2020 Cubs Spring Training Uniform Numbers


The Cubs have optioned RHP Dillon Maples to AAA Iowa.  

So the Cubs MLB Active List roster now stands at 30, with ten players on Optional Assignment.  

The status of the eight remaining Cubs MLB Spring Training minor league NRI (LHP Rex Brothers, C-INF P. J. Higgins, 2B Jason Kipnis, OF Ian Miller, RHP Brandon Morrow, INF-OF Hernan Perez, C Josh Phegley, and RHP Michael Rucker) is unclear, although MLB and the MLBPA have agreed that the deadline for a club to decide whether to release a post-2019 MLB Article XX-B free-agent signed to a 2020 minor league contract (Kipnis and Morrow), add the player to the MLB 40-man roster by Opening Day, or retain the player on a minor league contract where the player receives a $100K retention bonus and an automatic 6/1 player opt-out, will be postponed until five days prior to MLB Opening Day (once it has been rescheduled).     


The Cubs have optioned RHP James Norwood to AAA Iowa, and LHRP Danny Hultzen, RHRP Dakota Mekkes, LHRP Wyatt Short, and RHRP Ben Taylor have been assigned to Minor League Camp.  

Cubs MLB Spring Training roster now stands at 39 (21 pitchers, four catchers, eight infielders, and six outfielders). 


The Cubs have optioned RHP Adbert Alzolay, RHP Colin Rea, and INF Zack Short to AAA Iowa and C Miguel Amaya to AA Tennessee, sent INF Carlos Asuaje, OF Noel Cuevas, INF-OF Trent Giambrone, and 1B Corban Joseph to Minor League Camp, and added NRI RHP Michael Rucker to MLB Spring Training roster.

Cubs MLB Spring Training roster now stands at 44 (26 pitchers, four catchers, eight infielders, and six outfielders) 


The Cubs have optioned RHP Tyson Miller and INF-OF Robel Garcia to AAA Iowa and RHP Manuel Rodriguez and LHP Justin Steele to AA Tennessee, sent non-roster RHP Jason Adam, RHP Oscar de la Cruz, LHP Tyler Olson, LHP C. D. Pelham, RHP Caleb Simpson, RHP Brock Stewart and C Jhonny Pereda to Minor League Camp, and re-claimed RHP Michael Rucker (selected by Baltimore Orioles in Major Phase of 2019 Rule 5 Draft) and assigned him outright to AAA Iowa.  

Cubs MLB Spring Training roster now stands at 51


NOTE 1: These are preliminary and are subject to change 
NOTE 2: Numbers 6, 18, 35, 37, 47, 49, 53, 69, 70, 80, 90, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97, and 98 are not assigned at this time (Cubs do not issue #69) 
NOTE 3: Some of the Spring Training guest instructors are wearing duplicate numbers

2 Nico Hoerner, INF  
3 David Ross, MANAGER
4 Josh Phegley, C (NON-ROSTER) 
5 Albert Almora Jr, OF 
7 Victor Caratini, C-1B 
8 Ian Happ, OF-INF
9 Javy Baez, INF 
11 Yu Darvish, P 
12 Kyle Schwarber, OF 
13 David Bote, INF  
15 Brandon Morrow, P (NON-ROSTER)
16 Robel Garcia, INF  
17 Kris Bryant, INF 
20 Colin Rea, P 
20 Kevin Youkilis, GUEST INSTRUCTOR
21 Steven Souza Jr, OF  
22 Jason Heyward, OF 
23 Ryne Sandberg, GUEST INSTRUCTOR
24 Jeremy Jeffress, P
26 Billy Williams, GUEST INSTRUCTOR 
27 Jason Kipnis, INF (NON-ROSTER) 
28 Kyle Hendricks, P 
29 Trevor Megill, P 
30 Alec Mills, P
32 Tyler Chatwood, P  
33 Daniel Descalso, INF   
34 Jon Lester, P 
36 Dillon Maples, P 
38 Brad Wieck, P 
39 Danny Hultzen, P (NON-ROSTER) 
40 Willson Contreras, C 
40 Rick Sutcliffe, GUEST INSTRUCTOR 
41 Hernan Perez, INF-OF (NON-ROSTER)  
43 Dan Winkler, P 
44 Anthony Rizzo, 1B 
45 Jharel Cotton, P 
46 Craig Kimbrel, P  
46 Ryan Dempster, GUEST INSTRUCTOR
48 Rex Brothers, P (NON-ROSTER)  
50 Rowan Wick, P  
51 Duane Underwood Jr, P  
52 Ryan Tepera, P   
54 Chris Young, BULLPEN COACH  
56 Kyle Ryan, P 
57 James Norwood, P  
59 Tyler Olson, P (NON-ROSTER) 
60 Jason Adam, P (NON-ROSTER)
61 Carlos Asuaje, INF (NON-ROSTER) 
62 Jose Quintana, P 
64 C. D. Pelham, P (NON-ROSTER)  
65 Casey Sadler, P 
66 Noel Cuevas, OF (NON-ROSTER) 
67 Ben Taylor, P (NON-ROSTER) 
68 Tommy Hottovy, PITCHING COACH  
71 Oscar de la Cruz, P (NON-ROSTER) 
72 Tyson Miller, P
73 Adbert Alzolay, P 
74 Justin Steele, P  
75 Miguel Amaya, C
76 Zack Short, INF   
77 Manuel Rodriguez, P 
78 Wyatt Short, P (NON-ROSTER)
79 Ian Miller, OF (NON-ROSTER)   
82 Jhonny Pereda, C (NON-ROSTER) 
84 Caleb Simpson, P (NON-ROSTER)
85 Trent Giambrone, INF-OF (NON-ROSTER) 
86 P. J. Higgins, C-INF (NON-ROSTER)
87 Brock Stewart, P (NON-ROSTER) 
88 Corban Joseph, INF (NON-ROSTER)
89 Dakota Mekkes, P (NON-ROSTER)  
99 Anthony Iapoce, HITTING COACH 


pitchers and catchers report in 3 days (tuesday 11th)...position players on the 16th.

so far it seems the entire pre-season plan is to see what rises to the top out of the huge pile of trash they've assembled to compete for 1 starting spot, a slew of pen slots, and a roaming crew of part-time-plus IF/OF's.

hopefully some rough gems get polished enough to make this cheap-out build worth it.

ex-cub for a half season (2002) angel echevarria has died at age 48.

he had been feeling ill for days and had a fall where he hit his head.  he went into the hospital shorty afterwards.  there's no official cause of death, though.

wrigley field concerts are now up to 8 concert nights over 7 tours (dead and co playing 2 nights in a row).

there's going to be 3 in a row july 24-26.  august 28-29 are 2 in a row gigs.

hopefully the field won't suffer too much.

Next up: Cubs play Ravinia.  Musical interludes between innings and walk-up music by John Williams conducting the CSO.

"Free agent right-hander Taijuan Walker is throwing in Cubs' camp on Monday. "

oh yeah, that dude throwing 85mph during his last public workout who's coming off surgery.  let's throw money at that.

if he does sign, bradsbeard called this one back in december during one of the various "i wonder what injured dude the cubs might sign" post threads.

cubs to sign jason kipnis...because they love trash more than oscar the f'n grouch.

he's gotta limp through not failing a physical first...as if that matters.

[ ]

In reply to by Eric S

this offseason sure has been something.

in 2019 they cancelled themselves out of the playoffs by spectacularly falling on their face in the last 2 weeks of the season, going 2-10 (including a 9L in a row performance).

...and this is the 2020 regrouping.

i mean, this is still a hell of a crew and i'm expecting a team that can compete for a playoff spot, but i think even the most pessimistic was expecting a bit more.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Jason Kipnis (like Brandon Morrow) was a post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signed a 2020 minor league contract, so he gets a $100K retention bonus and an automatic June 1st player opt-out if he is not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB 40-man roster or MLB 60-day IL by 12 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day. 

BA ranks Cubs system @22.

LHP Brailyn Marquez (37), SS/OF Nico Hoerner (40), OF Brennen Davis (94)

Skinny: Towering lefty Brailyn Marquez took as big of a jump as any pitcher in the minors and has drawn comparisons to both Aroldis Chapman and David Price. Nico Hoerner got a taste of the big leagues, too. The system still has a ways to go to return to prominence, however.

mark grace returns to chicago as an analyst/on-air-talent for Marquee.

he won't be part of the main game calling crew, but will be doing support content during games.

"Buster Olney of ESPN reports that Scott Kazmir will throw for MLB teams this week.

The 36-year-old Kazmir hasn't thrown in the majors since the 2016 season, but he recently told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he that he hit 90.9 mph with his fastball during a bullpen session."

someone put another bottle of left-in-the-car warm water under the cubs hot stove and let's get this one done!  woo!


"Kris Bryant expects to remain with the Cubs in 2020 after a sit-down with team president Theo Epstein.

"Everything went great," Bryant told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. "It was the best meeting I had with a superior. He just gave me insight as to what kind of happened in the offseason." The star third baseman did later add that Epstein gave him no assurances that he will be kept in the loop if further trade talks were to arise, before stating, "I’m a Chicago Cub.""

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

Bote was a little better than league average with the bat last year and Happ has never been worse than league average with the bat over a full season in the majors. Not too bad at the end of your lineup (though neither is helping out too much on defense). Heyward could end up the #8 if things break OK for Bote and Happ at the plate.

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

huge bote fan over here, and i think he's one of the best longterm investments the cubs have gambled on.  cubs have control over him through 2026 if they exercise both his options (both 7.6m).

i'd like to see him penciled in as the main regular at 2nd, but overall i just wanna see him play more than he was late last year when he was red hot.  if bryant flames out with the glove at 3rd (clock is ticking on that) we might see bote at 3rd a bit.

i'm not expecting all-star teams and seeing a slew of bote jerseys in the stands, but i like his chances of being a consistent above average player with the bat and glove.

