Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

59 players are at MLB Spring Training 

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full) 
19 players are MLB Spring Training NON-ROSTER INVITEES (NRI) 

Last updated 2-6-2024
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 22
Yency Almonte
Adbert Alzolay 
Michael Arias
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge
* Bailey Horn
* Shota Imanaga
Caleb Kilian
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Julian Merryweather
Hector Neris 
Daniel Palencia
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski 
* Jordan Wicks

NRI PITCHERS: 11 
Colten Brewer 
Chris Clarke 
Carl Edwards Jr 
* Edwin Escobar 
* Richard Lovelady 
Sam McWilliams 
* Thomas Pannone 
Ethan Roberts 
Cam Sanders 
Riley Thompson 
* Brad Wieck 

CATCHERS: 2
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

NRI CATCHERS: 4  
Jorge Alfaro 
Pablo Aliendo
Joe Hudson 
* Bryce Windham

INFIELDERS: 9
* Michael Busch 
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Matt Mervis
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Luis Vazquez
Patrick Wisdom

NRI INFIELDERS: 3 
David Bote 
Matt Shaw 
Chase Strumpf 

OUTFIELDERS: 7
Kevin Alcantara
Alexander Canario
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman 

NRI OUTFIELDERS: 1 
* Owen Caissie  
 



Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

Second Week of Spring Training (Series Thread)

Early Cactus League action delivered a pair of scares to the Chicago Cubs as Seiya Suzuki is anticipated to miss the start of the season with an oblique strain and Justin Steele briefly dealt with the effects of arm fatigue. Meanwhile, righty role players Trey Mancini and David Bote have shown off some Spring Training power and positioned themselves favorably in competitions for playing time. Overall, the pitch clock has probably been the star of Spring Training thus far in 2023. The arrival of World Baseball Classic play this weekend may inject some more excitement as long shot teams get their chances against Goliaths in pool play. Seiya Suzuki had to bow out, but a number of Cubs players will be joining teams Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, Israel, Italy, Colombia, Cuba, Australia, Cuba, and Great Britain.

Comments

dear cubs, quit trying to make z.mckinstry a thing.  he got a ton of AB's to end the season last year and he's had a good amount this spring, neither resulting in good things.

i mean...the team has 2 gold glove calibre SS's sharing 2nd and SS...bote exists...morel exists...madrigal exists.  mckinstry can go exist on another team.

thanks for coming to my TED talk.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

I hear you. I, too, loved the contract when it was signed. Was pumped when he kicked ass in spring training to gain attention. And then again to make the team. And then again when he won the 2B job.

I’ve been burned enough. I’m sick of watching him flail helplessly at high fastballs he doesn’t have a prayer of touching. He’s an AAAA player. I am looking forward to November 2024 when that contract is bought out and he fades away into the void of Cub infield failures. Or as I sometimes call it, the Blauser zone.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

haha...blauser zone.

at least jeff blauser marked the end of dunston in chicago.

dunston is about to be a cubs team HOF'r the same way charlie root got to be a team HOF'r...a mediocre Cubs career, but a long time doing it...brute force HOF.  dunston was at least funny and supposedly a good teammate.  that D at SS is overrated as hell, though he somehow made it look exciting at times...

Owen Cassie, playing right field for Team Canada, just threw out Edwin Rios trying to go from 1st to 3rd on a ground ball single to right.  Shouldn't that count for the Cubs too, since his day job is as a Cub?

Here are the Cubs pitchers reports from today's (Wednesday 3/8) game versus WBC Team Canada at Sloan Park:

JUSTIN STEELE: 
FB: 89-92 
CH: 82-84
CV: 81-82 
COMMENT: Struggled to get through the top of the 1st,  getting a mound visit from pitching coach Tommy Hottovy after throwing 24 pitches and retiring only one batter (struck him out on three pitches to open the game) followed by two, walks and a two-run hard-hit double by Cubs minor leaguer Jared Young... with Steele's departure appearing imminent due to a first inning pitch count headed toward 30, Nico Hoerner laid out and made a diving catch in short CF on a humpback blooper, got to his feet, and doubled Young off 2nd base with a pinpoint throw to complete an inning-ending DP the hard way... after throwing 26 pitches in the top of the 1st, Steele had a nice 1-2-3 13-pitch comeback inning in the 2nd, retiring the side easily on an F-7, a K-swinging on a CV, and a L-6... at 39 pitches after his second inning, Steele pitched to two batters and threw 11 pitches in the top of the 3rd, allowing a lead-off HR to Jacob Robson (Tigers AAA) on a hanging 2-2 CV before retiring his last hitter (and completing his outing) on an F-7... he threw 50 pitches (32 strikes) over the course of his 2.1 IP, including 27 FB, 16 CV, and 7 CH, while allowing three runs (all three earned) on two hits (the two-run double and the solo HR), walking two (both men scored), and striking out two (one looking and one swinging)...got two swing & miss (total) for the day...      

KEEGAN THOMPSON: 
FB: 91-92 
SL/CT: 87-89 
CV: 80-82 
COMMENT: Worked 1.2 IP (32 pitches - 18 strikes).... relieved Steele with one out and the bases empty in the top of the 3rd inning and retired the side on a K-swinging and an F-8... allowed one run in the 4th on a one-out double and a two-out RBI single, getting outs on a 3-U, a K-swinging, and an inning-ending F-7... he struck out two (both swinging) and did not issue a walk... had three swing & miss total...  

MICHAEL RUCKER: 
FB: 93-96 
SL/CT: 88-91 
CV: 79 
COMMENT: Tossed a shutout 5th inning (21 pitches - only 10 strikes)... although he did not walk anyone, he had a three-ball count on three of the four batters he faced and a two-ball count on the other one... otherwise allowed a one-out single around three ground outs... got one swing & miss on a SL/CT... 

MARK LEITER JR: 
FB: 88-91 
SPLIT: 83-86 
CV: 72-74  
COMMENT: Hurled a shutout 6th inning (20 pitches - 14 strikes)... began the top of the inning with a ten-pitch walk, and then proceeded to easily retire the side on just ten pitches (a 1-3 comebacker, a K-swinging on a 2-2 pitch, and an L-9)... got two swing & miss (one on a CV and the K-swinging on a SPLIT)...  
 
BRENDON LITTLE: 
FB: 95-97
SL: 87-88  
COMMENT: Threw a 1-2-3 13-pitch (nine strike) 7th inning...  induced two weak-contact infield GO (a 1-3 and a 3-U) for the first two outs and got a third strike looking on a 1-2 SL to end the inning... two swing & miss (one on FB and one on SL)... with his high velo FB/SL combo, B. Little is a legit LHRP high-leverage one-inning guy and a definite MLB prospect (as long as he throws strikes)...  

MANUEL RODRIGUEZ: 
FB: 96-99 
SL: 89-90 
CH: 85-86 
COMMENT: Hurled a shutout 8th inning... allowed two consecutive singles to open the inning and then retired the side on an F-7, a P-5, and a three-pitch K-swinging (FB)... threw 22 pitches (18 strikes, which included four balls put into play and an incredible ten foul balls)... despite the high velo FB/SL combo, he got only two swing & miss (both on FB)...   

BEN LEEPER: 
FB: 91-94 T-95 
SL: 86-88 
COMMENT: Labored through the 9th inning (26 pitches - 15 strikes)... pitching with a seven run lead, he allowed a single, issued a walk, and then got nailed for a two-out three-run homer on a 3-2 count on his 22nd pitch (a 93 MPH FB) by Domiano Palmegiani (Blue Jays Hi-A)... he recorded outs on an infield pop up, a K-looking, and a game-ending L-7... he did get five swing & miss (four on FB and one on SL)... 

