Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

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

26 players on MLB RESERVE LIST are ACTIVE, plus eleven players are on OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT to minors and three players are on the 15-DAY IL

Last updated 6-15-2024

* bats or throws left
# bats both

Javier Assad
Colten Brewer
Kyle Hendricks
* Shota Imanaga
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Tyson Miller
Hector Neris
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski

Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

David Bote
* Michael Busch
Nico Hoerner
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Patrick Wisdom

* Cody Bellinger
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

Kevin Alcantara, OF
Michael Arias, P
Alexander Canario, OF
Jose Cuas, P
Brennen Davis, OF
Porter Hodge, P 
Nick Madrigal, INF 
* Miles Mastrobuoni, INF
* Matt Mervis, 1B
Daniel Palencia, P 
Luis Vazquez, INF

15-DAY IL: 3
Yency Almonte, P
Ben Brown, P 
* Jordan Wicks, P 

60-DAY IL: 3
Adbert Alzolay, P 
Caleb Kilian, P
Julian Merryweather, P

Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

First Week of Spring Training 2023 (Series Thread)

Welcome back to Chicago Cubs baseball for a 2023 season! February 25th marks the beginning of Cactus League play for the Chicago Cubs, who will be debuting the newly signed shortstop Dansby Swanson in his blue pinstripes. While significant narratives look less than abundant for the Cubs this February and March, there is the potential for some competition at third base and on the bench. And the Cubs have a few exciting prospects in camp who are likely to arrive in Chicago sometime in 2024 if not sooner.

Series threads will return with the regular season. In the meantime, you can expect a post each week and a place to share your comments on game play, roster construction, the World Baseball Classic, etc. Enjoy the return of our preferred bat and ball sport and the players' pastime between rounds of golf!


morel 0-3, 3K

hoerner + mancini 2-2 (all singles)

sampson gave up 3hr in 1.2ip

stroman threw 2 wild pitches, but didn't look bad overall

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

All three of the HR allowed by Adrian Sampson were on 91-92 MPH FB, and they were really mashed. He also labored to throw strikes (43 pitches and he couldn't finish his second inning of work). So FB command was poor, but CH and SL looked good. Generally speaking, this was not a good first outing for someone who knows he is competing for a job.  

Marcus Stroman 2S FB was ranging 88-92 MPH and had good movement. Twenty of his 31 pitches were two-seamers. He also showed a SL (83-85), CH (83-86), and CV (80), but he mostly threw the two-seamer. 

suzuki had an MRI sunday.  aside from early ST concerns, he's supposed to be part of Team Japan's WBC roster.

For those of you who might have missed today's (Monday's) Cubs - Guardians game at Sloan Park, here are the pitchers reports (Wright, Remy, and Stambaugh were called up from Cubs minor league camp to be the extra pitchers): 

FB: 90-93 T-94 
SL: 88 
CH: 81 
CV: 80-83 
COMMENT: Had an easy 17-pitch 1-2-3 1st inning (K - F-9 - K) and retired five of the first six men he faced (allowing just a one-out single in the top of the second) before surrendering a two-run HR (first of two HR by Roman Quinn in the game) and another single before being removed from the game with two outs in the top of the 2nd...  threw 41 pitches (27 strikes) total combined over the course of the 1.2 IP... 

FB: 92 
COMMENT: Needed just one pitch to finish Taillon's inning with a can o' corn F-8... 

FB: 88-91 
CV: 80-81  
COMMENT: Threw 15 FB and two off-speed pitches in his one inning of work... nibbled a bit but allowed no runs, only one single, and no hard contact... 

FB: 88-91 
SL: 86-87
CV: 83 
COMMENT: Threw 16 pitches but only 8 strikes... FB was not overpowering at all... looked uncomfortable on the mound... walked one... mediocre outing...  

FB: 92-95 
SL/CT: 83-86 
CV: 71-75 
COMMENT: Mixed his pitches pretty well but command was poor...  issued three walks... needed 28 pitches to record two outs... could not finish his one inning and was relieved with two outs, two on, and three runs in...  

FB: 91 
SL: 82-84 
CV: 78-80
COMMENT: Allowed three-run HR (Quinn's second of the day) and a double as both of his inherited (Wick) runners scored... nothing to see here, folks... keep moving...  

