zapata 

OUTFIELDERS: 16
# Ezequiel Alavado 
Samuel Duarte
# Josue Fernandez
Orlando Guzman (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE)
Rafael Herrera
* Kelvin Hidalgo  
# Albert Hinirio 
* Jose Lopez (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE)   
* Kevin Miranda  
Carlos Morfa   
* Brailin Pena   
* Yohendrick Pinango (SIGNED FOR FUTURE SERVICE
Jonathan Rodriguez
Felix Stevens
* Marco Valenzuela
* Ricardo Verenzuela


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


CUBS MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER DEVELOPMENT FIELD STAFF (updated 2-22-2019)
FIELD COORDINATOR: Jeremy Farrell
PITCHING COORDINATOR: Brendan Sagara
ASSISTANT PITCHING COORDINATORS: Mike Mason and Carlos Chantres 
HITTING COORDINATOR: Chris Valaika
ASSISTANT HITTING COORDINATOR: Tom Beyers
CATCHING COORDINATOR: Mark Johnson
INFIELD COORDINATOR: Jonathan Mota
OUTFIELD & BASERUNNING COORDINATOR: Doug Dascenzo
BASERUNNING INSTRUCTOR: Mike Roberts 
LATIN AMERICAN FIELD COORDINATOR: Dave Keller
MENTAL SKILLS PROGRAM DIRECTOR: Josh Lifrak
MENTAL SKILLS PROGRAM COORDINATOR: Bob Tewksbury
MENTAL SKILLS COORDINATORS: David DaSilva and John Baker 
LATIN AMERICAN MENTAL SKILLS COORDINATOR: Raymond Fuentes
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), VACANT (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)
MINOR LEAGUE ATHLETIC TRAINING COORDINATOR: Chuck Baughman
ASSISTANT MINOR LEAGUE TRAINING COORDINATOR (MESA REHAB): Jonathan Fierro
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)
MINOR LEAGUE STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COORDINATOR: Doug Jarrow
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)

Comments

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) 

IOWA: 
Duncan Robinson 
Jen-Ho Tseng 

TENNESSEE: 
Tom Hatch 
Tyson Miller 

MYRTLE BEACH: 
Bryan Hudson 
Paul Richan 

SOUTH BEND: 
Derek Casey 
Cam Sanders 

++++++++++++++++++++

ONE INNING (20 pitches each): 

IOWA: 
Corey Black (REHAB)
Trevor Clifton 

TENNESSEE: 
Casey Bloomquist (just completed REHAB THROWING PROGRAM)

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

SOUTH BEND:
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? 

IOWA/TENNESSEE: 

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).   

MYRTLE BEACH:    

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.    

SOUTH BEND: 

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:  

IOWA
STARTING ROTATION RIGHT NOW: 
1. Jen-Ho Tseng 
2. Duncan Robinson  
3. Michael Rucker 
4. Tom Hatch 
IN PROGRESS: 
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)  
DELAYED: 
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) 
HAS BEEN RELEASED:
Christian Bergman 

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

MYRTLE BEACH 
STARTING ROTATION RIGHT NOW:  
1. Bryan Hudson 
2. Javier Assad 
3. Ryan Lawlor 
4. Brendan King 
THROWING BULLPENS ONLY: 
5. Erling Moreno 
6. Paul Richan 
LIMITED ACTIVITY: 
7. Erich Uelmen 
SHUT-DOWN: 
8. Brendon Little

SOUTH BEND 
STARTING ROTATION RIGHT NOW: 
1. Yovanny Cruz 
2. Faustino Carrera 
3. Derek Casey 
4. Riley Thompson 
5. Cam Sanders 
6. Eury Ramos 
7. Zach Mort 
THROWING BULLPENS ONLY:
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.

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  • MIL closer (but not their best reliever) c.knebel has gone from "tired arm" to "elbow might be a little bit torn up"

    unfortunately, they've been linked to c.kimbrel lately...hopefully that doesn't happen.

    crunch 6 hours 14 min ago view
  • 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:  

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 27 min ago view
  • brach not throwing mid-90s yet at this point in spring is a bit concerning...he's been in the high 80s, touching low 90s almost all spring.

    slider velocity is on point.

    crunch 8 hours 56 min ago view
  • Here are the Cubs pitchers velo readings from Thursday afternoon's Cubs - Giants Cactus League game at Sloan Park: 

    KYLE HENDRICKS: 
    FB: 84-86 - T-87 
    CH: 77-80
    CV: 69-71 
    NOTE: Velo was down a bit across the board for Hendricks, but does it really matter?  