[ ]

In reply to by Eric S

I think it was likely just a small sample size luxuation against LHP last year. His splits were essentially swapped from 2018 to 2019. For his career he's been a little above average against both sides, or essentially no significant split. I'd expect him to hit LHP better than RHP going forward though. 

[ ]

In reply to by Eric S

someone else may have noticed or written something about a possible issue with lefties last year (aside from the obvious disappointing numbers), but i didn't see anything that made him look lost vs them.

myself, i'm not expecting the hard time vs lefties to keep happening (though i can't point to why 2019 wasn't good for him and i may be missing something).  also, how well he handled righties has me a bit pumped about his future.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

Happ has been an above average hitter every season he's been in the majors, and he killed it in his brief return from the minors last year (with better contact and lower K rates to boot). Aside from an extended period with the lower K rates, what else are you not seeing?

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

Hey, if you hate the swing there's probably nothing I can say to change your mind. I personally think it's one of the nicer looking ones on the team. 

As far as an extended period of good hitting, he had an awful second half in 2018, but through the first half of 2018 he had hit .254/.349/.490 (117 wRC+) in 693 career PAs. That's pretty darn good for over a year's worth of PAs, especially for a CF. 
Then he came back from a half year working on things in Iowa and hit .264/.333/.564 (127 wRC+) over 156 PAs. He's been a lot more good than bad in his time in the majors. 

He has struck out too often in general (though less in 2019), but with runners in scoring position he has hit .268/.387/.473 (116 wRC+) in his career, so that's really good too. He's even hit .329/.409/.582 (156 wRC+) in high leverage situations in his career. 

I'll admit he has his faults, but considering he's still only 25 and has put up a solid career line of .246/.340/.476 (112 wRC+), I'd say he is a guy we should be much more optimistic about. 

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

I think he's going to strike out over 25% of the time, but he's shown that he can be an above average overall hitter even if he's only batting .230-.250.

I'm also not a big fan of the swing, and I'd be very skeptical of him if the ball is deadened. Stats suggest he'd benefit from a true platoon despite being a switch hitter. Sure would be nice if Almora could hold up the other end competently.

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

I'm not ready to write him off from the right side just yet. One of the things I believe about Happ is that switch hitters in general just take longer to establish themselves as hitters due to having to develop and maintain two separate swings. Given that he sees fewer lefties, you kind of have to give him a little more leeway to develop there I think. 

That said, Happ wasnt awful from the right side last year (was better than Almora at least).  His wRC+ from the right side has been 98, 69, and then 96. Obviously he was a wreck in the second half of 2018. But maybe he has at least adjusted somewhat to what the league was doing to him.  

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Re: 6-8, w/ JHey in the 6 hole there are a lot of interesting things that can happen 7-9. You have the 2B slot, Happ (CF), & P slot.  Happ is a Switch hitter (though admittedly better LHH), roster looks to be long on 2B options from both sides (quality issues TBD, but promising IMHO), & a slot you with pinch hit for at least x2/gm. Lots of dbl switch possibilities (w/o jacking up the rest of your lineup)

That creates some brutal match up decisions for the opposing mgr right before recycling back to Bryzzo. 

[ ]

In reply to by Rob Richardson

Hopefully KB has worked on his base sliding technique - believe he jacked his knee up last year because of some rough "landings" on the basepaths. He definitely should shine in the role - and provided KB is not traded - Cubs can only go up from their leadoff hitter ranking from last year. 

I didn't realize until today that the new network will be broadcasting almost every spring training game. Just a heads up for anyone else expecting the usual 4-6 broadcasts.

more spring news...

i.happ expected to primarily play CF this spring.  rizzo expected to primarily hit 2nd going into the season.

tomorrow's game has been moved to 6:10 MST (7:10 central) because of a threat of bad weather...sweet.

[ ]

In reply to by Hagsag

1pm central

there's still people figuring out if they actually will have the channel or not...it's been a weird mess.  don't think comcast is on board yet and directv just slid in under the deadline with a deal to carry it.  hulu has the channel, but supposedly they're not going to start carrying it for weeks.

as an aside, i hope the cubs actually plan on showing most ST games going forward in years to come rather than this being some money-grab leverage to force cable/sat/streaming provider's hand.  seeing almost all the ST games would be nice, even the nearly meaningless early ones.

I have Direct TV. I called them today., asked what was the channel #?They didn't know. 

[ ]

In reply to by Hagsag

Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales
From Cubs:  Marquee available in Chicago area through following providers:
DIRECTV (channel 664); AT&T U-verse in SD (channel 740) and HD (channel 1740); RCN (channels 377 and 679 (HD))
MetroNet (channel 29); TVision (channel 100). Iowa’s Mediacom (Ch. 51; 768/668 in HD)

cubs moving the game up was a wise choice unless the rain lingers very long.  everyone else in ARZ is rained out except LA/SF which starts in 4 hours (cubs in 7 hours)...and that LA/SF game still might get rained out because other games in that time slot have been cancelled/postponed (though they posted a lineup for today's game on twitter 10 minutes ago).

speaking of LA, m.betts makes his debut tomorrow vs CHC.

cubs coming out big for their marquee network debut lineup...

bryant / rizzo / baez / heyward / contreras / kipnis / souza (LF) / bote (DH) / almora...mills pitching

hell of a 1st game.  even the good and bad mean nothing this early in spring, but it was a nice one.  i'm not worried about rizzo misplaying a couple balls in the first innings, nor do i think bote is on his way to a batting title.  spring is meaningless enough without trying to read into february spring games.  it was a fun watch, though.

my biggest regret is not seeing souza chase down any plays in LF while he was in the game.  that's something i really would like to see this early in spring.

I know most of you saw the game or will be seeing the game, but for anyone else who might be interested, here are the Cubs pitchers velo readings from Saturday night's game: 

Alec Mills: 
FB: 90-92 
CH: 82-83 
SL: 80-81 
CV: 68 
NOTES: Nice mix of pitches... Mills obviously comes from the "I'm a pitcher not a thrower" school, all of which means command & control matters a lot and he had both tonight... a legit candidate for the Cubs #5 SP slot... 

Jharel Cotton: 
FB: 93-94 
CV: 75-78  
CH: 77 
NOTES: Looked very good considering he hasn't pitched much the last couple of years..

Rex Brothers: 
FB: 92-94 T-95-96 
SL: 86-88 
CH: 88-89 
NOTES: Looked very good with plus velo on both the FB anf SL and he threw strikes... if he can keep it up going forward Brothers could be a Spring Training bullpen surprise... 

Duane Underwood Jr: 
FB: 93-95 
SL/CV?: 82-85 
NOTES: Underwood threw strikes with good FB velo and a solid breaking ball... he is definitely in the Opening Day bullpen mix going forward, especially cuz he out of minor league options...  

James Norwood: 
FB: 96-99 
SL: 87-88 
NOTES: IF he could just command his SL he could take the next step to high-value MLB reliever, because his FB is nothing short of explosive...  I mean, 99 in his first outing of the Spring?!!!... c'mon man...  

Tyler Olson: 
FB: 85-88 
SL: 80-81 
CH: 80 
CV: 73-76 
NOTES: Threw from various arm angles... nothing to see here, folks... keep moving.,. BTW, I'm not even 100% sure what the slower pitch-types were... I guess "slop" is the best way to describe his array of "stuff"...  

Jason Adam: 
FB: 91-93 
CV: 75-76 
NOTES: Short-arms his pitches like a converted infielder or catcher and gets OK results with a reliable low 90's FB and equally reliable CV... nothing special... a bullpen default candidate only because Rowan Wick is a better version of Jason Adam...  

C. D. Pelham:  
FB: 93-95 
SL: 87 
NOTE: Threw FB for strikes with a smooth & effortless delivery... will need to develop an effective secondary pitch to compliment the FB but he looks a bit like Amir Garrett when he throws strikes... has long arms which means his release point is closer than normal to the hitter... 

Dakota Mekkes: 
FB: 91-94 T-95-96 
CV: 75-76 
NOTES> Best outing of the night by a Cub pitcher... worked fast and threw strikes and FB velo actually increased by 3-4 MPH as the inning wore-on...  

kinda crazy a.russell is still a free agent.

he's not the first and probably not the last domestic abuser to "serve his time" and find contracts to sign.  there's a 20HR guy who plays great D at SS sitting out there while spring training is going down without him.

i wonder how much he's demanding (if that's an issue at all) vs teams that want no part of him...

[ ]

In reply to by Rob Richardson

he paced for 20+HR last year and might have done it if he wasn't on unpaid leave for a while.  i'd handicap him as a 15-20HR guy at worst rather than saying 20HR solid.  it's probably a safer range.

his D isn't up there with the all-time greats of the game, but it's well above average for a young guy (turned 26 last month) who can also provide some pop.  i think more than a few teams could slot him in as a middle IF starter without having much internal competition.

lester seems to be leaving off where he was for the last couple months of the season in 2019.

no one should take anything from a february spring training start...NONETHELESS...this outing looked a lot like the ones he spent in the last couple months of the season with batters sitting around waiting to swing at lester fastballs and laying off everything else.

Most of the pitchers who threw today pitched Saturday night, so not a lot of new pitch/velo info. 

Jon Lester:  
FB: 86-89
SL: 85 
CH: 84
CV: 70-74 
NOTES: First Cactus League game outing of 2020 for Lester... looked uncomfortable on the mound and even when he was warming up in the bullpen before the game... stuff and command were not sharp... hopefully Lester has at least one good year left in him...  

