Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

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

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

Last updated 5-21-2024

* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 13
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge 
* Shota Imanaga
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Tyson Miller
Hector Neris
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Hayden Wesneski

CATCHERS: 2
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

INFIELDERS: 7
* Michael Busch
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Luis Vazquez
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 4
* Cody Bellinger
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman

OPTIONED: 7
Kevin Alcantara, OF
Michael Arias, P
Alexander Canario, OF
* Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF
Brennen Davis, OF
* Miles Mastrobuoni, INF
* Matt Mervis, 1B

15-DAY IL: 7
Yency Almonte, P
Albert Alzolay, P
Colten Brewer, P
Daniel Palencia, P
* Drew Smyly, P
Keegan Thompson, P
* Jordan Wicks, P

60-DAY IL: 2
Caleb Kilian, P
Julian Merryweather, P


Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

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!

Comments

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): 

JAMESON TAILLON: 
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... 

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

BRAD BOXBERGER: 
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... 

MICHAEL FULMER 
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...  

ROWAN WICK: 
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...  

PEYTON REMY: 
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...  

ADBERT ALZOLAY:
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...

JULIAN MERRYWEATHER: 
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... 

TYLER DUFFEY: 
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... 

NICK BURDI: 
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...   

DALTON STAMBAUGH: 
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: 

CALEB KILIAN: 
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... 

ANTHONY KAY: 
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..   

RYAN JENSEN: 
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)...    

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

RYAN BORUCKI: 
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... 

CAM SANDERS: 
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) 

JORDAN HOLLOWAY
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...  

SAMUEL REYES: 
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

Weird.

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?

 

Shrugs.

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: 

HAYDEN WESNESKI: 
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... 

ROENIS ELIAS: 
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")... 

MICHAEL McAVENE: 
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...  

VINNY NITTOLI: 
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...   

MICHAEL RUCKER: 
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... 

BRENDON LITTLE: 
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...   

KYLE JOHNSON:  
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...   

MANUEL RODRIGUEZ: 
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: 

MARCUS STROMAN: 
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...      

BAILEY HORN: 
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)...  

MICHAEL FULMER: 
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... 

ROWAN WICK: 
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... 

ANTHONY KAY: 
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... 

TYLER DUFFEY: 
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... 

JULIAN MERRYWEATHER: 
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...  

RYAN BORUCKI:
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 archive.org 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:

JAMESON TAILLON: 
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... 

KEEGAN THOMPSON: 
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)...

ERIC STOUT: 
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!)...     

MARK LEITER JR: 
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... 

NICK NEIDERT: 
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...

BEN LEEPER: 
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)...    

DANIS CORREA: 
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

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    Maybe a key moment in PCA’s career tonight. He was thrown behind twice by former big leaguer Wily Peralta. No warning and Iowa’s manager is tossed defending his player. Next pitch, PCA drills over the right field wall, followed by an epic bat flip. His confidence had to be sky high after that.

    Next at bat he drills a double and then scores. PCA 9 for 18 with 3 homers since being optioned.

  • crunch (view)

    almost 2 hours into a rainless rain delay.

    AND now it's postponed.  july 13th double header.

  • Eric S (view)

    Good rehab start for Wicks at Iowa: 33 pitches, 2 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 3 Ks. 

    Good night for PCA as well with another HR and a double. 

  • crunch (view)

    PCA has had 2 hits in all 4 games since going back to iowa...4th game still in progress.

    3 homers.

  • crunch (view)

    looking strongly like MIL. PIT, and CIN will win tonight.  CIN still has 4 innings to protect 4 runs vs LAD.

  • crunch (view)

    2ip 2h 0bb 3k, 0r/er

    double and a single.

  • Childersb3 (view)

    Wicks rehabbing tonight for Iowa

  • Cubster (view)

    I thought this article quote from the Athletic by Jim Bowden was interesting (since I don’t know either reliever mentioned, Finnegan or Foley). The topic was Cubs getting bullpen help but he says the A’s probably will make Miller a starter eventually. 
    I don’t think the A’s are going to trade Miller because he has a chance to become a No. 1 starter if they develop him working toward that goal. If I’m the Cubs, I’d focus on targeting relievers such as Kyle Finnegan of the Nationals and Jason Foley of the Tigers who will come at a much lower price than Caissie and Alcántara.”

  • TarzanJoeWallis (view)

    I need to partially concede on this in that Bellinger’s strike out rate is considerably lower than other players. That said, it wasn’t necessarily my main point.

    I can see players like Swanson, Hoerner, Happ and Suzuki doing things like laying down bunts, slapping the ball the other way, etc. Focusing on contact and putting the ball in play. That just doesn’t seem to be the stuff Bellinger is made of. And that’s ok - you don’t necessarily expect that from your main power guy.

    I wasn’t meaning to put Bellinger down in this instance. More excluding him from this particular conversation.

  • Cubster (view)

    Was the MLBPA take written by Gaylord Perry?