Special mention goes to Team Canada LHRP Adam Loewen, a 1st round pick of the Orioles back in 2002 and a one-time two-way player with the Blue Jays... now 38, weighing probably around 270 pounds, and out of baseball since 2018, Loewen features an 82-85 MPH FB, a 75-78 MPH CV, and a 53 MPH CH... 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

That 2002 draft was the first one I followed so I've got a soft spot for Loewen. He and Clint Everts were two that 14 YO me was on board with in an absolutely loaded HS class (Greinke, Fielder, Hamels, and Kazmir were all top 12-13 picks)

96-99 seems like promising ST velo from Rodriguez, would love to see him average 97 again

i've never see heyward out of shape, but dude is in super-great shape in camp with the dodgers.  he's pretty much a sure thing to break with the team if healthy.

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

JAMES TAILLON:
FB: 91-94
SL/CT: 89-90  
CH: 82-83 
CV: 79-82 
COMMENT: Got the start and tossed 3.2 IP (58 pitches - 37 strikes) before being relieved with two outs and bases empty in the top of the 4th inning... surrendered back-to-back singles to start the game, but then got a 5-3 GO and a K-swinging (93 MPH FB), before Luke Maile unloaded a three-run HR onto the LF berm...  needed 24 pitches to get through the first inning... had an 11-pitch second inning, although ex-Cubs minor league 1B-3B Jason Vosler (traded to SD for Rowan Wick a few years ago) belted an opposite-field solo HR with two outs in the inning... retired the last six men he faced (6-3, F-7, 5-3, K-swinging, P-5, 3-U)... got five swing & miss (all on FB) over the course of the outing... 

DANIS CORREA: 
FB: 95-98 
SL: 90-91 
CV: 79-80 
COMMENT: Relieved Taillon with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the 4th... FB command was terrible... first batter he faced reached base on a four pitch walk, then came a WP, then a hard-hit RBI single, before he finally got the third out on a K-swinging on a 1-2 SL... needed 10 pitches to get the one out, but threw only five strikes... no question Correa has outstanding raw stuff, but he also clearly needs a lot of polish before he will be MLB-ready...  

MICHAEL FULMER: 
FB: 92-94 
SL: 87-89 
CV: 82-83 
COMMENT: Hurled a 1-2-3 5th inning (11 pitches - 8 strikes), and looked very good, with two GO and a K-looking... was able to throw all of his pitches for strikes... he got one swing & miss (94 MPH FB)...    

ROWAN WICK 
FB: 93-94 
SL/CT: 84-88 
CV: 74-75 
COMMENT: Worked a scoreless 6th (18 pitches - 12 strikes), although he did allow first two men to reach base (infield single and a walk on a 3-2 pitch)... got out of the jam thanks to a CS at third base (solid throw from catcher Luis Torrens), a K-looking on a 1-2 pitch (94 MPH FB), and a 6-3 GO... BTW, Luis Torrens has been sensational so far at the plate, with consistent "loud" and hard contact and HR power, but he is out of minor league options, so if he were to get called up as a temporary injury replacement at some point for Gomes or Barnhart, it might be tough to get Torrens through waivers...  it actually might be better to keep him as a third catcher (and RH DH) right from the gitgo so that he can learn "game planning" and the idiosyncrasies of the various pitchers on the MLB staff, since it is conceivable that Torrens might be the Cubs #1 catcher in 2024...       

BRANDON HUGHES: 
FB: 91-92 
SL: 79-83 
COMMENT: Worked a shutout 7th inning (22 pitches - 13 strikes), although he did labor a bit, walking one and hitting a batter... he got a K-swinging (92 MPH FB) and a couple of fly outs around the two baserunners... two swing & miss total (the K-swinging on the FB and the other on a SL)... command is still a bit off, as his Cactus League game debut was initially delayed about a week as the result of command issues first noted in "live" BP....  

TYLER DUFFEY: 
FB: 91-92 
CV: 81-82 
COMMENT: Worked a nine pitch (seven strikes) 1-2-3 8th inning (K-looking, P-5, F-7)... got no swing & miss... Duffey has the best strike zone command of all of the RHRP competing for spots in the Cubs Opening Day bullpen... he also has considerable previous MLB experience with the Twins (6+025 MLB Service Time), so he probably has a contractual Opening Day opt-out... he also cannot be sent  to the minors without his consent if he is selected to the 40... note that he does not have an automatic Article XX-B opt-out because he was not a post-2022 Article XX-B player (he was not on an MLB roster at the end of the 2022 season, so he was actually declared an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA five days after the final game of the 2022 World Series)... FWIW also note that the automatic $100,000 retention bonus for Article XX-B free-agents who are signed to a minor league contract was eliminated in the new CBA, so that would not have been an issue even if Duffey was a post-2022 Article XX-B MLB FA (which again, he was not), although several additional automatic opt out dates were added for these players if the player is not selected to the MLB 40-man roster by certain dates (including not just MLB Opening Day, but now also May 1st, and June 1st)...       

JULIAN MERRYWEATHER: 
FB: 96-98 
SL: 87-88 
CH: 83-85 
CV: 83 
COMMENT: Entered the 9th with the Cubs up 8-5 and recorded the save (19 pitches - 13 strikes), allowing one unearned run on one hit (a weak-contact /  opposite-field double that was fisted up the LF line)... first batter reached on an E-3 (a missed catch by 1st baseman Bryce Ball after a one-hop chopper to third baseman Zach McKinstry) and advanced to third on the double... Merryweather then got a K-looking on a 1-2 97 MPH FB for the first out, a P-4 for the second out, and a K-swinging on 1-2 98 MPH FB to end the game, although one run did score during the course of the inning on a WP on an 0-2 "chase" CV that bounced in the dirt and away from catcher Luis Torrens... since he is out of minor league options, there is no question Merryweather makes the Opening Day roster (barring an injury)... his stuff is absolutely electric...   

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

DJL: It depends a lot on whether Duffey and/or Leiter have  contractual Opening Day opt-outs or not. This is also true for Borucki and Elias. If they do have an Opening Day opt-out, then the Cubs have to decide which of them is a keeper and which they can most accept losing to free-agency (presuming the "losers" opt-out). 

Besides Fulmer and Boxberger (who are locks to make the Opening Day roster) and Merryweather and Alzolay (who are already on the 40 but who are out of minor league options) , the "fungible" relievers (the ones on the 40 who have minor league options available) like K. Thompson, Hughes, Wick, Rucker, and Estrada are the ones you would normally want to be in the Opening Day bullpen, because if they falter they can be easily optioned to the minors without restriction, and you would have fallback guys at AAA with MLB experience but who are not fungible once they are selected to the 40 (Duffey, Leiter, Borucki, and Elias), but who could be called-up if one or more of the fungible relievers isn't getting the job done. (But again, that depends on the veteran guy not opting out, presuming he has that option in his contract).   

There also is the issue of clearing slots on the 40-man roster if one or more NRI guys are selected to the Opening Day roster. It's possible (but probably not likely) that Kyle Hendricks could be placed on the 60-day IL. I say not likely because he is now throwing off a mound and therefore could be ready by May 1st, and if that's the case, I doubt that the Cubs would want him to be on the 60-day IL for a month (May) when he is fully ready to pitch.  

Obviously Alexander Canario and Miguel Amaya could be placed on the MLB 60-day IL to open up slots on the 40, but I think it is more likely that the Cubs will option both of them to the minors. Keep in mind that MLB clubs have until next Wednesday to option (or outright) injured or rehabbing players to the minors (as long as the player did not accrue any MLB Service Time the previous season, which is the case with both Canario and Amaya), and although placing one or both of them on the MLB 60-day IL would open up one or two slots on the 40 and not burn an option year for the player (presuming the player misses the entire 2023 season), the player would accrue MLB Service Time and be paid at the MLB salary rate ($720K) instead of at the minor league split rate ($117,400), and that $600K difference in AAV is not nothing, especially as the Cubs edge ever closer to the CBT threshold.   