Scott Effross: 
FB: 89-92 
CH: 80 
SL: 81-82 
NOTES: Finished Lester's second inning after Lester hit his pre-ordained pitch limit... began to throw sidearm late last season and in the AFL post-2019... remains to be seen how effective he will be with the new delivery... 

Duane Underwood Jr: 
FB 92-95 
SL/CT: 87-88 
CH: 86 
CV: 82-83 
NOTES: Struggled with his command today which was not the case on Saturday... when he struggles to throw strikes he gets into trouble in a hurry, so reliability and consistency are issues with him... 
James Norwood: 
FB: 96-98
SL: 88-90 
NOTES: FB velo was down just a bit from Saturday when he hit 99 but he still can't command the SL so hitters can just sit on his FB... 

Jason Adam: 
FB: 92-95
CH: 86-89 
CV: 77-80 
NOTES: Adam is a reliable middle-reliever type... stuff is good but not special, but his FB velo was up a couple of ticks today over what is was on Saturday... Like Rowan Wick, Adam likes to use his CV a lot to offset his FB and he generally gets decent results with that approach... 

Rex Brothers: 
FB: 95 
SL: 88-89
CH: 85-88 
NOTES: Continues to surprise & impress with high-velo stuff... FB velo did not fluctuate even one MPH during the course of his inning (constant 95), and his secondaries were all upper 80's....  biggest question for me about Brothers coming into ST was his control, but he has shown very good command so far in both outings...

Tyson Miller:
FB: 90-92 
SL: 83-84
CH: 80 
CV: 77-79 
NOTE: Showing off a SP repertoire in one inning of work doesn't do justice to his stuff, because he has a wide array of pitches and his command is pretty good.... FB is OK but not great and likewise with the rest of his stuff, but all-in-all and in total it's probably good enough for him to eventually be an MLB BOR SP...  

C. D. Pelham:
FB: 92-95
CH: 83-86 
SL: 81-84
NOTE: It's obvious Pelham is a project... he can't command his secondaries and even his FB command comes & goes (although velo is good)... fortunately for the Cubs he is not eligible to be a minor league 6YFA until post-2021, so there is still plenty of time for him to develop...  

Dakota Mekkes:
FB: 90-94 
SL: 81-84 
CH: 80-81 
CV: 76-77  
NIOTES: Like most of the Cubs pitchers today, Mekkes labored through his one inning of work... he mixed his pitches very well with good velo separation (even his FB had a 5 MPH variance), but he had command issues with all of his pitches except the slow CV... FB velo was down a bit from Saturday and it sat at 90-91 the last couple of hitters... 

Whatever happened to Mark Zagunis? I thought we still held his rights, but he was just out of options? Haven't heard anything about him in awhile & I think he would make a good platoon partner with Schwarber.

[ ]

In reply to by Wrigley Rat

W-RAT: Mark Zagunis is assigned to AAA Iowa but he did not get an NRI to MLB Spring Training. He is eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020 World Series if he is not added back to an MLB reserve list (40-man roster) in the meantime. 

W-RAT: Mark Zagunis was sent outright to the minors last September, and because he did not have the right to elect free-agency after being outrighted he remains under club control through the 2020 season, and so he is signed to a minor league contract that expires at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the conclusion of the 2020 World Series. 

Hot take: The Cubs should be considering PJ Higgins as the potential 26th man. 3rd catcher / infield sub who can put the bat on the ball.

I think I'm just stealing an AZ Phil projection from a while ago, actually. But it makes sense!

[ ]

In reply to by Craig A.

He's at a career juncture where I think he is a toss up of he is who he is or there's a little more left for him to achieve. Playing this as his age 27 season he is either in or damn close to his peak. I personally think he doesn't need the everyday playing time, just based on the fact that he's not a top prospect, is older, and doesn't project to be a starter at any spot for a first division team.


For those of you who didn't see the game, here are the pitch-velo readings from Wednsdays Cubs - Royals game: 

Kyle Hendricks: 
FB: 84-87 
CH: 77-80 
CV: 78-80
NOTES: An amazing pitcher... he's probably in mid-season form right now...  just needs to gradually increase innings...   

Alec Mills: 
FB: 89-92 
SL: 80-82 
CH: 77-80 
CV: 66-70 
NOTES: A legit candidate to be the 5th starter 

Kyle Ryan
FB: 88-89 
CT: 84-87 
NOTES: Doesn't need to throw a lot of different types of pitches when the ones he throws have plus movement and generate weak contact ground balls... K. Ryan should be able to survive the Brave New World of the Three Batter Minimum because he is an extreme ground ball pitcher...  

Jharel Cotton:
FB: 92-93 
SL: 86-88 
CH: 75-77 
CV: 76 
NOTES: Quality stuff with a SP repertoire... if he can get stretched out as a SP (and stay healthy) at Iowa he could be in the Cubs starting rotation by mid-season... 

Trevor Megill
FB: 95-97 
SL: 85 
CH: 81 
NOTES: 6'8 load with an explosive big-time high-velo FB but with somewhat raw secondary stuff... really likes to lean on the heater... probably near-MLB ready but he's a Rule 5 Draft pick and so you might think the Cubs can just work out a trade with SD so they can keep him and send him to Iowa, except he would probably get claimed off waivers by a non-contending club before a trade with the Padres can happen... 
Ben Taylor: 
FB: 91-93 - T 94-95 
SL: 85-87 
CH: 83-85 
NOTES: Journeyman middle-reliever type with decent and reliable (though not exceptional) stuff...  

Oscar  de la Cruz
FB: 92-94 - T 95-96 
CH: 87-88
CV: 77-80 
NOTES: Has a SP repertoire but throws too many pitches-per-inning to be a starter, although he could be a multi-inning RP... command continues to be elusive, but his stuff is plus across-the-board if he can ever manage to harness it... 

[ ]

In reply to by bradsbeard

BRADSBEARD: Before making a trade with the Rule 5 Draft pick's former club, the drafting club must first place the player on Outright Assignment Waivers and any of the other MLB clubs can claim the player for the $50,000 waiver price and assume the Rule 5 Draft obligations (actually it's Rule 6 Selected Player obligations, but you know what I mean). 

If the player is not claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers and waivers have been secured, the player then must be offered back to the club from which the player was drafted. That club can then either re-claim the player for $50,000 (half the Rule 5 Draft price) and the player is automatically sent outright to the minor league affiliate from which he was drafted, or the club from which the player was drafted can decline to re-claim the player and keep the entire $100K draft price. 

If the Rule 5 Draft pick is not claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers and if the club from which the player was drafted declines to re-claim, then Rule 6 Selected Player restrictions are removed and the club that selected the player in the Rule 5 Draft is free to keep the player on its MLB active list, send the player to the minors by Outright or Optional Assignment, or the player could be released. 

But in order to entice the club from which the player was drafted to decline its right to re-claim, it is sometimes necessary for the drafting club to trade a player or players, a tradeable draft pick (like a Competitive Balance draft pick), ISBP space (which can be traded only in increments of $250K unless the club is trading it's entire remaining ISBP), and/or cash to the club from which the player was drafted.  

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

if bryant wasn't looking less and less like a 3rd baseman, it would probably be an even or less trade given the cost difference between the 2 guys.  it's not been so slick the past couple years for bryant with the glove meanwhile arenado does nothing but win gold gloves.

bryant has 2 years of club control and arenado can opt out after 2021.

that said, i dunno if the cubs have the $$ space to take on a $35m/yr contract with or without the risk of him opting out.

cubs night game baseball and it's not even april yet...loving the extended spring training broadcast schedule and i hope they keep it up in following years.

bryant / rizzo / baez / heyward(RF) / contreras / kipnis(2nd) / almora / descalso(DH) / ian milller(LF) ...chatwood pitching vs zach davies

SD is fielding a mostly A-List team, too...tatis, machado, hosmer, myers, etc

They probably won't all get added, but as things stand right now the Cubs NRI with realistic shots to get added to the 40 (and to the MLB 26-man active list) by Opening Day are 2B Jason Kipnis (likely 2B platoon with Bote), LHRP Rex Brothers (2nd lefty in the pen), C Josh Phegley (if Cubs want to carry a 3rd catcher so that Contreras and Caratini can be used more liberally off the bench), INF-OF Hernan Perez (can play everywhere including SS), and/or OF Ian Miller (speedy PR and 5th OF).  

Kipnis, Phegley, and H. Perez have Article XIX-A status (and Phegley and H. Perez are also out of minor league options) so they can't be sent to the minors without their consent once added to the 40 and they are not likely to give their consent, either), but both Brothers and Miller have minor league options left so once added to the 40 they can be optioned to Iowa if need be (although Brothers will reach Article XIX-A status if he accrues at least 81 days of MLB Service Time, and at that point the Cubs will probably not be able to send him to Iowa). 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

phegley had a very impressive day with the glove/arm at 3rd yesterday.  that had to help his cause.

he had one impressive play where the umpire ruled the throw took the 1st baseman off the bag, but if they were doing replay it would have been recorded as an out.  it's spring for umps, too.  he also had a very impressive no-glove pick and throw to 1st for an out later on.

hey guys, brandon morrow tore his calf (not major).

he's expected to sit for a couple weeks before getting back into activity.  so basically, he'll be starting spring training over from scratch while going slow as to not re-injure himself.