    BRIAN DUENSING: 
    FB: 88-89
    CH: 84-86 
    SL: 80
    NOTE: Finished Hendricks' final inning (the 6th)... best thing I can say about Duensing is that he appears to be healthy and is throwing the ball as well as he can... 

    Arizona Phil 9 hours 8 min ago view
  • ...speaking of extensions...looks like goldschmidt/cards are going to be a long-term pain the cubs ass sometime soon.

    crunch 9 hours 34 min ago view
  • Ken Rosenthal‏ @Ken_Rosenthal

    Eloy Jimenez deal with #whitesox is six years, $43M with two club options, but in his camp’s view, he effectively is giving up only one free-agent year. Without deal, he would have started season in AAA and stayed down until at least point when CWS would gain seven years control.

    crunch 15 hours 40 min ago view
  • Thanks alot for the rundown. I’d really like to see them take some risks rather than run with retreads . For instance, I’d like to see Soto-Reynolds/Mejia-Perlaza-Vazquez-Morel to be the SB infield for a good chunk of the year or the MB OF to be Wilson/Artis-Gutierrez-Herron to open with Mitchell on the bench. I’d really really like to see one of Davis or Roederer open with SB (personal preference is Davis but only because I like his potential more). 

    KingKongvsGodzilla 17 hours 11 min ago view
  • ichiro goes 0/4 in his farewell game...it's been an interesting run for a guy who didn't get here til he was 27.

    3089 hits...509 sb...350+ ob%...10 GG...1 MVP

    M's win over the A's in 12 innings...

    crunch 18 hours 51 min ago view
  • For those of you who might have missed Wednesday night's MLB Cactus League Game at Sloan Park, here are the velo readings from Cubs pitchers (and one Dodger pitcher): 

    COLE HAMELS:  
    FB: 91-93 
    CT  87-89 
    CH: 83-85 
    CU: 77-79 
    NOTE: Mixed up his pitches very well and maintained FB velo throughout outing, but fly ball pitchers like Hamels usually don't fare too well in Arizona in March (they don't fare too well in Texas, either). 

    Arizona Phil 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • BRADSBEARD: Cole Roederer has had an impressive week at Minor League Camp and with the MLB club as well, but I think the most-likely scenario is that he stays in Mesa at EXST April-June, is assigned to Eugene on NWL Opening Day, and then (if all goes well at Eugene) gets a promotion to South Bend in mid-July or August, and then gets assigned to the AFL post-2019, and then (best case scenario) - POSSIBLY - gets to AA sometime in 2020 (although Myrtle Beach would be a lot more-likely for Opening Day 2020).

    Arizona Phil 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • 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 

    Arizona Phil 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • Thanks to PHIL and the ASS.

    On another topic - looks like J-Hey is in mid-season form at the plate in camp.

    The E-Man 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • Do you think Roederer opens the season at SB?

    bradsbeard 1 day 7 hours ago view
  • good news...

    Jordan Bastian‏ @MLBastian

    Yu Darvish's between-start bullpen session is scheduled for Friday. If all goes well, his next turn to pitch would fall on Sunday.

    crunch 1 day 8 hours ago view
  • Some things to keep in mind about the "backdating" of injured list assignments: 

    As long as the player did not appear in a game during the retroactive period (including "official" MLB Cactus League or Grapefruit League games or other MLB pre-season exhibition games), an MLB 10-day Injured List assignment can be backdated up to three days (including the three days prior to MLB Opening Day), and a 7-day (acute concussion) Injured List assignment can be backdated up to four days (including the four days prior to MLB Opening Day).

    Arizona Phil 2 days 5 hours ago view
  • For anyone interested, here are the Cubs pitchers velo readings from Tuesday's Cubs - Mariners game at Sloan Park: 

    YU DARVISH: 
    FB: 93-96 
    2S: 89-92
    SL: 83-86  
    CH: 80-83 
    CV: 78 
    ???: 59 (I don't know what type of pitch this was but it was the slowest pitch I've seen since Little League) 
    NOTE: A really interesting variety of pitches from Yu... Looked good until the blister caused him to leave the game earlier than planned...

    Arizona Phil 2 days 6 hours ago view