So I expect the Cubs will option both Canario and Amaya to the minors by next Wednesday, rather than place them on the MLB 60-day IL. 

So then where would the extra 40-man roster slots come from?

Well, if Bote is added back to the 40 (and it's probably 50/50 right now, because Bote can play 3B, Wisdom can DH, and Mancini can play RF while Suzuki is out), then McKinstry (who is out of minor league options but cannot decline an outright assignment if he is outrighted) would probably be the first to get dropped, and if he is, he might get claimed off waivers. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing, because the Cubs have a guy on the 40 who is probably just as useful as McKinstry (maybe even more so because he can also play OF) in Miles Mastrobuoni (who is a LH hitting utility infielder, just like McKinstry), plus MLB veteran slick-fielding / switch-hitting utility infielder Sergio Alcantara will be at Iowa as middle-infield injury replacement insurance. So even if the Cubs would prefer to keep him, losing McKinstry off waivers (or maybe trading him before her is placed on waivers) would probably be an acceptable outcome. Also, McKinstry cannot elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors.

There is also the matter of Adrian Sampson. If he is not the 5th starter on Opening Day (and right now he looks like shit, plus Hendricks will take his spot once he is ready), the Cubs can place him on waivers and hope he (and his $1.9M salary) gets claimed. (I just can't see Sampson as a RP, even an MIR). And if he doesn't get claimed off waivers, the Cubs can outright him to the minors and force him to choose whether to elect free-agency and give up his $1.9M salary, or accept the outright assignment and keep the $1.9M salary (which he probably would not be able to get elsewhere if he is not claimed off waivers) and defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (presuming he isn't selected back to the 40 in the meantime). 

Both Rowan Wick and Nick Madrigal are making $1.2M (they have no minor league split salary), so if one or both do not make the Opening Day roster, the Cubs could try and outright one or both to the minors and (if not claimed off waivers) force them to chose whether to accept the assignment and keep their salary, or elect free-agency. Again, the $500K difference in AAV between their salaries and the MLB minimum salary is not nothing.

Wick can accept an outright assignment (and keep his salary) and defer free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season (if he isn't selected back to the 40 in the meantime), but as a post-2022 "Super Two" player without full Article XX-D rights, Madrigal must elect free-agency immediately (and give up his $1.2M salary) if he wants to be a FA (the decision cannot be deferred). However, I would suspect that the Cubs would prefer to trade Wick and Madrigal rather than lose them off waivers for the $50,000 waiver price. 

I would also point out that Manuel Rodriguez, Brendon Little, Anthony Kay, Ben Leeper, Cam Sanders, and Danis Correa will be at Iowa and would be available to be selected to the 40 at some point during the 2023 season (and all of them would be "fungible" once added to the 40), and ManRod, B. Little, and Kay have probably been the most impressive Cubs NRI relievers I have seen so far, and Correa probably has the highest ceiling (although he is still very raw).  

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

As expected, the Cubs have optioned OF Alexander Canario and C Miguel Amaya to the minors (see my earlier comment). Canario was optioned to AAA Iowa and Amaya was optioned to AA Tennessee. 

Also, OF Brennen Davis was optioned to Iowa, RHPs Ben Brown and Ryan Jensen were optioned to AA Tennessee, and OF Kevin Alcantara was optioned to Hi-A South Bend.

Note that the particular minor league affiliate to which the optioned player is assigned can be switched / changed at any time. However, position players optioned to the minors cannot be recalled for at least the first ten days of the MLB regular season unless the player is recalled to replace a player on the club's MLB active list (26-man roster) who is placed on an MLB inactive list (IL, Paternity Leave, Family Medical/Bereavement, etc), and a pitcher or qualified "two-way player" must remain on optional assignment for at least the first 15 days of the MLB regular season (again, unless the pitcher or two-way player is recalled to replace another player on the club's MLB active list roster who is placed on an MLB inactive list).  

As I mentioned in the previous comment, players on the 40 who did not accrue any MLB service time the previous season can be sent to the minors (optioned or outrighted) EVEN IF THE PLAYER IS INJURED OR REHABBING FROM AN INJURY up until 15 days prior to MLB Opening Day (that is this coming Wednesday), and so not too surprisingly all of the players the Cubs optioned to the minors yesterday did not accrue MLB service time last season. (If a player on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster did not accrue any MLB service time last season and was not optioned to the minors by next Wednesday and the player incurs an injury during Spring Training prior to being optioned, the player would have had to have been placed on the Cubs MLB IL, and the player would accrue MLB service time AND be paid at the major league rate instead of at the minor league split rate while on the IL). 

Besides the six optional assignments, NRI RHPs Danis Correa, Jordan Holloway, and Ben Leeper, and OF Pete Crow-Armstrong were reassigned to minor league camp yesterday (Friday). 

Also, NRI LHP Brailyn Marquez, C-INF Bryce Windham, INFs Esteban Quiroz, Chase Strumpf, Ben Weber, and Jared Young, and OFs Darius Hill and Yonathan Perlaza were reassigned to minor league camp last Monday.   

Minor league Cactus League games begin on Monday. 

So there are now 54 players (including 20 NRI) officially at Cubs MLB Spring Training camp, although eight are currently participating in the WBC (LHP Roenis Elias with Team Cuba, RHRP Vinny Nittoli, INF-OF Miles Mastrobuoni, and OF Ben DeLuzio with Team Italy, RHSP Javier Assad with Team Mexico, 1B Matt Mervis with Team Israel, and RHSP Marcus Stroman and OF Nelson Velazquez with Team Puerto Rico).  

Keep in mind that players who have been optioned to the minors or reassigned to minor league camp can continue to play in MLB Cactus League games. What changes is that a player sent to the minors only receives his daily MLB Spring Training allowance (about $200 per day) on days they are actually in uniform and on the official Cubs active list game roster (for that particular game). 

AZ Phil:
You're idea of keeping Torrens got me thinking.
I don't believe this is likely, but I just realized that Jed put together a 40man roster of bats that if optioned to Iowa, can fill up a full lineup card. All nine spots. I don't recall that ever being the case before.

If Jed keeps Bote, McKinstry, Tauchman (for Seiya's spot), Torrens as DH and Gomes/B-Hart, then the following nine guys can all be optioned to Iowa:
C Amaya
1B Mervis (okay, he's not on the 40, but you get my point)
2B Madrigal
SS Mastrobuoni
3B Morel
LF Velazquez
CF BDavis
RF Canario (when he returns)
DH Rios

Again, this won't happen but none of these guys could decline being optioned. 
That's crazy depth

Only Alcantara would be optioned to a lower level.
Guys like Perlaza, Slaughter, Strumpf, DHill, SAlcantara, Nunez, DeLuzio, JYoung get benched or pushed down to TN. 

Rios probably make the OD roster in Tauchman's spot. 
Madrigal takes McKinstry's spot.
Morel could take Bote's spot.

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

childersb3: One thing I have noticed so far is that you really don't want Tucker Barnhart hitting again LHP especially in a key moment late in the game, so the Cubs - MUST - have  at least one RH bat available on the bench to hit for him, and that is where Luis Torrens would have value. That's also why Nelson Velazquez, Christopher Morel, or Ben DeLuzio (not LH-hitting Mike Tauchman) would have to be the 4th OF. Another reason why the 4th OF would need to be a RH-hitter is that the 4th OF might need to start a few games  in CF (with Bellinger on the bench) when the Cubs are facing a tough LHP. BTW, DeLuzio is VERY fast and is a heady baserunner and thus would be an excellent pinch-runner late in a game or in extra innings.  