For those of you who did not see today's Cubs - Brewers game, here are the Cubs pitchers velo readings  

Yu Darvish 
FB: 95-98 
CT: 92-94 
CH: 86-88 
SL: 82-84 
NOTES: Plus-FB velo in his first game outing of Spring Training and he held the velo through both innings of work... threw wide-array of pitches for strikes... other than the first-pitch lead-off HR, it looks like he has picked-up right where he left-off at the end of last season... no question Yu is the Cubs ace... 

Adbert Alzolay 
FB: 92-95 - T 96
CH: 81-83 
CV: 79-80 
NOTES: Not sure what's wrong here.. Stuff is good and he's healthy but hitters seem to be squaring up his FB (which has good velo)... I wonder if he might be tipping his pitches? 

Rowan Wick 
FB: 93-95
CV: 78
NOTES: Much better outing than his first one... I suppose it would appear that an Opening Day bullpen job is Wick's to lose, but he is only marginally better than Adam and Taylor, I'm not sure he's as good as Winkler or Tepera, Underwood and Sadler are out of minor league options, and Megill is a Rule 5 draft pick... these bullpen-sorting roster decisions will probably go down to the wire...     

Duane Underwood Jr 
FB: 95-96 
CT/SL: 87-88 
CV: 82-84 
NOTES: We got the "good" Dunderwood today... it will be interesting to see if being out of minor league options will give him a leg-up on the other RH bullpen candidates (of which there are many).,.. 

Ben Taylor  
FB: 90- 93 
SL: 82-86 
NOTES: Journeyman RH middle-reliever with decent (but not exceptional) stuff...   

C. D. Pelham 
FB: 93-95 
SL: 83 
NOTES: Threw only one SL (which was nowhere near home plate), and every other pitch was a FB (which is the one pitch he can command)... I suspect he might start the regular season at Extended Spring Training and spend a lot of time in the Pitch Lab... 

Dalota Mekkes
FB: 92-95 
CV: 76-79 
NOTES: A fine outing with the better FB velo he showed last Saturday (that was missing on Tuesday)...

in a bit of sideshow keeping an eye on k.bryant and possible trades (which seems unlikely currently)...

WAS has t.turner penciled in for SS and s.castro at 2nd.  they're trying to make c.kieboom stick at 3rd (middle IF by trade) and he's not adjusting well so far.  a.cabrera is their "plan b" and that's not a good plan b.

so, i guess keep an eye on that situation if anyone is still thinking bryant might not be here come opening day.

myself, i don't see something like this happening unless a strong bat suddenly appears out of the mix of 3rd base-capable guys in camp and i'm not counting on that even if the strong bat doesn't have to have bryant's power considering the power lineup already on this team.  c.kieboom would be a hell of a pickup, but he's not a guy you can count on for 100% MLB-ready production in 2020 and it's not like the cubs can take that $$ savings and pour it into an existing impact FA or someone looking to dump payroll on a quality bat.

Phil, is March 1 report day for the minor leaguers? Also is Dillon Maples injured or in the lab? Thanks.

HAGSAG: Dillon Maples threw a bullpen last week and he's supposed to throw "live" BP sometime in the next day or two. I don't know the reason behind the delay. 

lester fielded a comebacker and successfully underhand tossed the ball to 1st without "walking" too much before throwing...and it wasn't a slow arching off-target rainbow of a toss.  he looked like he actually played the game beyond little league on that play.

players still taking huge leads once on base...and contreras can still throw the hell out of a baseball to punish them (two CS on two baserunners today, though the 2nd one would have been overturned on replay if available...both still great throws).

descalo's 1st spring hit is a slow bouncing infield hit to the right of the SS that had a runner going from 2nd to 3rd further slowing the play.  at least he's finally created a stat that isn't a circle.

cubs relief prospect manuel rodriguez's injury is being called "right biceps discomfort" after being pulled after throwing a wild one and clutching his arm.

For those of you who did not see today's Cubs - Mariners game, here are the Cubs pitchers velo reports... 

Jon Lester
FB: 89-91 - T 92 
CT: 85-88
CH: 81-83 
CV: 66-76 
NOTE: Much more like the Jon Lester we have come to know... three outstanding innings where he faced just the minimum nine batters, although he was helped by two Contreras CS... showed significantly better FB velo today than he did in his first outing, and better command, and he looked more comfortable, too...  

Kyle Ryan
FB: 85-90 
CV: 78-79 
NOTES: Ryan's outings are very consistent... he is an extreme ground ball pitcher... 

Trever Megill
FB: 94-97 
SL: 85-87 
CV: 79-80
NOTES: Even though there are Rule 5 Draft issues involved that will impact whether or nor he gets an Opening Day slot in the Cubs pen, Megill actually has the stuff to be a legit MLB reliever in 2020 even if he hadn't been selected in the Rule 5 Draft... if he isn't 100% MLB-ready right now, he is very close...   

Manuel Rodriguez 
FB: 96-97 
CH: 87 
SL: 83 
NOTES: Left game with what appeared to be a right arm injury after throwing his first slider of the day... prior to that he displayed plus FB velo... 

Jake Stinnett
FB: 91-94 
CH: 86 
SL: 83 
NOTES: Finished M-Rod's inning... stuff is OK but nothing special... he will be a minor league 6YFA post-2020 and he has yet to reach AAA, so the clock is ticking on the 2014 2nd round pick...  

Wyatt Short
FB: 92-94
SL: 82-84 
CV: 79
NOTES: An OK lefty reliever who needs to establish himself in AAA in 2020...  

Caleb Simpson
FB: 95-98 
CT: 91-93 
SL: 84-86 
NOTES: 28-year old power arm throws high-octane gas and a swing & miss slider... command needs work, however... Cubs signed him as a minor league 6YFA post-2019... he was a AA closer for Giants in 2019 so he needs to establish himself in AAA in 2020... missed all of two seasons and parts of two others very early in his pro career with a back injury (2013), then elbow surgery (2014), then TJS (2015-16), but he is healthy now... 

Oscar de la Cruz 
FB: 93-96
CH: 89-90
CV: 79-80
NOTES: The stuff is there... he just needs to find consistent command...  

Looking both fresh and rusty, Kendall Graveman (who spent the 2019 season at the Cubs UA Performance Center in Mesa rehabbing from 2018 TJS before having his 2020 $3.5M club option declined by the Cubs) got the start for the Mariners and was pumping a 94-96 FB, a 91-93 sinker, a mid-80's CH, and a low 80's SL through his two innings of work... still not exactly sure why the Cubs declined the option, but I suppose they must have had a good reason?      

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

Even with their frugal off-season the Cubs are still about $4M over the CBT threshold, and they will go over at least a million or two more once one or more of the NRI (Kipnis, Brothers, H. Perez, Phegley, and/or Miller) are added to the 40. The Cubs will also need an extra $2M or so in payroll to cover the difference between minor league & MLB split salaries for temporary injury replacements recalled from the minors during the course of the season. And that's presuming the Cubs don't add any payroll at the trade deadline. 

In retrospect, if the Cubs had not picked up Jose Quintana's $10.5M club option but instead picked up Kendall Graveman's $3.5M club option, they would have saved $8M in 2020 payroll, and that would mean they would be $4M under the CBT threshold right now instead of $4M over. 

I suspect the Cubs Master Plan post-2019 was to trade Kris Bryant and get back at least one MLB-ready young SP in the deal, then trade Quintana, and then sign Javy Baez to a contract extension, but the delay in the Bryant grievance put a crimp in that plan, and so now they're stuck with Quintana and are $4M over the CBT threshold, and they don't have the payroll space they feel they would need to sign Baez long-term.  

Expect the first "batch cut" (15-18 players) from Cubs MLB Camp next Monday (3/9), which is the day off after the Las Vegas trip and the two split squad days (Saturday & Sunday).

"Draft-Excluded Players" (Amaya, T. Miller, M. Rodriguez, and Z. Short) cannot be sent to the minors any earlier than this coming Friday (3/6), and Rule 5 Draft picks cannot be placed on waivers any earlier than this coming Friday and cannot be sent outright to the minors any earlier than Wednesday 3/11.  

Keep in mind that if a Rule 5 Draft pick is re-claimed by his former club, the player - MUST - be sent outright to the minor league affiliate from which he was selected. So if the Cubs were to re-claim Vimael Machin and/or Michael Rucker (the two guys they lost in the December 2018 Rule 5 Draft), they would be automatically assigned outright to AAA Iowa. 

...of course la stella hits a HR vs the cubs to give ANA the lead (off j.cotton, btw).

they were being no-hit coming into the 6th, but now the cubs are down by 1.

Here are Cubs pitchers velo readings from today's Cubs - Angels game: 

Kyle Hendricks
FB: 86-87
SL: 80 
CH: 79-80
CV: 72-74 
NOTES: He's just Kyle Hendricks..  nothing more to be said... 

Jeremy Jeffress
FB: 93-95 
SL: 88-90 
CH: 81 
NOTES: Looks very sharp... hard-stuff (FB/SL) combo is very effective... 

Jharel Cotton
FB: 91-94 
SL/CT: 87-89 
CH: 77-80 
CV: 78-79
NOTES: Is beginning to get stretched-out so that he can be a SP at AAA Iowa... process will have to be completed at Minor League Camp... 

Juan Gamez
FB: 94-96 
SL: 84 
NOTES: Finished Cotton's second inning... a converted catcher (ex-MIN minor leaguer) who pitched in Mexico last season... features a FB/SL combo, but the SL needs work... 

Tyson Miller
FB: 89-91 
SL: 82-84 
CV: 80 
NOTES: Like Cotton, Miller is beginning to get stretched-out as a SP, with the process to be completed at Minor League Camp... Miller's only value will be as a SP (as opposed to a RP)... 