FB: 93-95
SL: 84-85 
COMMENT Needed only 14 pitches to record three outs but allowed a walk and an RBI triple (LH hitter, natch) along the way... also way too much hard contact in so few pitches, including two hard hit foul balls... Keep in mind that Alzolay is out of options, so how he performs in Cactus League MLB Spring Training games will almost certainly not impact his chance to make the 2023 Cubs Opening Day roster...

FB: 95-98 
SL: 87-88 
CH: 83 
CV: 82 
COMMENT: Had an easy 15-pitch 7th inning... allowed one hit but no runs... one strikeout (swinging)... got several swing & miss with breaking balls but not with the high velo FB... was claimed off waivers from Blue Jays during off-season... is out of minor league options so he actually has a pretty good chance of making Cubs Opening Day bullpen, especially if he keeps pitching like he did today... 

FB: 91-92 
CV: 78-80 
COMMENT: 32-year old veteran MLB RHRP who had several decent seasons working out of Twins bullpen... struck out the side (all three swinging) while throwing a 1-2-3 8th inning... had outstanding command... first seven pitches were strikes (four swinging) and he was close to recording an "immaculate inning" before missing with a couple of slow CV... for those of you playing at home, I would definitely put Duffey at the front of the NRI class competing for Cubs Opening Day bullpen slots... 

FB: 98-100 
SL: 87-89 
COMMENT: 30-year old RHRP selected by Cubs from Padres in AAA Phase of  December 2022 Rule 5 Draft... had some big league bullpen time with Pirates in 2018-20... missed most of the past three seasons recovering from thoracic outlet surgery and then TJS, but he sure looks plenty healthy now... has a filthy high-octane FB/SL combo... FB hit 100 MPH five times... nobody could put ball into play, but he walked the bases loaded while striking out two before being relieved after throwing 28 pitches (only 12 strikes)... because he was selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, he has no roster restrictions and can pitch in the minors in 2023...   

FB: 88 
CV: 76 
COMMENT: Lefty needed only two pitches to finish Burdi's inning and strand the bases loaded with an infield pop fly out. 

And here are the pitchers reports from Monday's Cubs - D'backs split squad game at Salt River Field: 

4S: 95-97
2S: 90-93
CH: 86-87
CV: 77-79 
COMMENT: Started the game and worked two innings - six up / six down (6-3, 3-1, K-swinging, F-8, K-swinging, and 6-3)... 29 pitches (19 strikes)... threw all four of his pitches for strikes, but got swing & miss (4) only on the higher velo 4S FB... 

FB: 95-97 
CH: 89 
SL: 84-87 
COMMENT: Threw one inning 1-2-3 (16 pitches - 11 strikes)... although he had good velo on FB, he got swing & miss on the SL only, but also four of the five pitches called balls were on the SL..   

4S: 95-98 - T-99 
2S: 92-93 
SL: 85-87
COMMENT: Threw two shutout innings... struck out three (all swinging)... labored through first inning (23 pitches - only 11 strikes) when he walked two, but then he threw only ten pitches (7 strikes) in his second inning of work, although he did allow two singles in that inning... got seven swing & miss total, but only one was on 4S FB... also had some command issues with the 4S FB (only 50% were thrown for strikes)...    

FB: 94-96 
CH: 88 
SL: 83-84 
COMMENT: Threw a quick 1-2-3 inning with one strikeout (swinging)..., 13 pitches (9 strikes)... 

FB: 93-96 
CH: 84 
SL: 83-85
COMMENT: 1-2-3 inning with one strikeout (swinging)... 11 pitches (7 strikes)... most of the pitches called balls were on the SL, but SL also got the only two swing & miss in the inning... 

FB: 95-97 T-99 
CH: 88 
SL: 84-87 
COMMENT: Threw a shutout inning but did allow two singles... only swing & miss was on his last pitch of the inning, a swinging strikeout... 15 pitches (9 strikes) 

FB: 95-97
CH: 88 
SL: 84-86 
COMMENT: Allowed two singles (one borderline E-6) without retiring a batter... Left game after throwing ten pitches (7 strikes) with what appeared to be a right oblique issue...  

FB: 95
CV: 77-79 
COMMENT: Threw five pitches, one FB and four CV... faced one batter and surrendered the monster walk-off three-run HR to Emmanuel Rivera on a hanging CV... also committed a balk just prior to the HR... 

As of right now, I would say Anthony Kay and Ryan Borucki are the top two lefty relief candidates behind Brandon Hughes, with Kay also a possibility for LH Multi-Inning Reliever (MIR), because he has a SP repertoire. Bottom line is, I really don't think the Cubs need to sign a FA LHRP (Britton, Hand, or W. Smith). 

Mark Leiter Jr, Tyler Duffey, Julian Merryweather, Jeremiah Estrada, and Michael Rucker right now would appear to be the best one-inning RHRP options besides Boxberger and Fulmer (both of whom are locks to make the team).

Merryweather is out of minor league options and Duffey likely has an Opening Day opt-out and probably Leiter does, too, so both Estrada and Rucker could end up being a victim of soycumstance even if they pitch well in ST games...    

Adbert Alzolay is out of options and so I suppose one would think he will positively make the Opening Day roster as a RH MIR no matter how he pitches this spring, but I wouldn't be surprised if he gets traded prior to Opening Day.  

Keegan Thompson will probably be the # 1 MIR.   

On the downside, Adrian Sampson and Rowan Wick are not locks to make the Opening Day roster (both have a minor league options left) and they will have to pitch a lot better than they did in their first outings to secure slots.   

So far, both Assad and Kilian look like they are ready to roll as rotation SP if Sampson doesn't cut it, Steele is held back with the "arm fatigue" issue, and Hendricks isn't ready by Opening Day. Still waiting to see Wesneski and B. Brown. 

I could see as many as four NRI pitchers making the Opening Day roster (Duffey, Leiter, Kay, and Borucki). 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

These are awesome scouting reports and amazing coverage, thank you Phil!

Looks like a lot of moving parts on the pitching side. I’d project:

Stroman Steele Taillon Smyly Sampson in the rotation, with any of Wesneski, Assad, or Kilian ready to jump on Sampson’s spot or fill in for Steele (and of course when Smyly hits the IL, a yearly occurrence for him).

Bullpen is even trickier. So far I think Thompson, Hughes, Boxberger, and Fulmer are locks. Alzolay is a lock if he’s healthy and untraded. Wick is close to a lock but grip could loosen if he keeps looking like crap.

Two spots available, and a long list of guys who have a legit shot. Based on what you’ve said and general feel, Duffey, Merryweather, Kay, Borucki, Estrada, Rucker, and my nemesis Leiter could claim those spots, and I feel like Wesneski might be in the mix there too if they feel it benefits his development more to throw multiple big league innings than start in AAA.

Canario is back to baseball activities already, supposedly.
Even if he's doing lite stuff, that seems pretty quick.
Rooting for him!

Iowa's lineup is crowded already. Canario being there by May or June would make it ridiculous.  Obviously, a trade would be in the works from some of those guys, but still. Loaded with actual prospects.

Can't remember the last time that happened in Iowa.

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

childersb3: I think what is causing some confusion is that the Cubs are issuing duplicate numbers to players invited over for the day from minor league camp. 

It used to be that the Cubs had open numbers in the 80's and 90's that could be issued ad hoc to minor leaguers (pitchers and position players) added to the active roster for a particular game. The same open numbers would be issued to different players each day. 

However, this season the Cubs issued all of their "available" numbers (not including #9, #17, #34, #38, #44, and #69) to players on the 40, official NRI guys, and the MLB manager and coaches, so there have been players from minor league camp being issued "duplicate" numbers of players on the 40 and NRI guys.  

Just yesterday, Chase Strumpf (who is an official NRI) and Bryce Ball (called up from minor league camp just for the day) came into the game at Sloan Park at the same time, and both were wearing #98, so the PA announcer and the scoreboard operator (naturally) got it backwards and had them batting in the wrong spots in the batting order, even though Strumpf bats RH and Ball bats LH.

The number jam is so bad that even two guys who are officially in MLB camp (Mark Leiter Jr and Edwin Rios) are wearing the same number (#30), but at least one is a pitcher and one is a position player.

In my 46 years attending Cubs Spring Training, I have never seen two guys officially in MLB Camp wearing the same number. That is a first! And it actually causes confusion for some of the fans and the media and the PA announcer and the scoreboard operator. 

Part of it seems to be a reluctance on the part of the Cubs to issue the numbers last worn by Baez, Bryant, Lester, and Rizzo (#9, #17, #34, and #44), but for some reason the Cubs NEVER issue #69 (I don't know if it is because of what "69" means, or because of the 1969 season), and #38 was last worn by Brad Wieck, so it shouldn't be off limits.

Also, the Cubs had no compunction about re-issuing #22 (last worn by Jason Heyward) and #40 (last worn by Willson Contreras), with Michael Tauchman assigned #40 and Luis Torrens switching from #32 to #22 when Michael Fulmer was signed (#32 was Fulmer's number in Detroit). 

If the Cubs refuse to issue uniform numbers #9, #17, #34, and #44 (and #38 and #69), one solution would be to issue only numbers worn by coaches to the guys called up from minor league camp for the day. At least then two players would not be confused with each other, as happened with Strumpf and Ball at Sloan Park and with Jordan Nwogu (who was wearing Alexander Canario's #80 at Salt River Fields, because Canario isn't using it). 

Another possibility would be to start issuing three digit numbers to the coaches, like maybe #110-119, using smaller six inch numbers instead of the standard eight inch numbers on the backs of the jerseys. That would free-up ten numbers that could be used by players.  

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil


If they were going to retire jerseys from the 2016 crew, I'm sure those four would be included. Javy, KB, Rizzo and Lester.  But, wouldn't Arrieta and Dexter have a right as well?  Zobrist? Chapman (only those few months) probably not. Heck, we don't win the WS without Russell? We aren't retiring his jersey. Scwharbs??? He's the WS legend!


[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

i still can't believe they gave #17 to high-potential Cubs star (who became a Cubs star) kris bryant.

mark grace represented it quite well for 13 seasons.  lot of guys have worn the number (notably bob rush), but when it was being given to possible future team stars (felix pie and kris bryant, notably) it might say a lot about how high the barrier will be to get a retired number going forward.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Agreed. Grace should have been the last 17. Sosa should have been the last 21, too. I don’t know if there are criteria established by the team.

While we’re on the topic, 31 shouldn’t be shared. Should only be Fergie. Maddux was amazing, but he’s remembered most for his time in Atlanta. Maddux only was added because Hendry was a huge fan.

suzuki has withdrawn from Team Japan in the WBC...opening day might not be in the cards for him, too.  "moderate oblique strain" expected to shelf him for 3-6 weeks.

[ ]

In reply to by bradsbeard

nice.  thanks.  i saw various footage of him doing defense drills and was wondering why he hadn't snagged any game work.  he can't be too far off if they have him squatting on his feet doing catching drills.

injuries over many seasons have pushed him off prospect lists, but he's bounced back quite well every time.  i got faith he's better than his current team prospect rankings...

cubs were pleased with steele's bullpen session and he's on track to make his next start.

Chris Clarke getting the 8th set my mental hamsters running.


I really doubt he makes the Seattle OD roster. Which likely leads to him being offered back to the Cubs, as an MLB Rule 5 guy. Was it "his day to pitch", or would Seattle offer a non-zero piece to keep him?



making roster decisions less than a week into spring training is stupid, but if wiz can keep up today's pace it might make that 5th starter race (sampson, wiz, assad) a bit closer than expected.

this club is so rich in SP.

thompson is due to start the season in the pen.  assad isn't talked about much and he would be in a much more competitive race to be an end-rotation starter on some teams.  killian isn't even being considered and he would be competing for a spot for many clubs.  we don't even have jordan wicks and ben brown on the early-2023 radar and fans of other teams would be closely following them.

For anyone who might have missed Wednesday's Cubs - Mariners game at Sloan Park, here are the pitchers reports: 

FB: 93-95 
CT: 89-91 
CH: 88  
SL: 83-84 
COMMENT: Got the start and worked two shutout innings (37 pitches - 25 strikes), allowing one hit and one walk while striking out four (two swinging)... had an easy 13-pitch 1-2-3 1st inning on a K-looking (FB), a K-swinging (FB), and a P-4... allowed a double and issued a walk to begin the 2nd before pitching out of the jam with a K-swinging (CT), a 3-U GO, and K-looking (SL)... displayed a nice mix of pitches, including 15 FB, eight CT, four CH, and eight SL... definitely in contention for  the 5th starter slot... 

FB: 91-93 
SL: 84-87 
CV: 75-78 
COMMENT: Threw 2.2 IP (42 pitches - 30 strikes)... pitched shutout ball while allowing a two-out single (FB) in his first inning and a two-out double (FB) in his second inning, before surrendering back-to-back solo HR to Julio Rodriguez (hanging CV on pitch #36) and Jared Kelenic (92 MPH FB on pitch #42) with two outs in the top of the 5th (and it was the second time he faced both hitters) to complete his outing... he mixed up his offerings very well, throwing 21 FB, 10 SL, and 11 CV... he is still stretched out after working as a SP for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League post-2022 where he went 4-0 with an 0.92 ERA... Elias is a 34-year old lefty "swingman" with five-plus years of MLB Service Time accumulated over the course of six different seasons with Seattle (three separate tours), Boston, and Washington... he was signed by Mariners in 2011 after spending two years with Guantanamo in Serie Nacional (the Cuban major league)... he figures to compete with Anthony Kay for the LH MIR role (essentially "multi-inning reliever / once through the order / 45-60 pitches")... 

FB: 92-93 
CH: 88 
SL: 81-83 
COMMENT: Extra pitcher called-up from minor league camp for the day... allowed a double and a single in relief of Elias before striking out his third hitter (swinging) on a SL... threw a total of nine pitches, three FB (including both of the hits he allowed), five SL (no contact, three swing & miss), and one CH...  SL is clearly his "out" pitch... FB just gets too much hard contact... candidate for Iowa pen but more likely will begin season at AA Tennessee...  

FB: 91 
SL: 81-83 
COMMENT: 32-year old veteran "4-A" reliever... threw an easy 1-2-3 5th inning (K-swinging, P-4, 4-3) on ten pitches, including eight SL and only two FB... he got three swing & miss on the SL... he is what one would probably call a "slider-first" guy... FB is obviously just a "show me" pitch... he is a  candidate for the Iowa bullpen if he isn't released...   

FB: 94-95 
CH: 89-90 
SL: 84-86 
CV: 80-82 
COMMENT: Although he is a RP he still maintains a starter's  repertoire so he could profile as an MIR... threw a shutout inning (11 pitches - 9 strikes) using all four of his pitches...  allowed two singles but pitched around them thanks to an inning-ending 1-6-3 DP... got two swing & miss (one on CV and one on SL) including one swinging strikeout... probably will be a Chicago - Iowa shuttle pen arm in 2023 since he has a minor league option left, but he could also be a potential trade candidate if his MLB 40-man slot is needed for an NRI reliever like Duffey, Leiter, Kay, and/or Borucki... 

FB: 93-95 
SL: 85-88 
COMMENT: Retired two batters before being relieved after throwing 27 pitches (16 strikes)... allowed two singles (both weak contact) and a hard-hit line-drive RBI double... both outs recorded were swinging strikeouts... had a total of four swing & miss (three on 95 MPH FB and one on SL)... will likely be in Iowa bullpen in 2023... he can be a minor league 6YFA post-2023 World Series if he is not added to MLB 40-man roster or signs a 2024 minor league successor contract in the meantime...   

FB: 92-93 
SL: 84 
COMMENT: Another extra arm called-up from minor league camp for the day... finished Little's inning and needed only four pitches to record the third out on a swinging strikeout (FB)... like McAvene, K. Johnson is a candidate for the Iowa pen, but he is much more likely to begin season at AA Tennessee...   

FB: 94-97 
SL: 86-89 
COMMENT: Needed 17 pitches to record the save... threw nine FB and eight SL... allowed a single (FB) on his first pitch of the inning and issued a two-out walk, but also induced two GO and struck out one swinging with his only 89 MPH SL (other SL were all 86-88)... will likely be the closer at Iowa in 2023... he can be a minor league 6YFA post-2023 World Series if he is not added to MLB 40-man roster or signs a 2024 minor league successor contract in the meantime...

Here are the pitchers reports from Thursday's Cubs - A's game at Sloan Park: 

FB: 89-92 
CH: 86-87 
SL: 83-85 
CV: 82 
COMMENT: After throwing two innings (31 pitches) in his first outing last Saturday, Stroman goes one out into the third inning and throws 45 pitches (29 strikes) on Thursday, allowing no runs on two hits, while issuing one walk, and striking out four (two swinging)... he also committed a balk... once again he relied mainly on the "pitch-to-weak contact" two seamer (25 of them, but only one swing & miss), and also mixed-in eight SL (one swing & miss), eight CH (two swing & miss) and four CV... he will now depart to Florida where he will be participating in the WBC with Team Puerto Rico...      

FB 93-94 
CV: 74-79 
COMMENT: After an outing to forget in his first ST appearance last Sunday versus Dodgers at Camelback Ranch,  Horn finished Stroman's third inning (10 pitches - 6 strikes),  mixing a FB (7) and CV (3)... he allowed a single on a 93 MPH FB before getting a punch-out (swinging) on a CV and an inning-ending P-4 (FB)...  

FB: 91-93 
SL: 87-89
CV: 82 
COMMENT: Both FB and SL velo were up two MPH from first outing last Monday but FB velo still not up to where it was in 2021-22... just like last outing, he threw one inning and only 50% strikes (14 pitches - 7 strikes)... he did not allow a run or a hit, walked one, and struck out one (swinging), and retired two more on 6-3 GO... it may be because he signed late and got a bit of a late start, but not only is his FB velo down, he continues to have difficulty commanding his FB (he threw five but only one for a strike, although it was the swinging strikeout)... he looked a bit frustrated when he came back to bench after the inning... 

FB: 92-94
CT/SL: 87 
CV: 74-75 
COMMENT: Worked a shutout 5th inning (17 pitches - 10 strikes), allowing no hits, one walk, and one strikeout (looking), plus an F-9 and an F-7...  the only swing & miss was on a CV... Like Fulmer, Wick's FB velo is down about two MPH from when he was at his best a couple of years ago, and he can't throw the pitch for strikes... he gets best results with CV... 

FB: 92-95 
CH: 89 
SL: 84-87 
COMMENT: Pitched a shutout inning in the top of the 6th (18 pitches - 11 strikes)... pitched around a one-out double, 4-3, F-9, K-swinging... got one swing & miss on a 95 MPH FB and another on an 86 MPH SL (the inning ending strikeout)... FB velo was down two MPH from first outing on Monday but SL velo was the same... 

FB: 88-91 
CV: 77-80 
SL CV: 74-76 
COMMENT: Threw a shutout inning in the top of the 7th (22 pitches - 13 strikes), striking out two (both swinging, both times with the CV)... he also allowed a single and hit a batter, as his FB command was spotty (it was super in his first outing last Monday)... he also threw a WP when he bounced a CV... 

FB: 95-97 
SL: 86-87
CV 82-83
CH: 82  
COMMENT: Pitched the 8th inning (15 pitches - 10 strikes), allowing no runs and no hits... walked one and struck out one (looking on FB on last pitch of the inning)... got no swing & miss in the inning... he really needs to junk the slow stuff  (which he can't throw for strikes anyway) and just go FB/SL like Manny Rodriguez does...  

FB: 92-94 
SL: 85-86 
CH: 82-85  
COMMENT: Worked the top of the 9th up 6-0... threw 17 pitches - 12 strikes)... had two swing & miss (both on SL), including a swinging strikeout after lead-off double... SL velo was up one MPH but FB velo was down 1-2 MPH from first outing on Monday... surrendered two hard-contact doubles (both on FB), with the first one leading off the inning, and the second one driving-in the A's only run of the game with two outs in the top of the 9th...   

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Two outstanding defensive plays in the game by Cubs players, one by 2B Chase Strumpf (nifty pick and throw) and 3B David Bote (diving stop and laser throw to 1st). 

Bote has been nothing short of outstanding so far both at the plate and in the field. It looks like he plans to win the 3B job, and right now it looks like he might. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Also alert and aggressive baserunning by Nick Madrigal, taking third on throw home after smacking two-run double in the bottom of the first inning. 

Madrigal has been hitting and running very well so far, much better than last season. I can't believe the Rockies wouldn't be interested in him after losing 2B Brendan Rodgers for the season.  

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

David Bote is one of the best spring training players I’ve seen on a consistent basis, especially considering his lack of regular season success. Every year he comes in needing to perform to win a job either on the roster or as a starter. And every year he does. And then follows it up with… less than that

[ ]

In reply to by azbobbop

if you turn javascript off in your browser the story loads.  if you're going to paywall, you need to pay for a good paywall.

you can also check out and put the URL into the "wayback machine" search.  they usually have archived versions of articles (even recent ones) from many sources and this one is there.

[ ]

In reply to by azbobbop

Marquez is still not throwing due to tightness in his throwing shoulder that is still not completely healed from last year's surgery.  Also, he suffered two bouts of COVID in 2021 that lingered 8 months.  He has great appreciation for the way the Cubs have handled his setbacks.  They have been very supportive and caring which is why Marquez re-signed with them after being let go of the 40 man roster.

max scherzer is poking holes in the stupid as hell pitch/batter clock thing.  batters are asking for time and max is staying ready to pitch.  when the batter gets back in the box he's throwing.  he got a balk called on him during 1 of them for not pausing his quick delivery.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

The pitch clock has a few kinks to work out, and it will take the players a while to get used to it, but it is a great rule change.  Games have become greatly stretched out for no reason, and coupled with the reduction of incessant one-batter relievers, it will cut down on the incredibly boring and almost torturous dead spots in the game.

gotta hand it to Marquee for showing almost all the spring games this year, even if it's sometimes just a broadcast of the visiting team's feed.  a lot of big-market teams are not showing a good amount of their early games.

nice to have some evening/night Cubs baseball tonight.

morel in CF tonight.  it would be really great if he's gotten at least passable/average out there.  his performance there last season was abysmal and uncomfortable.

mancini in RF, too (suzuki most likely starting the season on the IL).  his first chance out there froze him a bit, but he made the out...didn't look good, but it's his first chance of the night.

leadoff triple leads to 0 runs and the leadoff runner stranded at 3rd.

sure did miss cubs baseball over the winter.

Assad looked pretty good last year, but this year he looks like a totally new and better pitcher.  Having options available may cause him to start the year in Iowa, but I think he will have a very productive second half MLB season.

For anyone who might be interested, here are the pitchers reports from Saturday's Cubs - Angels game at Sloan Park:

FB: 90-93 
SL/CT: 87-89 
CV: 80-83 
COMMENT: Hurled three very economical shutout innings (39 pitches - 28 strikes)... a "rocking chair outing"if there ever was one... probably could have easily pitched a fourth inning... allowed only one hit (a single leading off the third inning), issued no walks (didn't even have one three-ball count), and struck out four (two swinging and two looking), including two of the first three men he faced and two of the last three men he faced... got a total of three swing & miss, two on FB and one on a CV... looks like a legit TOR SP to me... 

FB: 91-93 
SL/CT: 87-88
CV: 82-83 
COMMENT: Threw a 1-2-3 4th inning (14 pitches - 8 strikes),  including a 5-3 GO, a K-swinging on CV, and a 1-3 comebacker that he snared "no look" style behind his back... also shattered a bat on a nasty 88 MPH SL/CT... FB command was a bit off, so he threw only five and relied mostly on his other pitches...  both FB and SL/CT velo were down a bit from last season... got two swing & miss (one on SL/CT and one on a CV)...

FB: 91-92 
CH: 87 
CV: 80-83 
COMMENT: threw a shutout 5th inning (17 pitches - 11 strikes)... allowed a lead-off single and then retired the side on two K-swinging (both elevated 92 MPH FB) and an F-8 FO in between the two strikeouts... also uncorked a WP... doesn't have the velo of Borucki or Kay so it will be an uphill climb for Stout to make the Cubs Opening Day roster (or even the Opening Day AAA Iowa roster!)...     

FB: 90-91
SPLIT: 85-86
CV: 74-75 
COMMAND: Threw a shutout 6th inning (11 pitches - 8 strikes)... allowed a one-out hard-hit triple on a hanging splitter but then stranded the runner with a pop up to short LF and a K-swinging on a splitter... 

FB: 90-91 
SL: 83 
COMMENT: Tossed a shutout 7th inning (16 pitches - 9 strikes)... threw 15 FB (and FB has only a one mile velo variance) and only one SL (which was the swinging strikeout)... allowed a hard-contact lead-off double and then retired the side on an L-8 (also hard contact), the K-swinging, and a 3-1 GO... I'm not sure where Neidert would fit in either Chicago or in Iowa... FB produces too much hard contact and no swing & miss and he doesn't seem to trust the SL...

FB: 92-94 
SL: 84-87 
COMMENT: Threw a shutout 8th inning (17 pitches - 9 strikes)... command wasn't great but he got the job done...  mostly had difficulty commanding the SL.. got one swinging strikeout (FB) and another swing & miss (also a FB)... allowed a one-out single and then retired last two batters on fly outs (Leeper is a fly ball pitcher)...    

FB: 96-99 
SL: 88-91 
CV: 81-82 
COMMENT: Hurled a shutout 9th to complete the combined shutout and record the save... threw 24 pitches (13 strikes) including 15 high velo FB and five high velo SL... got six swing & miss (two on FB, three on SL, and one on CV)... walked two and struck out two (one swinging on a 91 MPH SL for the first out of the inning & one looking on a 97 MPH FB to end the game)... also uncorked a WP and had a pitch clock violation... Correa may have the nastiest stuff in Cubs MLB ST camp, but he has difficulty commanding it... he is eligible to be an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA post-2023 if he is not added to the  MLB 40-man roster or signs a 2024 minor league successor contract in the meantime... he will be pitching for Team Colombia in the WBC and will likely be used as a high-leverage one-inning reliever... 

Rays broadcaster and Chicagoan, Dave Wills, passed suddenly yesterday at age 58 (he did their broadcast yesterday). Looks like he had a history of heart arrhythmia problems. I always liked his calls dating back to his White Sox time. He will be missed.

a collective no-hitter on friday and a top 9th inning comeback win with bottom 9th drama today.  hell of a weekend...cubs have a 5 game meaningless win streak.

uggg....justin turner (BOS) got HBP int he face and "stream of blood" is an understatement.  i think he may have had his sinus area severely rearranged.

grae kessinger is in HOU spring camp.  he's expected to break camp on the AAA roster.  he's don kessinger's grandson.

b.brown looking good today.  it's amazing the cubs have so much SP that he's somewhat ignored in 2023 conversations.  good type of riches to have around.

The Cubs seem to be very high on Brown, but there is little doubt that they also feel that he is not ready for the MLB at this point.  It sounds like, in a very deep system for pitchers, he is one of the few that have a legitimate shot at being a top tier starter.  I think that they will go quite slow with Brown, Horton, and perhaps Palencia.  Many others may well be very good, but these have a chance to be truly elite.


...still not too late to have k.thompson in the rotation and sampson as the long man...just saying...

Recent comments

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    They didn’t. Herz wasn’t even a top 10 prospect in our system at the time of the trade. He came into yesterdays start with an ERA over 6. Let’s pump the brakes on that trade being a disaster 

  • Bill (view)

    If they thought Candelario would make them the odds on favorite to win the world series, then they would be guilty of idiocy.  Even a young and healthy Babe Ruth would only raise their odds from perhaps 12 to 1 against to 5 to one against.  No one, including the Yankees or Dodgers at their best, have gone into the playoffs as an odds on favorite to win the world series.  There is just too much random variability in baseball for that to happen.

    Never trade a potential superstar for a rental of any ability.

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    Yes, Bill, we all know you think the Cubs should operate like Pittsburgh but on a far more strict budget.

  • Finwe Noldaran (view)

    Agreed, if the plan was to contend, then go about contending; but if the only trade you could pull off was for Candelario, then selling would be better.......

  • Finwe Noldaran (view)

    Slaughter trade was a good trade, Busch trade was a good trade (just liked Ferris, but I liked the mentality), a lot of the selling we did from our core a couple of years ago were good trades (except for the Madrigal trade, I guess we're still paying them back for Sosa); there's always going to be good and bad trades, but trades should be judged more along the lines of good and bad choices or approaches, like Candelario and Paredes for Avila and Wilson should be judged more on: was that the right mentality at the time............

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    The only reason it was wasted was that the teams biggest issue, bullpen depth, wasn’t adequately addressed.

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    Well said TJW. My personal feeling is if the team had made maybe 1-2 more trades to address the bullpen last year, we would have made the playoffs and who knows what happens once you get in.

  • Finwe Noldaran (view)

    If we thought Candelario was our long-term answer at 3B, or if he was that extra piece that would take us to the World Series, then it makes sense; in some scenarios that would have been the case, I just feel like that wasn't last year............

  • Bill (view)

    No one is untouchable.  It depends upon the value received.  A rental of Candelario was nowhere the value of DJ Herz, and wouldn't have been even if we had extended Candelario.

  • Bill (view)

    I agree that at the very least, we should not have been buyers, to the extent of giving up high potential prospects for much lower level vets.  That doesn't mean that no prospects should ever be traded.  A good example is Jake Slaughter, who we traded for Tyson Miller.  That was a reasonable trade at the time it was made (Slaughter was a decent, but not top flight prospect, and he brought back a pitcher with the potential (not certainty) to help the current team.  Another would be the trade of Ferris.  I hated to lose him, but he brought back a potential power hitter with six years of control.  An example of giving something good to get something good.

    But giving up a high-level prospect for a rental is poor asset management.  Many examples come to mind.  Cease and Jiminez for Quintana was the worst, bringing in a slightly better than average vet for two TOP prospects.  Soler for an over the hill closer.  And lesser ones, such as Velasquez for a middle inning relief pitcher.