As far as how keeping Torrens as a third catcher would impact the roster, he would have to be the RH half of a DH platoon (probably with Rios as the LH half) in order to have value. That means Mancini plays 1B, Mervis goes to AAA and matriculates, and Hosmer gets released, with either Wisdom or Bote the starting third-baseman (the "loser" would go to Iowa). 

Keep in mind that if Torrens is added to the 40 (and the 26-man roster) sometime in 2023, whether it be on Opening Day as the third catcher, or sometime during the season as a temporary injury replacement for Gomes or Barnhart, he is out of minor league options.  

Speaking of Hosmer getting released, from what I have seen of him so far, he has no value at all. Can't run, he's stiff at 1st base defensively, and he just hits too many ground balls. I don't know what the Cubs may have promised him when they signed him, but even at the MLB minimum salary (with the Padres paying the balance), he is a roster albatross. The Cubs would be better without him.   

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Won't find many Cubs fans arguing to keep Hosmer.

Rios seems the better LH bat option

Of course I'd like Mercis, buy Rios has some MLB success with him.

The 4th OF spot is something I've been curious about for a while.

I'm a Morel guy. You've been with DeLuzio. If he can stay healthy and hit in Iowa BDavis probably gets it eventually. 

We'll see I guess

But keeping a 26 yr old Torrens doesn't seem far fetched at all

a clock violation strike 3...can we at least get rid of the f'n clock when there's 3 balls or 2 strikes?

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

absolutely.  i mean, i know the clock is happening.  i've seen it in the minors.  most of the business of baseball wants it...from players to tv executives trying to schedule live sports.

they can use the clock to speed up 90%+ of what we're seeing without having major outcomes determined by the clock, though.  that's not a huge ask.  let's at least spend some extra time with more drama-prone moments.

Here are the Cubs pitchers reports from Friday's Cubs - White Sox game at Sloan Park in Mesa:

DREW SMYLY: 
FB: 89-92 
CT: 86-88 
CV: 76-79 
SLOW CV: 74-75 
COMMENT: Hurled four innings of very efficient shut out ball (54 pitches - 36 strikes), although he did allow four hits and some hard contact, including a single and a double with two outs in the top of the 1st (runner was thrown out at the plate 8-6-2, with a really strong "middleman" relay by SS Zach McKinstry), a lead-off single in the 2nd (Smyly picked the runner off 1st), and a lead-off double in the 4th (runner was then stranded F-9, 6-3, 6-3)... struck out two (both swinging, both on a CV) and issued no walks...    faced 14 batters and had only one three-ball count (last batter in the top of the second, a nine-pitch AB before retiring him on a 3-2 F-9)... threw lots and lots and lots of CV (of his 54 pitches, 29 were CV)... threw 18 pitches in the 1st inning, 16 in the 2nd, and ten each in the 3rd & 4th... 

RYAN BORUCKI: 
FB: 92-94 
CH: 84-86 
SL: 82-85 
COMMENT: Followed Smyly and threw one inning (14 pitches - 10 strikes) and allowed two runs (both earned), a two-run HR by White Sox #3 prospect Bryan Ramos on a first-pitch 94 MPH FB (Borucki was clearly trying to get ahead after a lead-off walk)... after the two-run HR he quickly retired the side on a three-pitch strikeout-swinging (SL), a 6-3 GO, and a K-clock violation by the batter on an 0-2 pitch... of his 14 pitches, only four were FB, the rest were CH and SL, and he did not throw any FB after the HR... clearly not a good performance by a veteran pitcher battling for a lefty bullpen gig...  

BRAD BOXBERGER: 
FB: 89-90 
SL: 86 
CH: 79 
COMMENT Worked a very, very fast six-pitch 6th inning (a lead-off single but then runner was caught stealing, then an L-7, and finally a 6-3 GO)...  

CALEB KILIAN: 
FB: 92-96 
SL/CT: 89-90 
CH: 84 
CV: 76-79 
COMMENT: Tossed two innings (7th & 8th)... threw mainly FB (15 of them) and a LOT of strikes (20 pitches - 17 strikes - that's 85%!), maybe too many?... allowed a one-out single in his first inning (erased on an inning-ending 1-6-3 DP started by Kilian himself), and a lead-off HR to Seby Zavala (93 MPH FB) in his second inning of work before retiring the side on three fly balls... got three swing & miss (one on a CV and the other two on FB)... 

ADBERT ALZOLAY:
FB: 95-96 
CT: 89-91 
SL: 86-88 
COMMENT: Pitched the 9th inning (16 pitches - 9 strikes), allowing a hard hit single and an RBI double (both on 95 MPH FB) to open the inning... then retired the side (F-7, K-swinging, and a 5-3 GO))... got two swing & miss in the inning, both on SL (including the swinging strikeout)... command was spotty, and he was able to get ahead in the count on only one hitter (and Alzolay struck him out)... Alzolay is out of options and his role on the staff is a bit murky, so I wouldn't rule out a trade... 

Beginning yesterday (Friday 3/10, twenty days prior to MLB Opening day), a Rule 5 Draft Selected Player can be Designated for Assignment, released, or sent to the minors, but only if Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured and the player's former club declines to reclaim the player. 

The Cubs do not have a Rule 5 Selected Player on their MLB 40-man roster, but the Seattle Mariners have a Rule 5 Selected Player (RHP Chris Clarke) on their MLB 40-man roster who was claimed from the Cubs AAA Iowa roster. 

So if the Mariners want to send Clarke to the minors, they first must secure Outright Assignment Waivers (but that is not a given, because another MLB club could claim Clarke  for the $50,000 waiver price and assume the Rule 5 Selected Player roster restrictions).

If the Mariners are able to secure Outright Assignment Waivers, they then must offer Clarke back to the Cubs for half of the $100,000 Rule 5 Draft price ($50,000, which is the same as the MLB waiver price).   

The Cubs could reclaim Clarke for $50,000 and still make a $50,000 profit (in which case by rule he would be automatically outrighted back to the AAA iowa reserve list), or keep the entire $100,000 and allow the Mariners to send him to the minors. 

There is also always the possibility that the Cubs and Mariners could work out a trade that would allow the Mariners to keep Clarke (and send him to the minors), but that would almost certainly require the Mariners to "sweeten" the pot with additional cash beyond the $100,000 draft price and/or a player or players. 

In scanning the Mariners system, the player who stands out (almost perfectly) as a possible return for the Cubs (if a trade is made allowing Clarke to remain with the Mariners) is RHP Jean Munoz. He is rated the Mariners #26 prospect by mlb.com Pipeline (Clarke is rated #28), but while Clarke is close to being MLB-ready, Munoz is several years away.  

Munoz is 20 years old, has not yet pitched above the DSL (he will likely make his stateside debut in the ACL in 2023), and he will not be Rule 5 Draft eligible until after the 2024 season.  

Speculation runs rampant & amuck this time of year, and I am proud to be called a muck! 