Craig Brooks 
FB: 91-93 
SL: 81-83 
NOTES: Short-arms the ball like an infielder (which he was before he became a pitcher)... uses the FB/SL combo very well and gets good results by off-setting the two pitches... otherwise stuff is just OK (nothing special)... needs to establish himself at AAA... 

Prior to today's Cubs - Angels game Anthony Rizzo and Tommy LaStella spent a good ten minutes having a very animated conversation with lots of laughter and back-slapping by the Angels bus in the alleyway outside the visitor's clubhouse beyond the LF bullpen.

Ex-Cubs Strength & Conditioning Coach Tim Buss (now with the Angels) was also part of the Old Home Week confab in the alley as Kris Bryant, Nico Hoerner, and Max Venable joined-in, and then several more Cubs stopped by to say hello as they headed toward the field on-board their golf cart transport.

And lots of hugs for Angels Manager Joe Maddon and 3rd base coach Brian Butterfield as they arrived, too.  

It felt a bit like a softball game at a family reunion.  

Because he was injured before he was optioned to the minors, RHRP Manuel Rodriguez cannot be optioned to the minors until he is healthy enough to play. And if he needs to go on an Injured List, it will have to be the MLB IL, where he will paid at the MLB rate and accrue MLB Service Time.  


While most injured players on an MLB 40-man roster can be outrighted to the minors only during a period of time beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until reserve lists are filed in November, an injured player on an MLB 40-man roster who has accrued less than three years of MLB Service Time in his career and who did not accrue any MLB Service Time the previous season, has not previously been outrighted to the minors, and who was not selected in the immediately-preceding Rule 5 Draft, can be outrighted to the minors - EVEN IF HE IS INJURED - during a period of time beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until the 15th day prior to the start of the next MLB regular season. 

Justin Steele, LHP 

And, an injured player with Draft Excluded Status who otherwise would qualify to be outrighted during the off-season and Spring Training can be outrighted - EVEN IF HE IS INJURED - only during a five-day window starting on the 20th day prior to the start of the MLB regular season up until the 15th day prior to the start of the MLB regular season.

Miguel Amaya, C 
Tyson Miller, RHP 
Colin Rea, RHP 
Manuel Rodriguez, RHP 
Zack Short, INF 

So if Outright Assignment waivers were to be secured, Rodriguez could be sent outright to the minors during a window of time beginning this coming Friday (3/6) and extending until Wednesday 3/11. He can't be optioned to the minors, but he can be outrighted. 

That said, it's EXTREMELY unlikely that the Cubs would risk losing Rodriguez off Outright Assignment Waivers ($50,000 waiver price) just so he can't accrue MLB Service Time or so that the Cubs can avoid paying him at the 2020 MLB split salary rate ($563,500) rather than at the minor league split salary rate for players on an MLB 40-man roster for the first time ($46,000), but it is an option the Cubs have.  

But if it was a different Draft-Excluded Player with less of an upside (like Colin Rea), and if the injury was season-ending, the Cubs probably would take their chances and try to get him through waivers sometime before a week from Wednesday. And if he were to be claimed? No big deal. No great loss. 

b.wieck played catch/long-toss yesterday.

no timetable for his full activity return from cardiac ablation procedure known yet.

wow...rockies score 5 runs in the 9th to win (and cubs only got 1 out).

i know it means nothing, but it's march 3rd and there's baseball on tv.  so...yeah.

kimbrel giving up homers in mid-season form.  kimbrel took a half season off last year and forgot how to put movement on his fastball.  meatball buffet...

in other news, chatwood was highly effective...and descalso has a hit.

some female fan has been "coaching" pitches and swings on/off all game.  it would be nice to mute any mic anywhere near her...also, the beer vendor has hopefully cut her off.

nothing mean/horrible/stupid or worthy of throwing her out of the park...it's just a whole lot of it going on and on and on and on and on.

...and the camera crew has found her...and len/jd are about full up on this extra commentary.

...and someone called her to let her know "she's on tv" and she has requested they "record it"...and her boyfriend/husband is now chirping loudly with her...

jd making astros cheating jokes...be careful about burning those bridges, guy...

fan with a torn cubs jersey and he jokes "maybe that's where he kept his buzzer."  len chose to not laugh and changed the subject.  len's no fun sometimes.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Agreed on Len. I was a skeptic of JD at first because I liked Brenly but I have really come to thoroughly enjoy JD's commentary.

Len can be a stick in the mud sometimes and definitely goes through other times where he is an insufferable homer. I know everyone in the modern announcing game is a homer to some extent, but Len lost me when the Cubs let MIL tie them in 2018 and every broadcast at least 2-3 times he'd mention "the Cubs haven't had enough off days!"

Then on the first spring broadcast of 2019, within an inning or two, said the same type of comment.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

i miss brenly a lot, and i loved len/bob as a combo.  i still catch bob on ARZ games (lot of late games when cubs are done) and enjoy it.  i like len/jd.  they don't "flow" as naturally as len/bob, but when they're clicking they're having a great time...and there's not many slow/bad times...nothing out of the ordinary f'sure.

as an aside, if jd ends up leaving for some reason or the cubs don't extend him (neither are rumored), i wouldn't be shocked to see mark grace sliding into the booth.  i know he's an aquired taste, but i find him amusing.

bonus joe maddon and mark grace from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGMFri8WFnA

not much to say about today's game.

ian happ continues to hit with 2 today (9/18 overall), but he's only got 1 walk to go with it.

j.jeffress put in a boring, but effective inning.  only his 3rd appearance, but he's looking good so far.

d.maples made his spring debut and did maples things...1ip 1h 1bb 1k (1r/0er)

Cubs pitchers reports from today's Cubs - Rangers game at Sloan Park:  

James Norwood
FB: 97-99 
CH: 88-89  
SL: 86 
NOTES: Despite continuing to show the best FB velo I've seen from any pitcher this Spring his mix was not FB-heavy as per usual... obviously he's working on his secondaries... 

Jeremy Jeffress 
FB: 90-93 
CH: 88 
CV: 81 
NOTES: Threw mostly FB... looked OK... 

Dillon Maples 
FB: 95-98 
SL: 88-90 
CB: 83-85 
NOTES: Very peculiar outing... stuff looked electric but he couldn't command it... had really bad body language on the mound, almost like he didn't want to throw the ball... looked like he was pissed about something... worked slow and fielders behind him walked around in circles between pitches... after he finished his inning he seemed to purposely walk away from Contreras who was waiting to talk to him in front of the bench, and he entered the Cubs bench at north end (which I've never seen a pitcher do after an inning in Spring Training), avoiding the catcher, the manager and the pitching coach... very strange...  

Jason Adam 
FB: 92-94 T 95-96 
CH: 90 
CV: 77-82 
NOTES: Terrible outing for a guy who is (at best) "on the bubble"... had absolutely zero feel for his CV so he ended up throwing mainly FB and then he started to nibble and his FB ran out of steam the more pitches he threw and the further he got into the inning...  it was like he was digging a hole that just kept getting deeper and deeper... 

Bryan Brickhouse 
FB: 94-95  
CH: 84 
CV: 79-80 
NOTES: Finished Adam's inning... was really amped-up and was all over the place with his FB... he jumped higher than he knew how!... next time you come by bring my stomach! ...

Wyatt Short
FB: 91-94 
SL: 81-84 
CV: 79
CH: 75 
NOTES: Threw two innings and his stuff held-up OK throughout... the 75 MPH CH might have been a CV that didn't break... 

Oscar de la Cruz 
FB: 93-96 
CH: 87
CV: 78-81
NOTES: Threw two innings.. FB velo & secondary stuff was as good at the end of his second inning as it was at the beginning of his first frame... has a SP repertoire and his stuff is above-average across-the-board... at the very least he should be an effective multi-inning RP, but I'm not sure he can't still be a SP (although there is no indication that the Cubs are interested in doing that at this time)... 

Juan Gamez
FB: 95 
SL: 83 
NOTES: Both FB and SL velo held exactly steady throughout the inning... nothing special but not bad... looked exactly like he did the last time I saw him a few days ago... 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

The TV feed cut out for the last batter of Maples' inning, so I couldn't see what happened after his inning was over. Rewatched it and it does seem like he and Willson weren't on the same page. Kind of seemed like Willson didn't give full effort on the two passed balls and that might be why Maples was upset, though they were obviously not easy to catch because of his movement. I actually thought he looked pretty good, as even the passed balls weren't bad misses. But you do wonder if he's nearing a tipping point. It's his last option year, and it has to be wearing on your mental state to just not be able to command your stuff. 

TIM: Only post-2919 Article XX-B MLB free-agents who sign a 2020 minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day (which for the Cubs is Jason Kipnis and Brandon Morrow) are eligible to receive a $100K retention bonus if not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day and not added to an MLB reserve list (40-man roster) or MLB 60-day IL by MLB Opening Day.

So as far as the Cubs are concerned, the decision whether to assign Kipnis and/or Morrow to the minors out of Spring Training and pay a $100K retention bonus (which also includes an automatic 6/1 player opt-out), or give the player his unconditional release, or add the player to the MLB 40-man roster (or 60-day IL), must be made no later than 12 PM (Eastern) on Saturday March 21st.

It does not apply to any of the other free-agents signed by the Cubs to 2020 minor league contracts. Only Kipnis and Morrow.  

BTW, it is possible that if the player does not make the Cubs Opening Day MLB roster (or gets placed on the MLB 60-day IL) the Cubs will release Kipnis and/or Morrow before the deadline, and then re-sign the player to a new minor league contract with a different salary and/or different opt-out date (or no opt-out date).

The Cubs actually did this in 2016 with three post-2015 Article XX-B free-agents signed to 2016 minor league contracts who were eligible to receive a $100K retention bonus and 6/1 opt out (Munenori Kawasaki, Shane Victorino, and Manny Parra). The Cubs released all three of them prior to the deadline and then re-signed them to new minor league contracts with different salaries and opt-out dates.  

Beginning today (Friday 3/6), the off-season restrictions that prevented post-2019 Draft-Excluded players from being sent to the minors (by optional or outright assignment) have expired, so the Cubs can now send C Miguel Amaya, RHSP Tyson Miller, RHSP Colin Rea, and SS Zack Short to the minors.

And while the Cubs other Draft-Excluded player (RHRP Manuel Rodriguez) cannot be optioned to the minors while he is injured (right biceps strain), he can be outrighted to the minors (even though he is injured), but only through next Wednesday (although it is very unlikely that the Cubs will risk losing Rodriguez off waivers). 

Jordan Bastian reporting that Rodriguez was optioned to Double-A.

I didn't think he was healthy enough for that.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

If Manuel Rodriguez is not healthy enough to pitch at Minor League Camp by MLB Opening Day (3/26), his minor league option will be revoked and he would have to be placed on the Cubs MLB 15-day or 60-day IL. 

It's possible that his injury is not as significant as it first appeared to be. 

[ ]

In reply to by tim815

TIM: According to Jordan Bastian, the Cubs are saying that the rule allowing a club to assign an injured player who accrued no MLB Service Time the previous season, has accrued less than three years of MLB Service Time, has not been outrighted to the minors previously in his career, and who was not selected in the Major League Phase of the previous Rule 5 Draft (which in 2020 would be Justin Steele, Miguel Amaya, Tyson Miller, Colin Rea, Manuel Rodriguez, and Zack Short), outright to the minors up until 15 days prior to MLB Opening Day also applies to Optional Assignments. 

I have never seen that before. 

It doesn't say that in the CBA (only outright assignments are covered), but apparently MLB told the Cubs that optional assignments are covered by this article as well, so that is very instructive.

Thanks to Jordan Bastian for that. 

Every now & then I come across a rules interpretation by MLB for something that is not stated explicitly in the CBA or in the MLB rules. That happened last summer with Ben Zobrist getting a minor league conditioning assignment even though the reason for his being placed on the Restricted List did not involve an MLB PED or DV suspension (which are the only two circumstances specifically stated in the rules that allow for a conditioning assignment). 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

TIM: I was able to talk to someone regarding the right of a club to either outright - OR - option certain injured players to the minors. 

It is covered in Article XIX-C sub-section 2(b) of the CBA:  

(2) Notwithstanding Section C(1) above, a Player who is injured and not able to play may be assigned to a Minor League club:

(b) During the period immediately following the filing of Major League Reserve Lists and before the 15th day prior to the start of the next championship season, if:

(i) the Player has less than three years of Major League service;

(ii) the contemplated assignment would not be the Player’s second (or subsequent) career outright assignment since March 19, 1990;

(iii) the Player had no Major League service the prior championship season;


(iv) the Player was not selected by the assignor Major League Club in the immediately preceding Rule 5 Draf

So the term "assignment" as used in Article XIX-C sub-section 2(b) is meant to cover both outright - AND - optional assignments, keeping in mind that a player cannot be optioned to the minors beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (and all players who are still on Optional Assignment must be recalled that day) and the official first day of Spring Training.   

BTW, this actually happened with Danny Hultzen when he was with the Seattle Mariners, and I should have remembered it because I just read about it last year.  

Hultzen was optioned to the minors by the Mariners more than 15 days prior to MLB Opening Day in both 2014 and 2015, even though he was rehabbing from shoulder surgery and was unable to pitch. Why I forgot about that, I don't know...    

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

And so if they are not going to make the Cubs MLB Opening Day active roster, Miguel Amaya, Colin Rea, and Zack Short need to be optioned prior to Thursday so that there are no potential issues with a pre-existing injury requiring placement on the MLB IL (Tyson Miller, Manuel Rodriguez, and Justin Steele have already been optioned).

I really, really like Alfonso Rivas' swing. If he can play OF and fill in when Rizz is hurt I think he's got a legit shot at a MLB career. Looks like a good return for Tony Kemp.

Here are the Cubs pitcher velo reports from today's Cubs v. White Sox game at Sloan Park (played in front of an all-time record Cactus League crowd):  

Jon Lester
FB: 89-91 
CT: 86-88
SL: 85 
CH: 81-83 
CV: 71-72 
NOTES: Typical Lester Spring Training performance where he is is just trying to increase his pitch count and innings,  although he labored throughout the outing... 

Ryan Lawlor
FB: 90-93
SL/CT: 86 
CH: 80 
NOTES: Really struggled to just record one out and finish Lester's third inning... will likely be in the AA Tennessee bullpen in 2020... 

Dan Winkler
FB: 94-96 
CT: 91-93 
SL: 85 
NOTES: Hanging SL resulted in a two-run HR... mid-90's FB and low 90's CT are his two main pitches... outing was generally subpar and Winkler (who has a minor league option left, actually two) really needs to stand-out above Underwood and Sadler (who are out of minor league options) to win an Opening Day job in the pen...  

Adbert Alzolay
FB: 93-95 
CH: 81-84 
CV: 78-81 
NOTES: Alzolay has quality stuff but he just doesn't look MLB-ready right now... this will be his last minor league option year so he needs to get it together at AAA in 2020 and be ready to win an MLB  job (SP or RP) no later than 2021 when he will be out of options... 

Rex Brothers
FB: 94-96 
SL: 86-89 
CH: 85-86 
NOTES: Threw two innings and he was better (dominating actually) and threw harder in the second inning than in the first one...  combines a mid-90's FB with a hard SL and it really works... the two CH he threw may have been SL that didn't break... presuming the Cubs carry two lefties in the pen in 2020 (which they might not - TBD), Kyle Ryan will almost certainly be one and Brothers will likely be the other one, since Brad Wieck (February 2020 cardiac procedure) will likely begin the season at EXST... keep in mind that if Brothers is added to the 40 he has one minor league option left, but once he accrues 81 more days of MLB Service Time he will reach five years and then he can't be sent to the minors without his permission... so if he begins the season on the Cubs MLB active roster and stays there until Wieck come back, Brothers will need to be optioned to the minors before 6/15 (which is when he would hit 5+000 MLB ST)... 

Craig Brooks
FB 89-92 
SL: 82-85 
NOTES: Uses the FB to set-up the SL... SL is his best pitch, but it's nothing special... 

If I was the Cubs I would put in a claim on STL INF-OF Yairo Munoz off Release Waivers (known as "$1 waivers" because the waiver price is just one dollar).  

The Cubs would not be awarded the claim if another club with a better waiver claim priority makes a claim as well (which I suspect will happen), but still it's worth a try.

Munoz is making the MLB minimum so there would be no salary offset if a club interested in his services waits until he clears waivers to sign him (as is usually the case when a high-salaried veteran is released, where the new club is only responsible for paying the pro-rated MLB minimum salary if they wait until the player clears Release Waivers to sign him). 

Munoz has one minor league option left and he can play anywhere in the infield & outfield (including SS), and so he would make an excellent 26th man. The Cubs need someone who can play SS in case Baez is out "day-to-day" with an injury that keeps him from playing for three or four days but not long enough to warrant an IL stint, and I don't think Hernan Perez is that guy.   

The reason the Cardinals released Munoz is reportedly that he left the team and flew home to the Dominican Republic without permission because he said he wasn't getting enough playing time, but leaving the club without permission is a reason to place a player on the Restricted List or Disqualified List. The fact that he has been suddenly and summarily released probably indicates that his departure from the club included some additional significant issue(s) beyond a disagreement about playing time. 

short sample size and all (though 25 PA is a good amount for this time in spring), but d.descalso now has a sub-.300 OPS (.291 OPS).  2 singles and 3 walks is his output so far.


[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

yeah, this is the time to do it.  it's actually nice to see him leading off in order to maximize those chances.  this team isn't hurting for guys that can play middle IF, especially since hoener's looking to be on the AAA/MLB shuttle for 2020.  it could do more harm than good to keep descalso around when the team breaks out of spring training even though the cost for having him is sunk whether he's here or not.

small sample size blah blah blah, but even the stuff on contact for outs (and at least 1 of his singles) has been poorly squared up and weakly put into play.  the bad part is it's not like he's being late with swings causing the weak contact, he's making weak contact going up the middle and pulled.

also, the box score for today's game (no TV) has updated to note his 0-4 is really 0-3 because verdugo sub'd for him and K'd for that last AB...so descalso has a .304 OPS.

CIN/CHC televised, ARZ/CHC not televised

rizzo returns (blister) for the CIN game.

souza is playing CF in the ARZ game.

kimbrel gave up another homer today on a 0.2ip 3h 0bb 1k, 2r/er line

2 appearances, 2 HRs...phew...man.

Here are the Cubs pitchers reports from today's Cubs - Diamondbacks game at Sloan ParK:: 

Jose Quintana
FB: 90-92 
CT: 86-89 
CH: 77-78 
CV: 76-78 
NOTES: Labored through both innings with poor FB command and was not very impressive despite the Houdini-like escape in the top of the 1st inning... 

Craig Kimbrel
FB: 93-96  
CH: 88-91 
CV: 83-85 
NOTES: Obviously was working on his off-speed stuff because he didn't throw very many FB, but the Lamb HR was on a center-cut 94 MPH FB...  I don't know if the CH was more of a CT FB than a straight CH, but he threw it a lot and got good results with it... no question FB is the problem right now...  