[ ]

In reply to by George Altman

i miss spring training in tucson.  that was my preferred spring visit.  it was so much less busy and casual...before, during, and after games.  you could do baseball stuff and enjoy other stuff without much road/hotel/restaurant/etc congestion.

i understand no players wanted to make that bus trip and it would often mean you're watching a team with little to maybe a half-squad of vets.  it makes a lot more sense to have it all centered around phoenix metro area.

me and the wife are horticulturalists from the east coast and going out there during wildflower blooms (after adequate winter rains) was something we looked forward to.  get enough rain in dec/jan...go watch some spring baseball in march.

corbin carroll (ARZ) was in the lineup, then removed pre-game from yesterday's game by "manager's decision" and people were debating what the hell was up with that vague action.  today he's signed a 8/111m extension with a club option for 2031.  he's a fun kid to watch play, true 5-tool.

speaking of true 5-tool, STL has a 20 year kid that should annoy opposing teams for many years, jordan walker.  he injured (minor) his shoulder today.  putting him in front of arenado + goldschmidt is not going to be fun for anyone except STL.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

I fully expect the Cubs to sign Nico Hoerner to a post-2023 extension that won't impact the 2022 CBT threshold, maybe something like 6/105 ($17.5M AAV) covering the years 2024-29 (extension would buy out two arbitration years).   

Ian Happ is another matter entirely, but only because the Cubs are loaded with outfield prospects, and he is on the cusp of free-agency. However, that doesn't mean the Cubs can't sign Happ to an extension (maybe something like 5/90 - $19M AAV) that would cover the years 2024-28 if they really want to keep him (and presuming he really wants to stay). A full "no trade" might be a deal breaker, but a partial "no trade" might be acceptable to both parties.  

Not all prospects make it, but even if the Cubs get lucky and PCA, B. Davis, K. Alcantara, and Caissie (plus maybe even a few others TBD) get somewhere close to their projected ceilings, K. Alcantara gets four minor league option years, and he is a very young (20) and raw talent such that the Cubs can "slow play" him through the system 2023-26 (essentially one level at a time with the last two years at AAA) so that he will be out of minor league options right when Suzuki's contract expires post-2026.

As of right now, Brennon Davis would project as Happ's eventual replacement in LF, but even if Happ does sign an extension and remains the Cubs' LF going forward for (let's say) 2024-28, B. Davis could still have a lot of value as either a fourth outfielder (or more of a semi-regular "rotation OF" along side Happ, PCA, and Suzuki), or as a trade chip for maybe a third-baseman, a catcher, or a SP. 

Owen Caissie would probably project as a DH and occasional corner OF at the MLB level, but he will probably not be MLB-ready until maybe 2025, and by that time Matt Mervis will have (hopefully) become a beast offensively (at least as far as hitting many, many HR) and at least adequate at 1B defensively, leaving DH duties to Caissie. Again, that's presuming PCA, B. Davis, Mervis, K. Alcantara, and Caissie all develop as hoped. Then the Cubs can put the lion's share of their available payroll budget into signing a FA TOR SP (if they haven't already acquired one or developed one from within).   

As far as PCA is concerned, I could see the Cubs signing him to a Corbin Carroll type extension (8/115 plus as couple of additional club option years) very early on in his MLB career, once he gets a few games under his belt and confirms that he is (in fact) the real deal.  

The Cubs are very close to the MLB CBT threshold for 2023 and that would appear to be their self-imposed payroll limit as well, but they could have as much as $100M in AAV coming off their payroll post-2023, more than enough to sign Hoerner (for sure), Happ (if he wants to stay), and PCA (if he progresses as expected) to post-2023 contract extensions, and still have maybe $60M AAV (or upwards of $75M AAV if Happ leaves) left for post-2023 free agents, especially a TOR SP.  

The Cubs are actually in a good place right now. Even though they appear to be just about a .500 team on paper in 2023, they don't necessarily have to be a seller at the Trade Deadline like they were in 2021 and 2022. They could go into August at or near .500, and while they probably wouldn't be buyers if they are in that position, they could just keep their guys for the balance of the 2023 season and see what develops. No real need to have another "garage sale." And then they should be a perennial post-season contender beginning in 2024, even if they are not sellers at the 2023 Trade Deadline. 

wiz perfect through 4ip.  4Ks, 3 of the in the 4th.  swanson made a hell of a play that could have been a single, but overall wiz isn't crutching on the defense.

also, edwin rios seems to play a surprisingly good 1st base.  he can pick throws quite well.

76 year old bill "spaceman" lee pitched for both the MLBPAA and the Savannah Bananas tonight.

cubs representation was daniel descalso (in a STL uniform, of course).

fun game.

sampson goes a whole inning before giving up back to back homers to start the 2nd.  he's now given up 8 homers in 5.1ip

I think Hayden Wesneski has made a case to be the fifth starter, Credit to Javier Assad. Aside from his fastball and curve and slider, I like his demeanor on the mound. A little bit of Anthony Rizzo and some Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation;

ADRIAN SAMPSON: 
FB: 90-93 
CH: 83-86 
SL: 82-85 
COMMENT: Hurled four innings (60 pitches - 40 strikes)...  allowed three runs (all earned), six hits (including back-to-back HR by Luke Voit and Bryce Turang leading off the top of the 2nd inning, both on "center cut" 91 MPH FB), no walks, and one HBP, struck out three (two swinging & one looking)... too much hard contact and with the two HR he has now allowed eight HR in 8.1 IP... however, he also got ten swing & miss among his 40 strikes (which is outstanding)... had a 14-pitch 1st inning, a 20 pitch 2nd (when he allowed the three runs), and 13 pitches each in the 3rd & 4th... 

KEEGAN THOMPSON: 
FB: 90-91 
SL/CT: 87-88 
CH: 86
CV: 81  
COMMENT: tossed a shutout 5th inning (21 pitches - 15 strikes)... no hits allowed, walked one, and struck out two (both swinging, one on CV, one on FB)... inning was prolonged when Nick Madrigal dropped an infield pop fly in front of home plate that would have been the third out... got three swing & miss total, two on CV and one on FB... threw mostly FB, but CV was most effective pitch... FB velo is way down from where it was in 2022 when it was 92-95...   

MICHAEL FULMER: 
FB: 92-94 
SL/CT: 88-90 
CV: 80-81 
COMMENT: threw a shutout 6th ining (22 pitches - 16 strikes)... allowed a lead-off single (runner stole 2nd), but then retired the side on a K-looking, a P-6, and an F-8... no swing & miss... 

ROWAN WICK: 
FB: 94-96
SL/CT: 83-86 
CV: 76  
COMMENT: Hurled a 1-2-3 7th inning (11 pitches - 7 strikes)... got outs on a K-swinging, an F-7, and a 1-3... got two swing & miss (one on CV and one on SL/CT)...  ..  

BRANDON HUGHES: 
FB: 90-93 
SL: 80-83 
COMMENT: Pitched the top of the 8th (22 pitches - 15 strikes)... allowed two runs on three hits, one walk, and a WP,  and no strikeouts... after a 5-3 GO to open the inning, allowed a double and a single, threw a WP that allowed a run to score, issued a walk, got the second out on an F-9 SF, then allowed another single, before finally retiring the side on an F-8... really struggled to get through the inning... 

MANUEL RODRIGUEZ: 
FB: 96-98 
SL: 87-90 
COMMENT: Threw a shutout 9th inning (21 pitches - 14 strikes)... issued a lead-off eight-pitch walk, then got the first out on a F-9 and allowed an infield single (swinging bunt) that put runners on 1st & 2nd, before retiring the last two batters on a three-pitch K-swinging (SL) and a foul P-3... got three swing & miss total (two on SL and one on FB)...   

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Hopefully Keeg just needs more ramp up for the velo. His FB has never been that low.

Nice to see Fulmer and Wick get some velo back. Wick came to us with 97-98. He was fun to watch back then. If he gets back to those #s he could still make a solid option.

 

Sampson is a little bit weird. He's a fighter. I'll give him that. But Wesneski and Assad aren't making this easy for him to earn a spot, even with the 1.9mil owed to him

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

childersb3: If nobody else was pitching well from among Wesneski, Assad, and Kilian, then I could see where you just live with Sampson's gopher balls and hope it is just part of the prep process. Also, he is really just a SP place-holder until Kyle Hendricks returns, probably (hopefully) some time around May 1st. 

But Wesneski is pitching great and Sampson is getting clubbed, so right now I would think the Cubs will (at some point prior to Opening Day) either trade Sampson for a minor leaguer not on an MLB 40-man roster (if anybody is interested), or place him on Outright Assignment Waivers and hope another club claims him for $50,000 and assumes the $1.9M contract.

And if he isn't claimed and gets outrighted to AAA, then Sampson would have to either accept the outright assignment and defer free-agency until the conclusion of the MLB regular season (if he isn't added back to the 40 in the meantime) in which case he gets his $1.9M salary while pitching for the Iowa Cubs, or elects free-agency and forfeits his $1.9M salary (which he is not likely to get elsewhere if he isn't claimed off waivers). 

The Cubs are probably going to have to clear one or more slots on the 40 by Opening Day for one or more Spring Training NRI who make the Opening Day roster, and that is clearly NOT going to be accomplished by placing Alexander Canario and/or Miguel Amaya on the MLB 60-day IL (they have already been optioned to the minors).

Removing Sampson from the 40 either by a trade or outright assignment would be a way to open up a roster slot on the 40, and they would have a fairly good chance of retaining him under club control (if he isn't traded or claimed off waivers), because he is likely to accept an outright assignment to the minors if he isn't claimed. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

I really hope the Cubs don’t feel any obligation to take Eric Hosmer north if they need the 40 man spot. I think I’ve seen one ball hit out of the infield in the air from him this spring, and it was a soft liner that just got over the 3B’s glove. He looks done, and they have plenty of cover for 1B now between Mancini, Wisdom, Rios, and Mervis. 

chase dejong (PIT) on the mic calling the bases "the XL Papa Johns"

also, another shout-out to Marquee for showing almost every game this spring.  i took the day off work for the hell of it and a whole lot of games from other teams have no broadcast on either side.

Here are the pitchers reports from the Cubs - Rockies game at Sloan Park on Tuesday night: 

JUSTIN STEELE: 
FB: 90-93 
SL/CT: 84-87 
CH: 82-84 
CV: 76-79 
COMMENT: Threw 2.2 IP and allowed two HR (a solo HR to Elehuris Montero on s hanging SL in the top of the 2nd, and a two-run dinger to LH-hitting Ryan McMahon on another hanging SL in the top of the 3rd)... he also allowed three singles, walked one, and struck out four (all four swinging)... he got eight swing & miss total... he threw 59 pitches (41 strikes), which included 13 foul balls, as despite the strikeouts, he still had difficulty putting hitters away at times, which pushed-up his pitch count... he needed 19 pitches to get through his first inning, 17 to get through his second inning, and 23 to get two outs in the top of the third when he seemed to be running on fumes (before being relieved)...       

JULIAN MERRYWEATHER: 
FB: 96-99 
SL: 88 
CV: 83-84 
COMMENT: Another breathtaking performance by Merryweather, as he continues to combine a superlative high velo FB with effective secondaries... needed just one pitch to get out of the top of the third (F-9), and then came back out and threw a shutout 4th with two strikeouts (one looking, and one swinging, both on FB)... FB command and throwing too many pitches-per-inning is always a concern with Merryweather, but he threw just 17 pitches (12 strikes - including four swing & miss) in his 1.1 IP... he did allow a two-out single in the 4th and then immediately committed a balk (not clear exactly what he did wrong), but then he shrugged his shoulders and got a 6-3 GO to end the inning...  (BTW, this balk shit's got to stop before it becomes really, really annoying)...

TYLER DUFFEY: 
FB: 89-92 
CV: 78-82 
SLOW CV: 72-77 
COMMENT: Came into the game to start the 5th inning and immediately threw five consecutive strikes, repeating what has been his trademark this spring: command... but that was immediately followed with a four-pitch walk as his command suddenly disappeared, but he got out of the inning on just twelve pitches thanks to an inning-ending "room service" 6-4-3 DP....  he came out for a second inning of work and that's when things went off the rails... he threw his complete arsenal but he couldn't command of any it, then he started to nibble, and when he did throw strikes, it produced hard contact (single, double, sac fly)... his second inning got so tedious and laborious that Cubs fans started doing the "wave," and when that happens you know you're toast... he was relieved by Adbert Alzolay with two outs in the top of the 6th after throwing 23 pitches in the inning (no swing & miss in either inning)... despite how he looked earlier in the spring, I no longer believe he will make the Opening Day roster out of Spring Training even if he has an Opening Day opt-out... the Cubs just have too many other healthy RHRP arms with better stuff (not just Merryweather, but ManRod, Wick, Rucker, Estrada, Sanders, Burdi, and even Leiter, too) still in contention for open spots in the pen... can't see Duffey gong to Iowa, either...  

ADBERT ALZOLAY: 
FB: 93-95 
CT: 89-90 
SL: 84-86 
CV: 80-82 
COMMENT: Needed just four pitches to get out of Duffey's inning, then struck out the side 1-2-3 in the 7th... got four swing & miss among his 19 pitches (12 strikes)... used all of his pitches, mixing them with great effect... since he is out of minor league options he was already likely to make the Opening Day roster, but this outing pretty much cements it...  

RYAN BORUCKI: 
FB: 94-95 
CH: 86-88 
SL: 82-85 
COMMENT: Struck out the side in the 8th, pitching around an E-6 throwing error by SS Zach McKinstry that prolonged the inning... even so he threw just 17 pitches (12 strikes) and he got three swing & miss... combining his MLB experience, his "live" arm, three-pitch mix, strike throwing ability, and that he clearly does not get rattled by defensive miscues behind him, I would say right now Borucki is probably at he head of the LHRP contenders list (and I am including Brandon Hughes on that list)... his stuff is better than Hughes, his command is better than Kay, and he has MLB experience and B. Little does not... and BTW, the Cubs still might take B. Little over Hughes (better stuff) if B. Little is the second lefty behind Borucki... 

JEREMIAH ESTRADA: 
FB: 92-95 
SL: 82-85 
COMMENT: Pitched the 9th with the Cubs down 4-2 and gave up an insurance run to the Rockies... first twelve pitches were all FB and he couldn't throw strikes with it (only 50% strikes)... by the time he got around to throwing his "slurvy" breaking ball (which he could command) he had already issued a walk and given up an RBI double... at least he did strand the runner at second with a K-swinging, an L-7, and an F-9 to end the inning... a 21-pitch outing that was bad at the start but better at the end... still might not be enough to keep him from being optioned to AAA... 

it's weird watching slo-mo replays of guys sliding into the bags.  you get a real sense of how comically large they are on the closeup TV replays.

why in the hell is this game still going on...  i mean, there's rain and there's heavy rain and it's not gonna end any time soon.

corbin martin (ARZ) just shredded his elbow again.  unfortunate no-doubter.  feel for the dude.

holy f...ron coomer...start taking care of yourself.  dude hasn't been thin for a while, but guy...give yourself a chance.

s.suzuki playing catch and taking non-contact swings.  the fact he's swinging a bat and using those muscles is a good sign even if he's most likely not loading up those swings yet.

For those interestered, here are the pitchers reports from Thursday's Cubs - Diamondbacks game at Sloan Park: 

DREW SMYLY: 
FB: 90-93 
CT: 87-89 
CV: 77-79 
SLOW CV: 74-76 
COMMENT: Hurled 4.1 IP (64 pitches - 43 strikes), up just a tick from his last outing when he went 4.0 IP (54 pitches - 36 strikes)... the strike percentage was almost exactly the same,  and just like last time he threw a LOT of CV (26) including his last seven pitches before being relieved (last outing he threw 29 CV out of 54 pitches)... after retiring the side 1-2-3 (F-9, 6-3, L-8) on just ten pitches in the top of the first, he needed just twelve pitches to clear the second inning (a lead-off single, then two fly ball outs before picking the runner off 1st for the third out)... so only 22 pitches total in the first two innings... he got the first hitter in the top of the third inning on a 5-3 GO before issuing a walk on a 3-1 pitch (his first three-ball count of the outing), then went 3-2 on the next hitter before inducing a 6-4 FC (hit too slow to turn a DP), and he got the third out on a K-swinging (CV) on his 20th pitch of the inning... he easily retired the first two batters in the top of the fourth inning (a first-pitch 5-3 GO and a K-swinging on a 3-2 CV) before allowing a loud contact two-out double and a two-run HR by Caleb Roberts on a 92 MPH FB)... he then got a strikeout (swinging) on a CV to end the inning.... he faced just one batter in the fifth, racking up another strikeout (K-looking on a CT)... for the game he got seven swing & miss (five on CV)... Smyly clearly absolutely LOVES his CV (and I can see why)... both FB and CT velo were up one MPH from his previous outing, as he appears to be getting stronger... next outing will likely be 5-6 innings with the pitch limit increased to 75-80 pitches...    

BRAD BOXBERGER: 
FB: 90-92 
SL: 86-88 
CH: 80-81 
COMMENT: Relieved Smyly with one out and bases empty in the fifth, retiring the first batter on a 6-3 GO before allowing a single and issuing a walk on a 3-2 pitch... then got an inning ending K-swinging on a 2-2 SL... as is typical for Boxberger, he noodled and nibbled his way through the inning, needing 17 pitches to get only two outs (because he threw only nine strikes)... despite having just average stuff, he seems to have a real knack for "rope-a-doping" the hitters and avoiding hard contact with men on base... 

MICHAEL FULMER: 
FB: 94-95
SL/CT: 88-91 
CV: 81-83 
COMMENT: Easy 1-2-3 inning (13 pitches - 8 strikes), a 4-3 GO, a K-looking, and an F-8... just one swing & miss, but also no hard contact... if the Cubs do have a designated primary closer on Opening Day, it will almost certainly be Fulmer... 

KEEGAN THOMPSON: 
FB: 90-91 
CH: 83-86 
CV: 79
COMMENT: Hurled a seven pitch (six strikes) 1-2-3 seventh inning (P-6, F-8, 1-3)... FB velo still very low compared to where it was last season when it was 92-95... 

BRANDON HUGHES: 
FB: 92-93 
SL: 81 
COMMENT: Had an economical eleven pitch inning (seven strikes) including a one or two pitch AB to four of the five batters, but no swing & miss... after a P-6 to open the inning,  a double, an F-9, an RBI single, and another F-9 closed it out... ten of his eleven pitches were FB... don't know what's up with the MIA SL... going back to "live" BP in February, Hughes just does not look like the same pitcher he was last season... 

NICK BURDI: 
FB: 94-97 
SL: 87-88 
COMMENT: Threw a 1-2-3 9th (16 pitches - 11 strikes)... FB velo was "down" three MPH from when it was 98-100 in his first outing on 2/27... however, his command was MUCH better (he threw only 44% strikes on 2/27, but FB K-percentage was up to 69% in this one), and even throwing "just" 94-97 he is still overpowering hitters with the high octane FB and the put-away SL combo... got four swing & miss among his 16 pitches (including three on the unhittable SL)...

Love these breakdowns (they’re my favorite thing about spring training and have been for years) - Thanks AZ Phil!

cubs wearing st paddy's day hats and selling gear.  they're out here cash grabbing spring training beyond the ticket price now.

swanson finally gets his 2nd hit (2 for 25 this spring).  it would also be nice if "slightly better neifi perez" we got leading off would up his game a little more, too.

Here are the Cubs pitchers reports from Friday's Dodgers - Cubs game at Sloan Park in Mesa:

HAYDEN WESNESKI: 
FB: 91-94 
SL/CT: 86-89 
CH: 83-86 
CV: 79-81 (slurve?) 
COMMENT: Easily retired the first eight batters he faced (6-3, L-4, K-looking on a CV, K-swinging on a CV, K-swinging on a CV, P-3, K-looking on a CV, and a 4-3, before issuing a two-out walk and allowing an infield single, but then retired the final batter in the third inning a K-looking (CV)... threw 13 pitches each in the first and second innings, but then needed twenty pitches to clear the third, and 19 pitches to retire just one batter in the fourth... seemed to "hit a wall" at about pitch #50 after going once through the order.... Dodgers hitters then squared him up pretty good in the fourth (after issuing a lead-off walk, he surrendered a single, a three-run HR by J. D. Martinez, then got a K-swinging on a 2-2 pitch, before allowing another single and being relieved)... second inning was his best inning, getting four consecutive swing & miss at one point... had ten swing & miss total... the hits in the third and fourth were mainly off his CT... the 79-82 slurve was his most effective pitch... threw 65 pitches total (42 strikes, but it was more like 50/50 strikes / balls in the third & fourth innings)... 

MAX BAIN:
FB: 92-96 
SL: 82-85
CV: 76-79  
COMMENT: Relieved Wesneski with one out and a runner on 1st base in the top of the 4th... needed 24 pitches to record just one out and couldn't get out of the inning... threw only 11 strikes...  allowed two singles and a double on his first seven pitches, before retiring a batter (K-looking on a 3-2 FB), then walked two batters in a row before being relieved... a very poor performance with quite a few non-competitive pitches... 

PEYTON REMY: 
FB: 91-93 
CH: 86-88 
SL: 81 
COMMENT: Relieved Bain and allowed a bases-loaded two-run double before finally retiring the side on a three-pitch K-swinging... like Bain, Remy was brought up from minor league camp for the day to provide an extra "emergency"arm...   

ADBERT ALZOLAY:
FB: 93-95 
SL: 85-87 
COMMENT: Had an easy two innings (21 pitches - 14 strikes), and probably could have thrown another one or two frames... hit a batter to begin his outing, then mowed-down six in a row (K-swinging on SL, L-4, K-swinging on FB, F-9, K-looking on a FB, and F-8)... 

ROWAN WICK:
FB: 93-96 
SL/CT: 90-92 
CV: 73-76  
COMMENT: Threw one inning (14 pitches - 11 strikes), and allowed a "BP" HR to Miguel Vargas on a hanging 76 MPH CV on an 0-2 pitch that was virtually served-up on a tee... got a K-looking on a CV, and F-8, and a K-swinging on a CV around the HR... the mid-90's FB / mid-70's CV is an odd combination.... 

ANTHONY KAY: 
FB: 93-96 
CH: 90 
SL: 83-86 
COMMENT: Pitched a shutout top of the 8th but it wasn't easy (22 pitches - 13 strikes)... gave up a lead-off single (runner stole second and advanced to 3rd on an errant throw by catcher Luis Torrens), then got a strikeout (swinging) on a 3-2 SL, then issued a walk on a 3-2 pitch (runner on 1st then stole second to put runners at 2nd & 3rd with one out), but then  he struck out the final two batters (both swinging,the last one on three filthy sliders)... It was kind of a "Mitch Williams" type outing... I would say right now Kay is the second best LHRP candidate after Ryan Borucki, although Brendon Little could ultimately be better than both of them...

JULIAN MERRYWEATHER: 
FB: 96-98 
SL: 86-88 
CV: 83-85 
COMMENT: Pitched a shutout top of the 9th (22 pitches -  13 strikes) with the Cubs down 9-7... struck out the first batter he faced swinging on a 97 MPH FB, then issued a four pitch walk, got a K-swinging on a 1-2 SL, and finally an F-8 to end the inning... Kay's and Merryweather's outings were very similar (had a bit of difficulty throwing strikes, but eventually just overpowered the hitters with high velo stuff)... 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

After some confusion with Cubs minor leaguers being assigned jerseys with "no name" duplicate numbers in MLB Cactus League games, the Cubs are now allowing the minor leaguers to wear the same uniform jersey (with the player's name on the back) they wear at minor league camp.

Many players (especially most all position players) wear duplicate numbers in Minor League Camp and have for years, but they all have their name on the back so it really doesn't matter that much that the number might not be unique. And the blue Cubs minor league jerseys look exactly the same as the blue Cubs MLB jerseys that the Cubs players wear in MLB Spring Training games. 

Edwin Rios and Mark Leiter Jr are wearing the same number (#30), and they both actually are officially in MLB Camp, so why not let a minor leaguer playing in an MLB Cactus League game wear his own non-unique number, too? It's amazing it took this long. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

"the 79-82 slurve was his most effective pitch"

seeing wiz in his 1st cubs start and seeing that pitch was the "oh, i get it now" moment for me understanding that trade.

yeah, most people would trade a reliever for a starter, but effross was/is (until injury, anyway) a very legit closer with not only solid stuff, but solid command/control over it.  the cubs also had quite the collection of young starter candidates near mlb-ready at the time, too.

wiz wasn't even finished with 2 inning before i was like, oh yeah, this guy...yes.  i saw a bit of early kerry wood in his stuff...not as heavy of a "slurve" but also not as wild as wood.  the break on that thing is crazy.  that cutter that occasionally acts slider-ish is a hell of a pitcher, too.

Had a chance to take in the B squad game today. Little threw gas hitting 98 multiple times but had trouble finding the strike zone. Estrada looked very sharp retiring the side in less than three minutes, all on soft contact. Borucki also looked good. Aside from the three home runs, very light on contact. Clevenger was getting way too much of the plate but after he left, the Cubs didn’t get much offense at all. 

Here are the Cubs pitchers reports from Sunday's Padres - Cubs game at Sloan Park: 

JUSTIN STEELE: 
FB: 89-92 
CH: 86-87 
SL: 81-84 
COMMENT: Threw three full innings (69 pitches - 36 strikes)... labored through a 25-pitch 1st inning (only 12 strikes) when he walked two and surrendered a two-out RBI single, and a 30-pitch 2nd inning (only 12 strikes) when he walked the bases loaded after retiring the first batters on GO before stranding all three runners on an inning-ending 6-3 GO...  then allowed three singles in the top of the 3rd but no runs, thanks to a K-looking, a rocket L-4, and a very convenient inning ending 5-U FC (14 pitches - 12 strikes)... got six swing & miss total among his 69 pitches (four on SL and two on FB), but only one swing & miss while mostly sitting 90 MPH on his FB after the 1st inning... Steele really operated on the razor's edge all day, issuing five free passes and allowing four hits (all singles) but only one run in just three innings of work... with the high number of pitches he has been throwing per inning, it might become necessary to piggy-back Steele with maybe Wesneski (if he doesn't win the 5th starter job), Assad, or Alzolay for a while until his command issues are resolved... Steele is out of  minor league options so no way he isn't on the Cubs MLB staff in 2023, but that doesn't mean he will necessarily be a SP for the entire season...   

MICHAEL FULMER: 
FB: 92-94 
SL/CT: 87-90 
CH: 84 
CV: 80 
COMMENT: Hurled a scoreless 4th with one strikeout (swinging), but command was spotty (17 pitches - only nine strikes)... hit Austin Nola in the face with a 94 MPH FB, but that was the only baserunner of the inning... got five swing & miss among his 17 pitches (three on SL/CT and two on FB), which is an outstanding swing & miss rate... Fulmer will almost certainly be the Cubs' primary closer at the start of season..  

KEEGAN THOMPSON:
FB: 90-92
SL/CT: 86-88 
CV: 78-80 
COMMENT: Threw a shutout 5th inning (K-looking on a CV on three pitches, a single, K-looking on a 1-2 FB, a walk on a 3-1 pitch, and an F-9)...  also uncorked a WP.... labored a bit 18 pitches (only 10 strikes)... six of his final eight pitches were balls as his command began to waver the deeper he got into the inning... FB velo still not where it was last season when it was 92-95, even though he has been throwing only one inning per outing in his last few appearances... Thompson could possibly be optioned to AAA Iowa to start the season to see if maybe he can find his MIA FB velo in Des Moines (or possibly even at Extended Spring Training in Mesa) if it doesn't come back in the next ten days...

NICK BURDI: 
FB: 95-98 
SL: 88 
COMMENT: Tossed a nine-pitch (six strikes) 1-2-3 6th (6-3, 3-1, F-8)... once again he dialed down his FB velo a bit and threw more strikes, although he also didn't get any swing & miss... first eight pitches were FB... 

TYLER DUFFEY:
FB: 91-93 
CV: 79-82 
COMMENT: Hurled an economical 11-pitch 7th inning (eight strikes) and surrendered just a hard-contact two-out single lined sharply off his right foot... retired batters on an F-7, an F-7, and a 6-3 GO... got two swing & miss (one on FB and one on CV)...   

BAILEY HORN: 
FB: 93-96 
CH: 78-79 
CV: 74-76 
COMMENT: Was an NRI to MLB ST who was sent to Minor League Camp on Saturday but then was brought back to pitch in this game... struck out the first two batters he faced (both swinging, one on CV and one on FB) while effectively mixing his FB and CV before allowing a bloop single into short CF followed by a game-tying RBI triple roped into the RF corner... he then issued a walk on a 3-2 pitch, before finally retiring the side on a 6-3 GO on his 28th pitch of the inning... the only two swing & miss were the two K-swinging strikeouts...  

ERIC STOUT: 
FB: 91-92 
CH: 87-88 
CV: 80-81
COMMENT: Like Horn, Stout was an NRI sent to Minor League Camp on Saturday who was brought back on Sunday just for the day... struck out the side in the top of the 9th (19 pitches - 13 strikes) with the score tied 2-2 (one looking and two swinging, all three on CV)... three swing & miss total (one FB and two CV)... threw 19 pitches (13 strikes)... 

Recent comments

  • crunch (view)

    only 2 "pitchcom broke, yo" delays in the game so far...

  • crunch (view)

    kilian out here throwing 98mph in february.

  • Childersb3 (view)

    While we're all speaking about Morel's 3B defense being good enough, his swing has gotten better.

    You could see it a little last fall. He didn't drop his hands behind his body as much (barred arm). But in videos from his Winter ball and this Feb in AZ you can tell he's keeping his hands tighter to his body. He's just stronger and able to have a tighter swing now. He'll be even quicker to the ball this way.

    Fun times.  

  • Cubster (view)

    Cubs vs Sox.

    Dodgers hold my beer. 6 run first including Morel 2 run HR.

  • crunch (view)

    PCA has blue hair...with a buzz cut...odd combo.  he's 2 dozen face tattoos away from being a mumble rapper.

  • crunch (view)

    these uniforms are hot garbage.  everything Fanatics touches turns to...well, hot garbage.

  • crunch (view)

    ...and then a homer.

  • JoePepitone (view)

    And right away, the first ball put in play goes to Morel at 3rd, who fields the grounder to his left and pegs out the runner on a good throw to first.

  • CTSteve (view)

    Baseball!

    Just stick it in my veins...

  • crunch (view)

    morel at 3rd, shaw at 2nd...wicks starting.