Kyle Ryan
FB: 88-89 
CT: 84-87 
CV: 78-81 
NOTES: Finished Kimbrel's inning and then threw one complete inning beyond that... Ryan almost always looks the same, but today the D'backs squared-up his FB pretty good and hit a lot of line drives instead of the more-typical ground balls... 

Jeremy Jeffress
FB: 91-93 
CH: 89-90 
CV: 79-81 
NOTES: FB velo still down a bit from his first outing when it was 94-95, but he appears to be healthy and is throwing strikes...  

Dillon Maples 
FB: 97-98
SL: 86-89
CV: 84 
NOTES: Best stuff on the staff and today he had command of it... lack of consistency with command is his main issue... 

Danny Hultzen
FB: 94-95 
SL: 81-84 
NOTES: Was in the Rehab Throwing Program until a few days ago so this was his first game outing of 2020... showed the same plus-stuff (mid 90's FB and swing & miss SL) today he displayed last year...  the big question with Hultzen is whether he can throw on back-to-back days and/or for more than one inning per outing (which he could not do last year)... unlike Rex Brothers (with whom Hultzen is probably competing for an MLB Cubs LHRP job), Hultzen does not have minor league options available if he is added to the 40, which should give Brothers the edge if it comes down to Hultzen vs. Brothers for the second lefty gig in the pen at the end of Spring Training (presuming Brad Wieck begins the season at EXST)... 

Brock Stewart
FB: 91-93
SL/CT: 87 
CV: 82-84 
NOTES: Former top Dodgers pitching prospect who was selected by Cubs in AAA Phase of the 2019 Rule 5 Draft... was sent to Minor League Camp a couple of days ago... features a pretty good low 90's two-seamer with movement and decent secondaries... has had major command issues in recent past but he generally threw strikes today..:his stuff (three-pitch mix with no one pitch plus) is really more like that of a SP, but because of command problems he just throws too many pitchers-per-inning to be a starter (he could maybe project as a multi-inning RP, though)... 

Jason Adam
FB: 94-96 T-98 
SL/CT: 88-89  
CV: 78-82 
NoTES: Best FB velo I've seen from him all spring, but once again he had no feel for his CV... the two-run Tomas HR was on a hanging 80 MPH CV that just sat on a virtual-tee waiting to get crushed (which it did)... the upper 80's SL/CH (whatever it is) got a couple of swings & misses, though... like Brock Stewart, Adam was sent to Minor League Camp a couple of days ago and will be competing for a bullpen job with AAA Iowa...  

Also, Diamondbacks NRI RHRP Mauricio Cabrera (ex-ATL) touched 100 today (his FB was sitting 98-99), combined with a low-90's CH and a mid-80's SL.James Norwood's FB has been hitting 99 MPH fairly regularly for the Cubs so far, but his secondaries aren't as good as Cabrera's were today. 

It's supposed to rain in Arizona beginning Tuesday night and extending into Friday, so good luck getting in the games WED-THU-FRI.  


With minor league camp officially opening last Friday, have you seen any indication from Cubs management about possibly restricting fan access to the backfields due to the coronavirus scares? I'm supposed to be in town next week and am curious if I need to adjust our itinerary.  Thanks.

[ ]

In reply to by Cobra39

blah blah not phil...nonetheless...

i'm a baseball card and ballcard auto collector and some of my friends out there hawking for ink are saying some teams have totally elimated it (not the cubs as of yesterday at least), others are cleaning areas where auto collectors hang out pre/post gathering, and almost every team is recommending that any players signing do it with their own pen.

as an aside, some players who's teams haven't eliminated the signing areas aren't participating out of fear (especially those with health compromised people they're going to be around...like mike trout, who's wife is pregnant).

some things to keep in mind, this is all changing quick with teams and players "shutting down" walking the auto line daily.  what's fine today could be not fine soon.  also, yu darvish thought his flu earlier might have been coronavirus (it was not) and he put a bit of spook in the cubs clubhouse.

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

Crazy thing about COVID-19 is that it doesn't seem to spread that well among young people or make them that sick. Athletes in their 20's or younger are not at much risk. Most MiLB guys could play through it and be fine.  Meanwhile, though, they'd be jeopardizing the lives of their coaches and potentially causing a public health catastrophe in Spring Training, where the fan base skews a lot older than regular season games.  More than a few people in the stands at Sloan will be over 80 with some other medical issue.  The death rate for folks in that group who catch this virus is something you don't want to think about.  So far, the best proven way to spread the disease on land in America has been business conferences attended by middle-aged people from all over the place, followed by religious services.

[ ]

In reply to by Cobra39

COBRA39: Other than a couple of security guards and one Mesa Police officer keeping fans away from players, there were no restrictions with respect to the Cubs backfields today. I can't guarantee anything going forward, however, because the situation is flu-id. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Arinzona Phil: WIth the shutdown of all games, it appears that some teams (including White Sox and Cubs) will still practice (for now). Do you know if the gate to the minor league fields at Sloan will be open to watch practice or if they'll shut it down to the public?

Arizona Phil - Question for you about the Minor League Spring training fields (the 4 fields at Sloan)...I know that MLB is severely restricting autographs for the MLB players, what about the minor leaguers? My 2 boys (9 and 11) really want to get autographs when we come to Phoenix late next week, are minor leaguers still allowed to sign?

Not entirely surprising about Ronnier Quintero, but nice to hear, nonetheless. Him catching 4 games per week for AZL Red or Blue would be steps in the right direction. With another game at DH and first.

8-0 over SF early. Lots of singles and four doubles by Happ, Contreras, Bote and Baez

Here are the pitchers velo reports from Wednesday night's Cubs - Padres game at Sloan Park 

Yu Darvish
FB: 95-98
CT: 91-94 
CH: 86-90
SL: 81-84
CV: 75-79 
NOTES: Labored tediously through three innings plus two batters in the 4th... stuff was good but he had difficulty commanding it... looked a bit like the 2019 first-half Darvish...    

Alec Mills: 
FB: 89-90 
CH: 80 
SL: 77-80 
CV: 66 
NOTES: Finished Darvish's fourth inning but pitched just the one inning... mixed up his pitches just like he does when he's starting... got out of a bases-loaded / no outs jam by giving up just one run...  

Casey Sadler
FB: 93-94 
SL/CT: 88-90 
CH: 88-89  
CV: 78-80
NOTES: Threw two innings... has a nice mix of pitches and works fast... FB is mostly a set-up/show-me pitch for his plus-secondaries... because he is out of minor league options (and can elect free-agency if he is outrighted) he probably has an edge in winning an Opening Day MLB bullpen slot...   

Craig Kimbrel
FB: 93-96 
CV: 82-85 
NOTES: Breaking ball was good and he actually got swings & misses with his FB (instead of HR!!!) ... 

Jeremy Jeffress
FB: 93-94 
SL/CT: 89-90 
CH: 80-82 
NOTES: FB velo was up a tick or two over last outing... continues to be effective with a solid three-pitch mix even if FB velo is not especially eye-popping...  

Ryan Tepera
FB: 94-96 
SL/CT: 88-91 
CH: 88
NOTES: Good FB velo combined with a wipe-out 90-ish MPH CT/SL... is competing (mainly) with Wick, Winkler, Sadler, Maples, and Underwood for a RHRP job, but unlike Sadler and Underwood (who are out of minor league options), Tepera does have an option left... 

At this point in time, I believe I would be inclined to take Kimbrel, Jeffress, Ryan, Tepera, Wick, Brothers, Sadler, and Mills for the Opening Day bullpen, although I would be fine with Mills as the 5th SP and either Underwood or Megill as the 8th man out of the pen if the Cubs can find a taker for Quintana. I'd like to see Maples get on a roll at AAA before calling him up. 

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

childerb3: It's not the Winkler has no chance, but beause he has a minor league option available, Tepera and Sadler (who is out of options) are a bit better, Underwood (who is out of options) is just as good, and Megill (Rule 5 pick) has better pure stuff and a higher upside, I believe Winkler will be optioned to Iowa. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

BTW, something to keep in mind about the three out of options guys (Mills, Sadler, and Underwood), is that only Sadler can elect free-agency if outrighted, and he's had an impressive enough Spring Training (so far) where he might just do that (if he were to be outrighted).  

The other two (Mills and Underwood) cannot elect to be a free-agent if outrighted, so if the Cubs could (for example) get Underwood through waivers they could outright him to Iowa without the risk that he can elect to be a free-agent, and they would have him under club control until after the conclusion of the World Series.

The Cubs would be able to add Underwood back to the 40 anytime prior to 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series (or perhaps sign him to a 2021 minor league successor contract), if they don't want to lose him as post-2020 minor league 6YFA.   

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

And as far as Trevor Megill is is concerned, even if the Cubs can secure waivers (and that's reasonable to expect since any club claiming him would assume the Rule 5 roster restrictions), the Padres would very likely re-claim him. 

If waivers are secured the Cubs could try and work out a deal with SD where the Cubs could keep Megill, but it would probably cost the Cubs a Top 30 prospect. Whether the Cubs would pay that price is unclear.  

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Thanks Phil - I see how I misread your comment and thought you were saying Tepera was out of options!  Here are the pitchers I think would break camp with the team, barring injuries/trades:

Yu Darvish (SP1)
Kyle Hendricks (SP2)
Jon Lester (SP3)
Tyler Chatwood (SP4)
Jose Quintana (SP5/TRADE) / Duane Underwood (LR/SU/Outright)

Alec Mills (LR/SP6)
Casey Sadler (LR/SP7)

Trevor Megill (SU)
Rex Brothers (SU)
Rowan Wick (SU)
Kyle Ryan (SU)
Jeremy Jeffress (SU)
Craig Kimbrel (CL)

Well all, thanks to the dumbest fucking president (and there isn't a "p" small enough to use here) we've ever had, all sports are dead for now. I'll miss opening day and everything else Diaper Filling Fucktard ruined but maybe we can get back on track soon. 

If the MLB regular season is delayed until at least May, keep in mind that per the CBA the MLB regular season  must be at least 182 days in length with 172 days constituting a "full season" for puroses of caculating an MLB player's MLB Service Time, so if the season is truncated and covers (let's say) 150 actual days of games (5/1 - 9/27), for purposes of calculating MLB Service Time the number of days required to make it 172 days would either have to be back-dated from MLB Opening Day at least 22 days for players on the MLB Openng Day roster, or MLB Service Time would have to accrue an extra 22 days beyond the last day of the MLB regular season for the 28 players on a club's MLB active list as of the final day of the MLB regular season, or perhaps some combination of the two. 

It's also very likely that when (if?) the 2020 MLB regular season commences, that clubs wil be allowed to carry more than 26 players (probably two or three or maybe even four additional pitchers) on the active list roster for a set period of time (maybe as much as 30 days). 

And if the start of the MLB regular season is pushed to (let's say) 5/1 and is truncated by 36 days (and for the Cubs, that means 32 games lost - 18 home games & 14 road games), the playoffs might be expanded from 10 to maybe 14 teams (with four Wild Card teams in each league), an idea which was floated by MLB owners during the off-season for consideration in the next CBA. This would give the owners a chance to (presumably) make more money by adding more post-season "playoff" games to partially compensate for the loss of about 20% of the MLB regular season. 

Besides deciding a club's 26-man active list roster by MLB Opening Day (3/26), the only remaining roster issue for clubs is (was) whether to add a post-2019 Article XX-B free-agent signed to a minor league contract to the MLB 40-man roster, or retain the player on the minor league deal and pay him a $100K retention bonus with an automatic 6/1 player-opt out, or release the player and possibly re-sign him to  a new (different) minor league contact without the retention bonus and automatic player opt-out. 
Prior to the suspension of Spring Training, this decision needed to be made by 12 PM (Eastern) five days prior to MLB Opening Day (meaning by 12 noon Eastern Saturday 3/21).  

For the Cubs this involved only two players, RHP Brandon Morrow and 2B Jason Kipnis. Of the two, Kipnis will likely be added to the 40 (with Daniel Decalso probably getting released to make room on the 40 for Kipnis), but Morrow was likely to be released and then offered a new (different) 2020 minor league contract with no retention bonus and a much later or possibly even no player opt-out (an offer Morrow could either accept or decline). 

How the delay to the start of the MLB regular season (and MLB Opening Day) will affect those two decisions for the Cubs is unclear, because MLB Opening Day has not been re-scheduled, and so there is no way to know right now which date will actually be five days prior to Opening Day.  

The MLB Commissioner has temporarily put a moratorium on all transactions, but I suppose it is possible that Saturday 3/21 will still be used as the deadline for this particular issue, because it is a contractual matter as much as it is a roster issue.

As far as the Cubs are concerned, I suspect they probably already pretty much know what they are going to do with Morrow and Kipnis, so postponing the decision beyond 3/21 probably isn't really necessary (at least not for the Cubs). 

getting nearly 3 weeks of almost every spring game being televised...still too early to seriously read into any stats being put up...just getting into the pen + 2nd base race...

this is a very unfortunate pause in entertainment.

hope all our older people and immunocompromised stay safe.  hope we get baseball back before may.

MLB has formally suspended all spring camps and sent everyone "home"...some camps are already empty and some were still doing varying degrees of workouts.

If pitchers are shut down and spring trading reboot is only two weeks, I suspect there will be more injuries or tendinitis problems or Kimbrel 2019 type performances. This season will need an asterisk for many reasons. Color me: sad. Stay healthy everyone. Be careful. 

[ ]

In reply to by Cubster

commish should let every team use trash cans and buzzers.  i hear that works well.

as an aside, i'm on a health/safety committee for the state government (NC) and though we only have 23 cases confirmed, there have only been 113 people tested in the entire state because though we have collection kits we don't have enough diagnosis kits or approved labs.  at this point in the disease's spread this is absolutely unacceptable, but we're well beyond that criticism.  only the people with the most severe symptoms or extreme exposure to a large population have been tested here in NC because of a major  lack of testing/diagnosis ability.

when states get more tests (supposedly mid/end next week at the latest) it will still take 2-4 days for a lab result (also unacceptable).  expect a huge spike, but don't be too alarmed...it's most likely an underreporting issue rather than an explosive new infection issue.

be careful around older and/or immunocompromised people (including pregnant women and those on certain meds which lower immune response, like some rheumatoid arthritis meds).

[ ]

In reply to by Jackstraw

i'm supposed to be making sure people know how to report tick bites and make sure everyone is using the proper protection gear when applicable in their job...not be on the phone talking to various levels of govt agencies trying to find guidence about when to send people home during a pandemic and how to do it properly so they get paid.

the lack of guidence from the federal level is pathetic.  they are available, i will give them that, but f'n no one knows what to do and that touches everything "trickling down" to lower levels of government.  they take feedback and then try to escalate issues...it's reactive, not proactive.

The Cubs are patient with prospects who neither flame out nor break out.  However, you may see more than a few retirements among this group over the next year, if the scenario of a very late start this season combined with big league strike risk at some point next year (CBA negotiations) plays out.  Two or three seasons into your pro career, fighting for a AA spot, with the potential for chunks of the next two years being wasted?  You can become a very old minor leaguer that way.

yanks minor leaguer diagnosed...commish is now "okay, everyone go home f'real" for those still hanging around camp.

yanks decided to hold a vote amongst players (led by MLBPA player representative) and almost all decided to stay in camp to work out on an unofficial camp basis.  btw, the minor leaguer did not have any contact with the MLB roster (never went to Steinbrenner Field).

CDC expected to recommend any gathering of 50+ people not happen for the next 8 weeks.

it could be june before we're doing opening day...

AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.

"According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."

so that's where that promise landed.  the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.

The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever.  That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.

Even if MLB is somehow able to pull-off a truncated 2020 season over the last half of this year in empty Spring Training facilities in Arizona (or in Arizona and Florida) for TV purposes and then some kind of post-season with a World Series at Chase Field or Dodger Stadium in November or December, I can't see minor league baseball being played in 2020.

In fact there may not even be minor league baseball (at least as we know it) in 2021. Rather, I think it's more-likely that there would be Winter Instructs, Minor League Camp, and a VERY "Extended Spring Training" lasting through September played on locked Arizona and Florida Spring Training backfields that will be closed to the public.

Then maybe a return to "normalcy"(?) in 2022 with a completely revamped minor league player development system in place. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Also, if a truncated MLB season is played at empty, locked, and quarantined Spring Training facilities in Arizona (or in Arizona & Florida) in 2020, I expect it's very likely that the pre-planned 2020 schedule will be thrown away and replaced with a limited schedule (resembling the Cactus League and Grapefruit League Spring Training schedules) with no multi-game series and lots of days off, and then an MLB post-season more akin to March Madness than to a traditional MLB post-season.

I think MLB really, really wants to play games (even on a limited basis) for TV purposes, with the "regular season" played at Spring Training facilities followed by some kind of extended post-season WBC-type "tournament" in November-December that will involve clubs playing three-game series in empty (or nearly-empty) warm-weather MLB stadiums (possibly in just one or two stadiums, to reduce travel).   

There is just way too much TV money at stake to punt the season without presenting something (even if it's certifiably goofy). 

[ ]

In reply to by Charlie

CHARLIE: I would say only players on the 40 who have a legitimate chance to play in MLB in 2020 plus a few of the Spring Training NRI guys who could play in MLB in 2020. Otherwise, no minor leaguers.

With all of the complicated logistic, security, and quarantine issues that will be involved in implementing an MLB "Arizona Plan" or a "Cactus/Grapefruit Plan" in 2020, it's going to have to be a limited roster, although not so limited as to cause a club to run out of players at a particular position during the course of the season.   

So the MLB 40-man roster (not including players optioned to the minors who are not ready for MLB in 2020, like M. Amaya, T. Miller, M. Rodriguez, and Steele) plus about a half-dozen MLB-ready NRI (probably Brothers, Kipnis, H. Perez, Phegley, I. Miller, and Morrow) would be it.   

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full), plus three are on the 60-DAY IL

26 players are on the MLB ACTIVE LIST, plus two are on the 15-DAY IL, one is on the 10-DAY IL, and eleven are on OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT to minors  

Last updated 5-25-2023
* bats or throws left
# bats both

Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad
Jeremiah Estrada
Michael Fulmer
Kyle Hendricks
* Brandon Hughes
Mark Leiter Jr 
Julian Merryweather
Michael Rucker
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Jameson Taillon 

* Tucker Barnhart 
Yan Gomes

Nico Hoerner
* Miles Mastrobuoni 
* Matt Mervis
Christopher Morel
* Edwin Rios 
Dansby Swanson
Patrick Wisdom

# Ian Happ
Trey Mancini 
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

Keven Alcantara, OF 
Miguel Amaya, C
Ben Brown, P 
Alexander Canario, OF 
Brennen Davis, OF 
Ryan Jensen, P 
Caleb Kilian, P  
Nick Madrigal, INF 
Keegan Thompson, P 
Nelson Velazquez, OF
Hayden Wesneski, P

10-DAY IL: 1 
* Cody Bellinger, OF 

15-DAY IL: 2 
Brad Boxberger, P 
Nick Burdi, P  

60-DAY IL: 3 
Codi Heuer, P 
Ethan Roberts, P
Adrian Sampson, P 


Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents