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 eight players are on OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT to minors and six players are on the 15-DAY IL

Last updated 5-25-2024

* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 13
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge 
* Shota Imanaga
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Tyson Miller
Hector Neris
* Drew Smyly
* 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: 8
Kevin Alcantara, OF
Michael Arias, P
Alexander Canario, OF
* Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF
Jose Cuas, P 
Brennen Davis, OF
* Miles Mastrobuoni, INF
* Matt Mervis, 1B

15-DAY IL: 6
Yency Almonte, P
Albert Alzolay, P
Colten Brewer, P
Daniel Palencia, 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

2024 Cubs Minor League Camp Rosters

4/2 UPDATE

ROSTER MOVES: INF Scott McKeon, 1B-OF Felix Stevens, and OF Bradlee Beesley have been moved-down to the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group from the AA Tennessee group.

Also, LHP Dalton Stambaugh has retired. He was recently moved down from the Tennessee group to the South Bend group at Minor League Camp. 

IOWA: 28 players (AAA Opening Day was 3/29)
TENNESSEE: 29 players (must get down to 28 by AA Opening Day 4/5)
SOUTH BEND: 29 players (one under roster limit at this time for Opening Day 4/5)
MYRTLE BEACH: 29 players (one under roster limit at this time for Opening Day 4/5)
MESA (EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING) / ACL CUBS: 34 players (no roster limit for EXST Opening Day 4/8) 
MESA REHAB: 18 

(see updated Cubs Minor League Camp rosters below)
 



3/31 UPDATE

ROSTER MOVES: RHP Chris Kachmar was moved-up from the AA Tennessee group to AAA Iowa in Omaha (replaces RHP Ben Brown on Iowa 28-man roster after Brown was recalled to MLB), LHP Dalton Stambaugh was moved-down from the AA Tennessee group to the Hi-A South Bend group, LHP Jack Patterson was moved-down from the AA Tennessee group to the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group, RHP Luis Devers and RHP Matt Thompson were moved-down from the AA Tennessee group to the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group, RHP Kenten Egbert, RHP Ty Johnson, and LHP Marino Santy were moved-down from the Hi-A South Bend group to the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group, and RHP Luis Martinez-Gomez, RHP Mason McGwire, RHP Grayson Moore, and RHP Luis Rujano were moved-down from the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group to the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group.   
 
In addition, RHP Sam Armstrong was moved-up from the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group to the Hi-A South Bend group, RHP Hunter Viets was moved-up from the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group to the Hi-A South Bend group, and RHP Francis Reynoso was moved-up from the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group to the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group, 

Also, INF Derniche Valdez has been placed on the RESTRICTED LIST. 

 

 




3/29 UPDATE

The Cubs have released RHP Max Bain from the REHAB group, INF Liam Spence from the Hi-A South Bend group, INF Juan Mora from the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group, and LHP Joel Machado, OF Ke'Shun Collier, and OF Cristian More from the Mesa (Extended Spring Training / ACL Cubs) group. 
 

 




3/28 UPDATE

ROSTER MOVES: LHP Blake Weiman has been moved down to the AA Tennessee group from the AAA Iowa group, and OF David Peralta and RHP Hunter Bigge have been assigned to the REHAB group from the AAA Iowa group, and INF Derniche Valdez and OF Edward Vargas have been assigned to the REHAB group from the MESA (Extended Spring Training) group.
 




3/26 UPDATE

ROSTER MOVES: RHP Hayden Wesneski and OF Alexander Canario were optioned to AAA Iowa, C Joe Hudson was moved-down from MLB Spring Training to the AAA Iowa group, C Pablo Aliendo, C Caleb Knight, and OF Bradlee Beesley were moved-down from the AAA Iowa group to the AA Tennessee group, C Casey Opitz, INF Liam Spence, and OF Yohendrick Pinango were moved-down from the AA Tennessee group to the Hi-A South Bend group, C (ex-INF) Carter Trice was moved-down from the AA Tennessee group to the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group, C-INF Miguel Pabon was moved from the Hi-A South Bend group to the REHAB group, INF-OF Christian Olivo, OF Andy Garriola, and OF Jacob Wetzel were moved-down from the Hi-A South Bend group to the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group, C Jairo Diaz, C Adan Sanchez, OF Leonel Espinoza, and OF Cristian More were moved-down from the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group to the Mesa (Extended Spring Training group), and RHP Eligio Paredes was moved from the REHAB group to the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group.  

In addition, INF Josh Rivera was moved-up from the Hi-A South Bend group to the AA Tennessee group, and INF-OF Rafael Morel was moved-up from the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group to the Hi-A South Bend group.    

 



3/25 UPDATE

ROSTER MOVES: INF Liam Spence, OF Kevin Alcantara, and OF Cole Roederer were moved-down from the AAA Iowa group to the AA Tennessee group, INF Jefferson Rojas was moved-down from the AA Tennessee group to the Hi-A South Bend group, 1B-OF Felix Stevens was moved from the REHAB group to the AA Tennessee group, and OF Brennen Davis has been assigned to the REHAB group.   

In addition, OF Bradlee Beesley was moved-up from the AA Tennessee group to the AAA Iowa group. 
 




3/22 UPDATE

ROSTER MOVES: RHP Daniel Palencia was optioned to AAA Iowa, RHP Colten Brewer, LHP Edwin Escobar, LHP Richard Lovelady, LHP Thomas Pannone, and INF David Bote were moved down from MLB Spring Training to the Iowa group, RHP Chris Kachmar, LHP Jack Patterson, LHP Dalton Stambaugh, RHP Cayne Ueckert, and RHP Blake Whitney were moved down from the AAA Iowa group to the AA Tennessee group, RHP Joe Nahas, RHP Tyler Santana, and RHP Tyler Schlaffer were moved down from the AA Tennessee group to the Hi-A South Bend group, and RHP Garrett Brown and RHP Shane Marshall were moved down from the Hi-A South Bend group to the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group. 

In addition, recently signed second contract FA RHP Vince Reilly (ex-OAK) has been assigned to the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group, and LHP Wilson Cunningham has returned to the University of Chicago.     

 




3/20 UPDATE

ROSTER MOVES: C Casey Opitz, INF Hayden Cantrelle, INF Matt Shaw, INF James Triantos, 1B Haydn McGeary, and OF Jordan Nwogu have been moved down from the AAA Iowa group to the AA Tennessee group, C Ethan Hearn, 1B Jonathon Long, INF Ed Howard, INF Fabian Pertuz, INF Pedro Ramirez, INF Josh Rivera, and OF Parker Chavers have been moved down from the AA Tennessee group to the Hi-A South Bend group, INF Alexis Hernandez, INF Cristian Hernandez, INF Juan Mora, INF Rafael Morel, and OF Cristian More were moved down from the Hi-A South Bend group to the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group, C Yidel Diaz, INF Jose Escobar, and 1B-OF Anderson Suriel were moved down from the Hi-A South Bend group to the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group, and C (ex-OF) Frank Hernandez, INF Angel Cepeda (2023 DSL), 1B Albert Gutierrez (2023 DSL), INF Yahil Melendez, INF Derniche Valdez (2023 DSL), OF Ke'Shun Collier, OF (ex-INF) Geuri Lubo, OF Alfonsin Rosario, and OF Edward Vargas (2023 DSL) were moved down from the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group to the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group.     

In addition, OF Cole Roederer has been moved up to the AAA Iowa group from the AA Tennessee group (replacing OF Brennen Davis, who is now INACTIVE), and OF Yohendrick Pinango has been moved up from the Hi-A South Bend group to the AA Tennessee group (replacing Roederer).  
 




3/18 UPDATE

ROSTER MOVES: RHP Keegan Thompson and 1B Matt Mervis were optioned to AAA Iowa, RHP Cam Sanders, C-INF Bryce Windham, and INF Chase Strumpf were moved down from MLB Spring Training to the AAA Iowa group, RHP Jake Reindl and RHP Eduarniel Nunez were moved down from the AAA Iowa group to the AA Tennessee group, INF Luis Verdugo was moved from the REHAB GROUP to the AA Tennessee group, and RHP Nick Hull and RHP Grant Kipp were moved down from the AA Tennessee group to the Hi-A South Bend group. 
 




3/16 UPDATE

ROSTER MOVES: RHP Richard Gallardo, RHP Porter Hodge, RHP Grant Kipp, and RHP Matt Thompson have been moved down from the AAA Iowa group to the AA Tennessee group, RHP Jake Reindl and INF Liam Spence were moved up from the AA Tennessee group to the AAA Iowa group, LHP Drew Gray, LHP Angel Hernandez, RHP Jose Romero, and OF Jacob Wetzel were moved down from the AA Tennessee group to the Hi-A South Bend group, RHP Dom Hambley, RHP Mason McGwire, and LHP Branden Noriega were moved down from the Hi-A South Bend group to the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group, RHP Grayson Moore was moved from the REHAB GROUP to the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group, RHP JC Coronado, LHP Joel Machado, RHP Luis A. Reyes, and RHP Francis Reynoso were moved down from the Hi-A South Bend group to the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group, RHP Gabriel Agrazal, LHP Wilson Cunningham, RHP Wilme Mora, RHP Mat Peters, RHP Yenrri Rojas, RHP Freilyn Silverio, and RHP Hunter Viets have been moved down from the Lo-A Myrtle Beach group to the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group, LHP Miguel Cruz, RHP Fraiman Marte, RHP Jeral Vizcaino, and OF Edward Vargas have arrived from the Dominican Academy and have been assigned to the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group, LHP Daniel Brown (previously listed as STATUS UNKNOWN) has been assigned to the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group, and RHP Max Bain, RHP Eligio Paredes, RHP Joel Sierra, and RHP Kevin Valdez (previously listed as STATUS UNKNOWN) are with the REHAB GROUP.   
 




ORIGINAL POST 3/14 

Cubs minor leaguers are initially assigned to one of five working groups at Minor League Camp (AAA Iowa, AA Tennessee, Hi-A South Bend, Lo-A Myrtle Beach, or Mesa Rehab). Players normally play in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games and intrasquad games with their group, and position players normally participate in fielding practice, do baserunning drills, and take BP, and pitchers throw bullpens and "live" BP and take Pitchers Fielding Practice (PFP), with their group. 

The rosters are fluid, with player movement cascading downward from level to level as players are periodically sent to Minor League Camp from MLB Spring Training. At some point prior to the conclusion of Minor League Camp, a 6th working group (Mesa - Extended Spring Training) will be formed.

It is not unusual for a player to initially be assigned to a group one or sometimes even two levels above where he will end up when the minor league regular season commences in April, but a player also might remain exactly where he is initially assigned throughout the course of Spring Training. 

Every now & then a player will be moved upward from one squad to another during the course of Minor League Camp, but it doesn't happen very often, and when it does happen it is usually to replace an injured player. Otherwise, almost all roster movement is DOWNWARD.  

It is also not especially unusual for a player (especially a pitcher and a catcher) to be temporarily moved up or down a level (sometimes even two or three levels) just for one day in order to play in a particular Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game or intrasquad game.    

There are no roster limits or restrictions with respect to Spring Training minor league rosters, other than the 175-man minor league Domestic Reserve List limit (the DRL is reduced from 175 to 165 on MLB Opening Day).    


* bats or throws left 
# bats both


Last updated 4-2-2024


IOWA:

AAA 

28 players 

PITCHERS: 15
Colten Brewer
Chris Clarke
* Edwin Escobar 
Chris Kachmar 
* Richard Lovelady 
* Riley Martin 
Sam McWilliams
Daniel Palencia 
* Thomas Pannone 
Walker Powell
Cam Sanders
Keegan Thompson
Riley Thompson
Hayden Wesneski
* Brad Wieck 

CATCHERS: 3
Curt Casali
Joe Hudson
* Bryce Windham

INFIELDERS: 6
David Bote
* Matt Mervis
# B. J. Murray
Chase Strumpf 
Jake Slaughter
Luis Vazquez

OUTFIELDERS: 4
* Owen Caissie
Alexander Canario
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
* Darius Hill 


TENNESSEE:

AA 

29 players 

PITCHERS: 15
Michael Arias
Brandon Birdsell
Manuel Espinoza 
Kohl Franklin 
Richard Gallardo 
Porter Hodge 
Cade Horton
Zac Leigh
Connor Noland 
Eduarniel Nunez
Jake Reindl
Frankie Scalzo Jr
Cayne Ueckert
* Blake Weiman
Blake Whitney

CATCHERS: 3
Pablo Aliendo
* Moises Ballesteros
Caleb Knight

INFIELDERS: 6
# Hayden Cantrelle 
Haydn McGeary
Josh Rivera
Matt Shaw 
James Triantos
Luis Verdugo

OUTFIELDERS: 5
Kevin Alcantara 
Christian Franklin
Jordan Nwogu
* Ezequiel Pagan
* Cole Roederer


SOUTH BEND:

Hi-A 

29 players  

PITCHERS: 15
Sam Armstrong
Yovanny Cabrera
Angel Gonzalez
* Drew Gray
* Angel Hernandez   
Nick Hull 
Grant Kipp
Koen Moreno 
Joe Nahas 
Jose Romero 
Will Sanders
Tyler Santana
Tyler Schlaffer 
Hunter Viets 
* Chase Watkins

CATCHERS: 3
# Dilan Granadillo
* Ethan Hearn 
# Casey Opitz

INFIELDERS: 7
# Reivaj Garcia 
Ed Howard 
Brian Kalmer
Jonathon Long 
Fabian Pertuz 
# Pedro Ramirez
Jefferson Rojas

OUTFIELDERS: 4 
* Brett Bateman 
* Parker Chavers 
Rafael Morel 
* Yohendrick Pinango 


MYRTLE BEACH:

Lo-A 

29 players     

PITCHERS: 16
Juan Bello 
Garrett Brown 
Nick Dean 
Kenten Egbert 
Dom Hambley 
Ty Johnson 
Scarlyn Lebron 
Shane Marshall (ex-C) 
* Branden Noriega 
* Jack Patterson 
Kenyi Perez 
Starlyn Pichardo 
Francis Reynoso (ex-1B - 2023 DSL) 
Erian Rodriguez
Alfredo Romero 
* Marino Santy 

CATCHERS: 3  
David Avitia 
* Wally Soto
Carter Trice (ex-INF) 

INFIELDERS: 6
Drew Bowser
Alexis Hernandez 
Cristian Hernandez
Christian Olivo
Christopher Paciolla
Reggie Preciado (see NOTE)
NOTE: Preciado was a switch-hitter prior to post-2023 AZ Instructs, at which point he became a RH-hitter ONLY.

OUTFIELDERS: 4
* Jefferson Encarnacion 
Andy Garriola
* Ismael Mena 
* Jacob Wetzel  


MESA (EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING)

Rookie 

34 players 

PITCHERS: 19 
Gabriel Agrazal
* Daniel Brown 
JC Coronado
* Miguel Cruz (2023 DSL) 
Luis Devers 
Fraiman Marte (2023 DSL)  
Luis Martinez-Gomez 
Mason McGwire
Grayson Moore
Wilme Mora 
Eligio Paredes 
Mat Peters (on RESTRICTED LIST - see NOTE
Vince Reilly 
Luis A. Reyes 
Yenrri Rojas 
Luis Rujano 
Freilyn Silverio
Matt Thompson 
Jeral Vizcaino (2023 DSL)   
NOTE: Even though he is on the Restricted List, Peters is allowed to participate fully at Minor League Camp (and then later in Extended Spring Training) and play in intrasquad and non-Cactus League minor league games (he pitched in the game against the Asian Breeze on 3/13 and in the games against the Langley Blaze on 3/19 and on 3/25).    

CATCHERS: 4 
# Jairo Diaz (see NOTE
Yidel Diaz (2023 DSL) 
Frank Hernandez (ex-OF) 
Adan Sanchez 
NOTE: J. Diaz is listed at Baseball Reference as a right-handed hitter and at milb.com as a left-handed hitter, but he is actually a switch-hitter.  

INFIELDERS: 7
Angel Cepeda (2023 DSL) 
* Jose Escobar 
* Albert Gutierrez (2023 DSL - see NOTE)
Scott McKeon
* Yahil Melendez
Felix Stevens 
* Anderson Suriel
NOTE: A. Gutierrez is listed at Baseball Reference and at milb.com as a right-handed hitter, but he is definitely a left-handed hitter (and he is not a switch-hitter, either).  

OUTFIELDERS: 4
Bradlee Beesley
Leonel Espinoza
Geuri Lubo (ex-INF)
Alfonsin Rosario (see NOTE)
NOTE: A. Rosario is listed at Baseball Reference and at milb.com as having been born in Lexington, SC, with a height & weight of 6'6 210, but he actually was born in the Dominican Republic (his brother is Padres INF Eguy Rosario) and his height / weight is actually 6'0 220 (so he is actually six inches shorter and ten pounds heavier than he is listed!). So he looks more like Kirby Puckett than Dave Winfield. And although he was not born in the U. S., he did attend HS in Lexington, SC.   


MESA REHAB: 19
Hunter Bigge, P 
* Michael Carico, C
Brennen Davis, OF
* Ethan Flanagan, P
Will Frisch, P
Saul Gonzalez, P
Ben Leeper, P 
Brody McCullough, P
Naz Mule, P
Johzan Oquendo, P
Miguel Pabon, C-INF
* David Peralta, OF
Ethan Roberts, P
Joel Sierra, P
Sam Thoresen, P
Edward Vargas, OF (2023 DSL)
JP Wheat, P
Jaxon Wiggins, P


FULL-SEASON INJURED (INACTIVE): 3  
* Burl Carraway, P
Landon Ginn, P
Kevin Valdez, P


INACTIVE (attending college)
* Wilson Cunningham, P


INACTIVE (Restricted List): 1 
Derniche Valdez, INF  


CUBS PLAYER DEVELOPMENT & MINOR LEAGUE STAFF 
DIRECTOR OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT: Jason Kanzler
DIRECTOR OF PITCHING: Ryan Otero
DIRECTOR OF HITTING: Greg Brown 
FIELD COORDINATOR & BASERUNNING COORDINATOR: Kevin Graber
ASSISTANT FIELD COORDINATOR & CATCHING COORDINATOR: Mark Johnson 
SENIOR PITCHING DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR: Casey Jacobson 
PITCHING PERFORMANCE COORDINATOR: James Ogden 
ASSISTANT PITCHING DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR: Carlos Chantres
REHAB PITCHING COORDINATOR: Matt Hinckley 
HITTING COORDINATOR: Steven Pollakov
INFIELD COORDINATOR: Dai Dai Otaka 
OUTFIELD COORDINATOR: Doug Dascenzo
POSITION PLAYER REHAB / DEVELOPMENT LIST COORDINATOR: Desi Wilson 
DOMINICAN ACADEMY COORDINATOR: Edgar Perez 
ROVING INSTRUCTOR: Dave Keller
SPECIAL ADVISOR - PLAYER DEVELOPMENT: Matt Buschmann
SPECIAL ADVISOR - PITCHING: Mike Mason 
SPECIAL ADVISOR - HITTING: Tom Beyers 
DIRECTOR OF STRENGTH & CONDITIONING and PERFORMANCE NUTRITION : Blaine Kinsley 
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COORDINATOR: Mark Weisman 
ARIZONA COMPLEX STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COORDINATOR: Dallas Lopez  
MEDICAL COORDINATOR: James Edwards 
ASSISTANT MEDICAL COORDINATOR: Sean Folan 
MENTAL SKILLS COORDINATOR: Javier Guerrero 
IOWA: Marty Pevey (Manager), Eric Patterson (Bench Coach), Tony Cougoule (Pitching Coach), Rick Strickland (Hitting Coach), Taylor Fortney (Assistant Hitting Coach), and Andrew Betcher (Assistant Pitching Coach)
TENNESSEE: Lance Rymel (Manager), TBA (Bench Coach), Jamie Vermilyea (Pitching Coach), Rachel Folden (Hitting Coach), Henry Haack (Assistant Pitching Coach), and Derren Davis (Assistant Coach)
SOUTH BEND: Nick Lovullo (Manager), TBA (Bench Coach), Bruce Billings (Pitching Coach), Nate Spears (Hitting Coach), Andrew Rueter (Assistant Pitching Coach, Kyle Moore (Assistant Coach), and Marco Romero (Assistant Coach)
MYRTLE BEACH: Buddy Bailey (Manager), D'Angelo Jimenez (Bench Coach), George Thanopoulos (Pitching Coach), Rob Vaz (Hitting Coach), Armando Gabino (Assistant Pitching Coach), and Daniel Wasinger (Assistant Coach)
ACL CUBS: Corey Ray (Manager), Kyle Sutherland (Bench Coach), Clayton Mortensen (Pitching Coach), Jose Zapata (Pitching Coach), Chris Pieters (Hitting Coach), Yovanny Cuevas (Hitting Coach), Andrew Craig (Assistant Pitching Coach), and Collin Andrews (Assistant Coach)
MESA REHAB: Connor Rooney (Rehab Coach), and Hunter Hudson and Alex Elizondo (Rehab Catchers) 
DSL CUBS BLUE: Carlos Ramirez (Manager), Jordal Williams (Pitching Coach), Raymond Pena (Hitting Coach), and Jovanny Rosario (Assistant Coach) 
DSL CUBS RED: Enrique Wilson (Manager), Luis Hernandez (Pitching Coach), JC Bonilla (Pitching Coach), and Johnny Bethancourt (Hitting Coach) 
ATHLETIC TRAINERS: Ed Halbur and Logan Severson (Iowa), Seth Clapp (Tennessee), Nick Roberts (South Bend), Maggie Lowenhar (Myrtle Beach), Tanner Costine and Hunter Martin (ACL Cubs), Leroy Martinez and Chadlacane Rodriguez (DSL Cubs Blue), and Arnoldo Goite and Guadalupe Segovia (DSL Cubs Red)
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACHES: Nathan Garza (Iowa), Jesus de la Sancha (Tennessee), Kelcey Mosley (South Bend), Allen Cooper (Myrtle Beach), TBA (ACL Cubs), Luis Gutierrez (DSL Cubs Blue), and Alexei Cazarin (DSL Cubs Red)

 

Comments

PHIL: 

 

Who do you like in the OF at the lower levels (SB / MB / AZ)?  

 

That crop doesn't seem quite as deep. Collier & More look interesting, but not compelling. Beyond them it seems thin.  Probably not a huge issue b/c the OF depth in the upper minors & MLB is substantial.  

 

Related.... the system is filthy deep on middle infield prospects, especially at the lower levels - do you see any of those players slotted for a transition in the future to an OF or UTL role?

 

Thanks. 

jd davis signs with OAK.  at least he doesn't need to get a new apartment this close to the season starting...i guess.

2.5m with 1m in incentives.  he'll get 1.1m-ish from SF in addition to the deal.

S Sharma in an Athletic article updated the status of Nazier Mulé:

“The talented righty has yet to throw a pitch in professional baseball after having his debut delayed by Tommy John surgery late last May. Before that, Mulé intrigued onlookers at instructs with a fastball that was touching the upper 90s and a strong slider.

Mulé is now healthy and focused solely on pitching. His rehab is going well and he was throwing in the mid-90s recently during a session in the Cubs’ pitching lab. The hope is that he’ll be ready to pitch in games by May.”

AZ Phil, any further thoughts after getting to see his return to pitching?

[ ]

In reply to by Cubster

CUBSTER: Naz Mule is still in the Rehab group at Minor League Camp, but he did throw "live" BP (faced hitters) this morning which means (barring a setback) he is probably getting close to throwing in games. He had not thrown to hitters since post-2022 AZ Instructs so this was a huge step for him. 

Last year, Mule rehabbed as a position player (only), taking BP most every day and fielding grounders at SS and 2B (although he was not yet cleared to throw). So I was very surprised when it was reported that he is now back to pitching again. 

BTW, RHP Brody McCullough and RHP Sam Thoresen (both assigned to the Rehab group at Minor League Camp) threw bullpen sides this morning, so next step for them will be "live" BP. 

JD and sutt are in arizona for today's game.  i thought they weren't sending announcers to ARZ this year...wonder if calling in-studio in chicago wasn't working out well...

[ ]

In reply to by George Altman

at it's core he's not doing anything wrong, i just don't think people thought it would go on this many decades.

at his age, i'm glad he's still healthy and (i assume) people care about him enough to be able to help him hang out in arizona for weeks and go to games.  i actually know nothing about his current finances, but in the past he has benefited from the help of others for decades.

he annoys the piss out of me, but i wish him health and many more years.

crane kenney in the booth.  he really used to piss off cubs fans for some reason many years ago.

26 years, 2 ownership groups, and a very successful revenue maker for the cubs in chicago + mesa.

For those of you keeping track, so far nine players have been called up to Mesa from the Cubs Dominican Academy for Minor League Camp and they will be playing in the ACL in 2024: 

* bats or throws left 

Angel Cepeda, INF 
* Miguel Cruz, P
Yidel Diaz, C 
* Albert Gutierrez, 1B
Fraiman Marte, P  
Francis Reynoso, P (ex-1B) 
Derniche Valdez, INF 
Edward Vargas, OF 
Jeral Vizcaino, P 

And once again, despite what you might read at Baseball Reference and at milb.com, Albert Gutierrez is absolutely positively a left-handed hitter (only), NOT a right-handed hitter.

Probably not too surprisingly, D. Valdez was the Cubs #1 prospect in the DSL last season, Cepeda was the DSL Cubs best all-around SS prospect not named Derniche Valdez, Gutierrez was the DSL Cubs top power hitting prospect not named Derniche Valdez, E. Vargas was the DSL Cubs top outfield prospect (and Cepeda and E. Vargas were also the DSL Cubs top two hitting prospects), Y. Diaz was the DSL Cubs top catching prospect, and M. Cruz was the DSL Cubs top pitching prospect. 

F. Marte (ex-STL) and J. Vizcaino (ex-MIL) are older pitchers (both are 22) who were signed by the Cubs after being released by other organizations and then had really good years working out of the bullpen for the Cubs in the DSL last season. 

The elephant in the room is 21-year old Francis Reynoso, a big dude (6'5) who was a position player (1B) at the Cardinals Dominican Academy for a couple of years, then was released by STL in 2022, and then signed by the Cubs and converted to a RHP at the Cubs Dominican Academy (and he projects as a high-velo "high-leverage" RP in the states). He had a monster year for the DSL Cubs last season (his first year as a pitcher). 

The many roster moves that were made today at Minor League Camp are not temporary. Matt Shaw will indeed be at AA Tennessee on Opening Day, Ed Howard, Ethan Hearn, and Fabian Pertuz are going back to South Bend, Cristian Hernandez is going back to Myrtle Beach (where he will be on the same team with his younger brother Alexis), and Anderson Suriel, Jose Escobar, Yahil Melendez, Ke'Shun Collier, Alfonsin Rosario, and Geuri Lubo (who is now an outfielder) will be at Extended Spring Training (and eventually will play in the ACL... yet again).   

AA and AAA active rosters have a 28-man limit once the minor league regular season starts, single-A active rosters have a 30-man limit once the minor league regular season starts, and the ACL Cubs active roster has no limit. Also, the Domestic Reserve List Limit goes down from 175 (off-season) to 165 (in-season) as of Opening Day, but clubs can place minor league players on a minor league 60-day IL or Full-Season IL beginning on March 20, so that should open up a few slots.   

So at present the Iowa Cubs roster has 30 players (two over the Opening Day limit), the Tennessee Smokies roster has 32 players (four over the Opening Day limit), the South Bend Cubs roster has 31 players (one over the limit), and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans roster has 28 players (two UNDER the Opening Day roster limit). The Mesa (ACL) group has 27 players, but again, there is no active list roster limit at Extended Spring Training or in the ACL.   

The Cubs currently have 42 players at MLB Spring Training (16 over the MLB 26-man limit), and while some of the 42 will probably be released, and others will likely begin the season on an MLB IL (Taillon, Kilian, Wisdom, and possibly Madrigal), there will be a few players (exact # still TBD) among the 42 currently at MLB Spring Training who will be sent to the minors (mainly AAA Iowa).

So while the current minor league camp rosters are not final, and some additional players will be sent to Minor League Camp from MLB Spring Training within the next few days, the fact is (most notably) OF Kevin Alcantara is still with the AAA Iowa group, and SS Jefferson Rojas is still with the AA Tennessee group (Ed Howard just got sent to South Bend, not Rojas), It will be interesting to see if Alcantara can remain at AAA iowa, and if Rojas can remain at AA Tennessee. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

And I don't know what happened to Brennen Davis. He is not active with any of the groups at Minor League Camp. He was with the AAA Iowa group at some point a few days ago, but he is not in the Rehab group, and he has been replaced on the AAA Iowa group roster by Cole Roederer (who was moved up from AA Tennessee), and Yohendrick Pinango replaced Roederer at AA Tennessee (moved up from Hi-A South Bend). These move-ups would not have been made if it was just short-term LIMITED ACTIVITY or missing a few days while attending to a personal matter...

Four of the pitchers in the Minor League Camp REHAB GROUP are throwing. 

RHP Naz Mule is already throwing "live" BP (next step will be a game), and RHP Brody McCullough, RHP Sam Thoresen, and RHP Jaxon Wiggins threw bullpen sides this week (next step for them will be "live" BP). 

Also, LHP Jack Patterson is - NOT - in the Rehab Group (he is assigned to the AAA Iowa group), but he has been out of action since 2020, back when he was rated by Baseball America as one of the Cubs Top 30 prospects. He did throw "live" BP on Field # 4 this afternoon, however, and he will be a minor league 6YFA post-2024, so I am sure he wants to show the Cubs (and the other 29 MLB clubs) where he is as far as his comeback is concerned. 

AZ Phil, T. Schlaffer is listed on TN's camp roster.  Have you seen him pitch, yet? I don't believe he's been in any game reports.

Childersb3: I have not seen Tyler Schlaffer pitch in any games yet. Some of the pitchers are "active" but are throwing only "live" BP because they are not considered "game ready."    

mlb.tv games are free through the remaining of spring...for those of us not busy watching the baskets balls.

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In reply to by TarzanJoeWallis

i like him over cooper, but after the spring dom's had he shouldn't have trouble latching on with some team with a MLB deal in short order.  it's not like dom/cooper are night and day...i just like dom's lefty bat off the bench and possible DH.

if cooper turns out to be an early bust, he may be the first to go when p.wisdom returns to the roster.

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In reply to by crunch

CRUNCH: If the Cubs add Garrett Cooper to the 40 (which apparently is going to happen) they will be essentially stuck with him (just like Trey Mancini last year). Once added to the 40 Cooper can't be sent to the minors without his consent, so if he gets dropped after Wisdom is reinstated he would have to be released (or traded), and if he is released the Cubs would be on the hook for his 2024 salary (offset by the MLB minimum salary if he subsequently signs an MLB contract with another organization). So it is far more likely that Alexander Canario will be optioned to AAA when Wisdom is reinstated, or even Wisdom himself could be optioned to AAA whenever he is healthy enough to be reinstated from the IL. Keep in mind that both Wisdom and Madrigal (when & if they are healthy enough to play) can be optioned to the minors without restriction. 

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

Nick Madrigal took infield practice at both 2B and 3B and took BP on Field # 1 and then boarded the Cubs bus headed for Peoria, so he apparently is running OK and is good to go for the season. 

So presuming Madrigal is on the Opening Day 26-man roster, that means Canario gets optioned to AAA (unless Happ starts the season on the IL).

And presuming Steele's knee is OK such that he won't have to go on the IL, the bullpen is Alzolay, Neris, Merryweather, Smyly, Almonte, and Leiter, with the battle for the last two spots in the pen between Cuas, Wesneski, and Little (the loser gets optioned to AAA Iowa).

cubs picked the wrong game to broadcast.  the non-televised game is off the hook.  seiya grand slam early...peralta 4-4...tied 12-12 in the 9th...

steele got hit by a comebacker, but he's supposedly okay.

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In reply to by crunch

what an odd way to end the game...i still can't 100% piece it together from the gameday description...

"Brett Wisely picked off and caught stealing 3rd base. Brett Wisely scores. Throwing error by pitcher Chase Watkins."

okay, update makes more sense...

"Brett Wisely advances to 3rd base on a caught stealing error by pitcher Chase Watkins. Brett Wisely scores."

wsox released mike "eric hosmer with a 3rd baseman's glove" moosetacos and the cubs need to stay the hell away from him.  i can't remember the last time in the current crew of upper management one of the cubs long-term mancrushes on the down side of their career worked out.

dom smith might have worked out, but it looks like he wants more assured full-time work.

being a "cheap gamble" is one thing, but loading your roster with them is a problem.

Of the 15 pitchers presently in the REHAB group at Minor League Camp (see full list above), Ben Leeper has now joined Brody McCullough, Sam Thoresen, and Jaxon Wiggins throwing regular bullpen sides (but no "live" BP yet), and Naz Mule will be throwing "live" BP again either today or Monday (TBD), so Mule is very close to being "game ready." 

Smith & Edwards both opt out of their MiLB deals with Cubs.

Alzolay, JMerry, Neris, Leiter, Almonte, Cuas, Smyly & Wesneski or Little.

hendricks once again falling apart after 50-60 pitches.

he has terrible springs, like almost always...stilll, not fun to watch this late into march.

AAA Opening Day is Friday 3/29 (one day after MLB Opening Day), and AA, Hi-A, and Lo-A Opening Day is Friday 4/5 (one week after AAA Opening Day). 

While it would appear that the AAA Iowa roster is just about set for AAA Opening Day this Friday (3/29), with 29 players on the roster and with only one move required to get down to 28, there are expected to be four players sent to AAA Iowa from MLB Spring Training sometime in the next day or two (OF Alexander Canario and either RHP Jose Cuas, LHP Luke Little, or Hayden Wesneski will likely be optioned to AAA, and NRI catchers Jorge Alfaro and Joe Hudson will be assigned to AAA). 

So really five additional roster moves will be needed at AAA Iowa prior to Friday. 

RHP Ethan Roberts (who is in the REHAB GROUP at Minor League Camp) will almost certainly be placed on the Iowa 7-day IL on AAA Opening Day, but he was never on the AAA active roster at Minor League Camp.  

Also, AAA players can be placed on the seven day "Development List" beginning on Friday, so as many as five players who are now on the AAA Iowa active roster (or who will be soon) can be moved to the Development List to get the I-Cubs roster down to 28 by AAA Opening Day. (BTW, a player on an MLB 40-man roster who is on Optional Assignment to the minors cannot be placed on the Development List without the player's consent).

Position players on the Development List can stay with the team and take BP and participate in other pre-game activities, or work as a bullpen catcher, or coach 1st base, or remain at Minor League Camp. Pitchers on the Development List can throw "live" BP, or be the bullpen coach, or remain at Minor League Camp. 

At this point, the players most-likely to be placed on the Iowa Development List are LHP Blake Weiman, LHP Brad Wieck, catcher Caleb Knight, and OF Bradlee Beesley. (Once Alfaro and Hudson report, there will be FIVE catchers on the Iowa active list!).  

So the Development List (which was created a few years ago to replace the "phantom" IL) is a place to "stash" players who don't quite fit on a minor league affiliate's active roster, without having to release the player. (Players on the Development List DO count against the in-season 165-man minor league Domestic Reserve List, so it can't be used to add more players to the organization beyond what the organization already has under contract). 

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In reply to by Cubster

The Cubs might bring Alexander Canario and Hayden Wesneski along with the rest of the team to Texas. They can be placed on the Taxi Squad for one day (Thursday), in case Ian Happ (recent hamstring issue) or Justin Steele (knee contusion) need to go onto the IL at the last minute. 

If they are not needed, they can fly to Omaha to meet up with the rest of the Iowa Cubs for their AAA opener on Friday. 

The Cubs could bring catchers Jorge Alfaro and/or Joe Hudson with them to Texas, too, and then they could join Canario and Wesneski on the flight to Omaha. 

MLB TAXI SQUAD: 

A club can recall a player ("position-player," "pitcher," or "two-way player") from a minor league Optional Assignment and place the player on its "Taxi Squad" for one day. If the player is not added to his club's MLB Active List by 3 PM (Eastern) the next day or at least three hours prior to the scheduled start of the next day's game (whichever is later), the player must be removed from the Taxi Squad and returned to his minor league assignment. A player on the Taxi Squad does not count against his club's MLB Active List or the minor league affiliate's active roster, and the player does not accrue MLB Service Time while on the Taxi Squad.

Ian Happ looked totally lost at the plate versus LHPs today (when batting RH). 

Also, Happ's throw from LF early in Monday's game on the RBI single had no carry, like he could not get his body into the throw. It was a VERY weak throw. 

Cubs 2023 3rd round draft pick INF Josh Rivera has been moved-up to AA Tennessee from Hi-A South Bend at Minor League Camp, and he will be the Smokies primary SS. So Josh Rivera and Cubs 2023 1st round pick INF Matt Shaw are the only two Cubs 2023 draft picks who will be starting the 2024 season at AA. 

At present, RHSP Will Sanders (4th round), CF Brett Bateman (8th round), 1B Jonathon Long (9th round), RHRP Ty Johnson (15th round), and 1B Brian Kalmer (18th round) are the Cubs 2023 draft picks who are assigned to Hi-A South Bend.  

dbacks are signing j.montgomery to a 1/25m with a vesting 20m player option.

i dunno when the ink officially dries, but i believe if he signs once the season begins he can't be offered a QO...and i'm not sure if that thing with SD/LAD in korea was the season beginning, either.

pablo sandoval played 3rd and got a couple ABs (strikeout, single!) in the OAK@SF "exhibition"

mlb officially authenticated the ball of the single he hit.  nice.

he's in surprisingly good shape considering his poor body condition in his last playing seasons.  he's not lean, but he looks healthier.  good for him.

There are two clear "logjams" in the Cubs minor league pipeline at the present time, namely AA outfielders (K. Alcantara, C. Franklin, Roederer, Pagan, Pinango, Beesley, and Nwogu) and Hi-A infielders (J. Rojas, P. Ramirez, Howard, R. Morel, Pertuz, R. Garcia, and Spence, although Morel has been getting a lot of reps in the outfield in addition to infield). So it is possible that you might see a trade involving one of the extra outfielders at AA and/or one of the extra infielders at Hi-A in the next few days. 

So RHRP Sam Armstrong (Cubs 2023 13th round pick - Old Dominion) gets promoted from Myrtle Beach to South Bend, 24-year old RHRP Hunter Viets (signed by Cubs out of independent ball in February) gets moved-up from Mesa (Extended Spring Training) to South Bend, and 21-year old RHRP (ex-1B) Francis Reynoso (2023 DSL - signed by Cubs and converted to RHP at the Dominican Academy last year after being released by Cardinals in 2022) gets promoted from Mesa (Extended Spring Training) to Myrtle Beach. Promotions like these at this stage of Minor League Camp are both unusual and significant, because almost all roster movement at this point is downward. It essentially means the Cubs initially underestimated the pitcher's readiness for a particular level.  
  
Also significant is RHSP Luis Devers and RHSP Matt Thompson (acquired from the White Sox for LHRP Bailey Horn the same day the Cubs signed Hunter Viets in February) being assigned to Extended Spring Training from AA Tennessee, where they were expected to be in either the Tennessee starting rotation or (failing that) the Smokies' bullpen. (They are NOT in the MESA REHAB group, so they are somewhat in "limbo" at thisd point). 

We also know now that LHSP Marino Santy will be going back to Myrtle Beach (he will NOT be at South Bend on Opening Day), and RHSPs Luis Rujano and Mason McGwire did not make the Myrtle Beach Opening Day roster and will be remaining in Mesa at Extended Spring Training. 

Also note that Mesa (Extended Spring Training) OF Edward Vargas is out indefinitely (he has already been placed on 60-day IL). E. Vargas was the Cubs top outfield prospect in the DSL last season. 

Also note that the AA Tennessee roster still needs to be trimmed from 32 to 28, and with 15 pitchers on the roster, it is clear that all four of the remaining cuts will be from among the position players (the Cubs never assign less than 15 pitchers to AA and AAA).  

As I have mentioned here previously, I would not be surprised if there is a trade involving one of the AA outfielders within the next few days. (Though clearly blocked in the Cubs pipeline, both Cole Roederer and Ezequiel Pagan are actually decent prospects, and both will be minor league free-agents post-2024 so their future in the organization is murky at best). 

The Smokies' # 3 catcher Caleb Knight will probably be placed on the Development List on AA Opening Day and serve as the Smokies bullpen catcher and be available to be activated if anything happens to Pablo Aliendo or Moises Ballesteros. (1B Haydn McGeary was a catcher in college and has occasionally caught bullpens and "live" BP at Minor League Camp, so he would be the emergency # 3 catcher at AA behind Aliendo and Ballesteros if Knight is not active).   

So the AA Tennessee Smokies Opening Day starting rotation would appear to be Horton, Arias, K. Franklin, Birdsell, and Noland, with Gallardo and M. Espinoza the multi-inning "piggy-backers," the South Bend Opening Day starting rotation will be Gray, W. Sanders, K. Moreno, Hull, Kipp, and Stambaugh, and the Myrtle Beach Opening Day starting rotation will be Santy, Noriega, E. Rodriguez, A. Romero, Hambley, and Bello, with Egbert, G. Brown, K. Perez, and Lebron also stretched-out to throw multiple innings (so ten of the 16 pitchers at Myrtle Beach can work as either a SP or a "piggy-backer"!).       

The primary "high-leverage" guys and closers will be Hodge, E. Nunez, Leigh, Scalzo, and Reindl at Tennessee, Y. Cabrera, Armstrong, J. Romero, A, Hernandez, and Nahas at South Bend, and T. Johnson, Reynoso, Pichardo, Marshall, and Dean at Myrtle Beach.  

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

AA Tennessee RHP Michael Arias has been moved to the bullpen as a "high leverage" one-inning closer, and Richard Gallardo has replaced him in the Tennessee starting rotation. (Gallardo threw four innings / 65 pitches today). So the Smokies starting rotation is now Horton, K. Franklin, Birdsell, Noland, and Gallardo, with M. Espinoza also stretched-out to work multiple innings. 

In addition, Myrtle Beach RHP Nick Dean was stretched out to three innings / 45 pitches today, so now eleven of the 16 pitchers assigned to Myrtle Beach are stretched-out to throw three innings / 45 pitches (Santy / Noriega / Egbert / E. Rodriguez / Hambley / A. Romero / Bello / K. Perez / G. Brown / Lebron / Dean), with T. Johnson, Pichardo, Reynoso, Marshall, and Patterson normally throwing only one or two innings per outing.  

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In reply to by crunch

CRUNCH: Michael Arias as a RP means he should move much faster than he would if he were to remain a SP. This is very similar to what the Cubs did with Luke Little and Daniel Palencia last year, with Little getting moved to the pen at Tennessee and Palencia getting moved to the pen at Iowa (after a short stint at EXST), with Palencia in Chicago in July and Little in Chicago in September.

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

Cubs # 1 pitching prospect RHP Cade Horton has been "slow-walked" through Spring Training (which is why he did not get an NRI to MLB Spring Training or pitch in any MLB Cactus League games). At present he is stretched-out to only three innings and 45 pitches (and he just got there today), so he will probably (at least initially) "piggy-back" with Manuel Espinoza. So don't expect to see Cade Horton in Chicago anytime soon. 

Otherwise, K. Franklin, Birdsell, Noland, and Gallardo are stretched-out such that they will not require a piggy-back (although they may be limited to throwing five innings / 75-80 pitches). 

From what I have seen at Minor League Camp so far, I would say the Opening Day starting lineups at Tennessee, South Bend, and Myrtle Beach will be something like this (obviously still subject to change): 

TENNESSEE
1. Triantos, 2B
2. Shaw, 3B
3. K. Alcantara, CF 
4. Ballesteros, DH 
5. McGeary, 1B
6. C. Franklin, LF 
7. Aliendo, C 
8. Roederer, RF 
9. Rivera, SS 

SOUTH BEND: 
1. Bateman, CF 
2. J. Rojas, SS
3. Pinango, LF 
4. Long, 1B 
5. P. Ramirez, 3B
6. Kalmer, DH 
7. R. Morel, RF
8. Hearn, C  
9. Howard, 2B 

MYRTLE BEACH: 
1. C. Hernandez, SS
2. Olivo, CF 
3. Wetzel, RF 
4. Garriola, LF 
5. Bowser, 1B 
6. Paciolla, 3B 
7. Preciado, DH 
8. Avitia, C 
9. A. Hernandez, 2B 

Note that Matt Shaw has played mostly 3B but he has also played 2B and SS (and he still shows a below-average arm), Ed Howard has been moved to 2B (although he can still play SS), Pedro Ramirez has been moved to 3B (and although he can still play 2B, he has played mostly 3B), Rafael Morel has been moved to RF (although he can play any position except pitcher and catcher), Christian Olivo (who is probably the fastest player in the organization since Ke'Shun Collier was released) has settled in primarily in CF (although he can also play anywhere except pitcher and catcher), and Reggie Preciado (who is now a RH-hitting only power hitting super-sub after giving up switch-hitting and becoming a slugger at AZ Instructs last fall) has played everywhere on the field except pitcher & catcher, and looks to be about 6'5 210.    

These rosters are directly from Minor League Camp. The only roster that still requires trimming is AA Tennessee (four players over the Opening Day limit, and all four are position players). 

Pay no attention to the rosters at milb.com. They are updated only on Opening Day.  

I had the Iowa Cubs Opening Day roster (with only a couple of moves still to be determined) posted here LAST TUESDAY, and yet there were apparently several Cubs blogs and forums that were trying as recently as last Thursday to figure out how it could be that Caissie, Murray, Powell, and Martin were not on the Iowa roster, and how it was that Brennen Davis and Ethan Roberts (both of whom are rehabbing from injuries) could possibly be on the Iowa active roster.      

https://www.thecubreporter.com/your-2024-iowa-cubs

INF Derniche Valdez (the Cubs top 2023 IFA signing and the organization's # 1 prospect in the DSL last season) has been placed on the Restricted List. He had been in Minor League Camp with the Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group. 

The following Cubs minor league players assigned to AA Tennessee, Hi-A South Bend, and Lo-A Myrtle Beach will likely start the season on the 7-day IL on Friday (4/5): 

TENNESSEE: 
Felix Stevens, 1B-OF (may not be quite ready for Opening Day) 

SOUTH BEND: 
Brody McCullough, RHP (is throwing bullpen-sides) 
Miguel Pabon, C-INF (definitely out) 
Sam Thoresen, RHP (is throwing bullpen-sides) 

MYRTLE BEACH: 
Michael Carico, C (definitely out)
Ismael Mena, OF (may not be quite ready for Opening Day) 
Naz Mule, RHP (is throwing "live" BP) 
Joel Sierra, RHP (definitely out)
JP Wheat, RHP (definitely out) 
Jaxon Wiggins, RHP (is throwing bullpen sides - will remain on ACL Cubs roster if he is not assigned to Myrtle Beach IL) 

So 1B-OF Felix Stevens (who may start the season on the AA Tennessee 7-day IL - TBD), OF Bradlee Beesley, and INF Scott McKeon have been cut from the AA Tennessee Smokies roster and will be at Extended Spring Training until a roster slot opens at one of the full-season affiliates. 

One more cut will be required before AA Tennessee can get down to the 28-man Opening Day roster limit, but as I mentioned previously, catcher Caleb Knight will likely be placed on the Development List and remain with the Smokies and serve as a bullpen catcher until such time as he might be needed.  

The Cubs have released C-1B Yoanis Aleksandrov, signed as a 17-year old IFA out of Bulgaria two years ago. Known as "J. J." by the Cubs minor league staff (don't ask me why), Aleksandrov was the first professional player in affiliated ball born in Bulgaria. He was probably (no, not probably, for sure) the worst professional baseball player I have ever seen. He was so remedial that the Cubs kept sending him to their Dominican Academy (not real near Bulgaria), but he just was unable to learn to play baseball (although I understand he is now fluent in Spanish), and so the Cubs finally just cut him loose. 

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

I was excited when we signed him over other teams. Then, I watched his production via box scores and AZ Phil reports and I thought, uh oh. Here are some of my collected notes on Aleksandrov (perhaps some comments from AZ Phil mixed in):

  • The 17-year-old catcher and outfielder of the champion “Sofia Blues” signed a 6-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, after a number of top teams in the Major Leagues, including the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals, joined the bidding for his rights in recent months.
  • Ioannis caught the attention of scouts from all over America during a two-day training camp in Miami in early November. 
  • With the help of the promotional company Perfect Game, which organized the rehearsals last fall, Ioannis also has a personal manager from the sports agency Wasserman Sports: Michael Maulini - one of the most renowned baseball agents in North America.
  • He comes from a sports family with parents, athletes, former Balkan champions - his father Assen is a decathlon participant and his mother Svetlana is a hurdle player. Thanks to the work of his parents after the end of their careers, Ioannis and his older sister Eleni grew up in Italy, where they lived between 2005 and 2019.
  • In the Roman suburb of Nettuno - the mecca of baseball in Europe, he became passionate about the American game and began to train, and after returning to Bulgaria he continued to hone his talent.
  • We are long outside of the peak international free agent signing period (nowadays, that’s mostly all wrapped in January), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t additional signings – and reports of signings – throughout the year. And sometimes, they are interesting as heck. For example, the Cubs signing the first ever player out of Bulgaria? That’s just cool.
  • Also cool? The 17-year-old is a freaking tank (listed at 6’4″, 230 lbs), and appears to hit the crap out of the ball!
  • Consider Yoanis Aleksandrov a fun story to follow, but given his age, size, and swing, it’s not like he couldn’t become a legit prospect in the years ahead. What a win that would be for the Cubs.
  • $85,000 signing bonus
  • His swing appears to be solid and he has the potential to hit for a great deal of power, especially as he continues to grow. However, it is going to take some time before he can work his way into the conversation for a spot in the majors. As one would expect, he is a very raw prospect who is going to need plenty of time to develop. He will need to learn how to work with a pitching staff, call games, and the finer points of the game. But the foundation appears to be there. There are enough tools, no matter how raw, that Alexandrov was able to intrigue several teams. Now, he will start his career with the Cubs, where he may prove to be a diamond in the rough.

First "full squad" Camp Day at Extended Spring Training Friday morning, with RHP Jaxon Wiggins (February 2023 TJS), RHP Brody McCullough (post-2023 knee surgery), RHP Naz Mule (March 2023 right elbow surgery), and RHP Vince Reilly (ex-OAK - signed by the Cubs on 3/20) throwing "live" BP on Field # 1... each pitcher threw one "inning," hitters rotated, no defense, no base running, no batting cage, no pitcher's screen, and with a home plate umpire hired by the Cubs calling balls & strikes: 

1. JAXON WIGGINS
One inning  
20 pitches 
10 strikes 
3 swing & miss 
2 fouls 
4 called strikes
1 BIP 
9 balls 
1 HBP 
BATTERS FACED: Brennen Davis (HBP), David Peralta (K-looking), Felix Stevens (BIP - FLY RF), Jose Escobar (K-looking), and Brennen Davis (walk).    

2. BRODY McCULLOUGH 
One inning
25 pitches 
13 strikes 
4 swing & miss 
3 fouls
5 called strikes 
1 BIP
12 balls
BATTERS FACED: Brennen Davis (walk), David Peralta (BIP - infield pop), Felix Stevens (walk), Adan Sanchez (K-looking), and Brennen Davis (K-looking),

3. NAZ MULE
One inning 
25 pitches 
10 strikes 
3 swing & miss 
2 fouls 
2 called strikes
3 BIP 
14 balls
1 HBP 
BATTERS FACED: Adan Sanchez (BIP - line drive CF), Jose Escobar (walk), Alfonsin Rosario (BIP - FLY CF), Adan Sanchez (walk), Felix Stevens (BIP - FLY CF),  Jose Escobar (K-looking), and Adan Sanchez (HBP).  

4. VINCE REILLY
One inning 
17 pitches 
13 strikes 
5 swing & miss 
3 fouls 
2 called strikes
3 BIP 
4 balls 
BATTERS FACED: Felix Stevens (K-swinging), Yahil Melendez (BIP - grounder 5.5 hole), Jose Escobar (BIP - infield pop), and Felix Stevens (BIP - line drive CF).    

Patrick Wisdom had an individual work-out on Field # 1, fielding ground balls at 3rd base and running the bases, but did not take BP. (Wisdom took "live" BP versus RHP Luis Rujano on Thursday, but the rest of the squad had the day off). 

All of the position players took BP on fields 1 & 2 after the Wisdom work-out, but not all of the position players participated in the "live" BP. Pitchers who were not scheduled to throw did PFPs on the half-field.  

RHP Matt Thompson and RHP Jeral Vizcaino threw 25-pitch bullpen sides at the 12-pack but did not throw "live" BP (although they did throw "live" BP within the last week at Minor League Camp).    

The only MIA was LHP Daniel Brown. 

2024 CUBS EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING ROSTER (updated 4-5-2024

39 players 

* bats or throwsd left 
# bats both

PITCHERS: 21 
Gabriel Agrazal
* Daniel Brown
JC Coronado 
* Miguel Cruz 
Luis Devers
Fraiman Marte 
Luis Martinez-Gomez
Brody McCullough (ACTIVE REHAB)
Grayson Moore
Wilme Mora  
Naz Mule (ACTIVE REHAB)
Eligio Paredes
Mat Peters (on Restricted List)
Vince Reilly 
Luis A. Reyes
Yenrri Rojas
Luis Rujano
Freilyn Silverio
Matt Thompson
Jeral Vizcaino 
Jaxon Wiggins (ACTIVE REHAB)

CATCHERS: 4 
# Jairo Diaz
Yidel Diaz 
Frank Hernandez (ex-OF) 
Adan Sanchez 

INFIELDERS: 7 
Angel Cepeda  
* Jose Escobar
* Albert Gutierrez 
Scott McKeon
* Yahil Melendez
Felix Stevens 
Patrick Wisdom (ACTIVE REHAB)

OUTFIELDERS: 7 
Bradlee Beesley  
Brennen Davis (ACTIVE REHAB)
Leonel Espinoza 
Geuri Lubo (ex-INF)
* David Peralta (ACTIVE REHAB) 
Alfonsin Rosario 
* Anderson Suriel 

MANAGER
Corey Ray 

COACHES
Collin Andrews 
Andrew Craig
Yovanny Cuevas
Clayton Mortensen
Chris Pieters
Connor Rooney 
Kyle Sutherland 
Jose Zapata

BULLPEN CATCHERS:
Alex Espinoza
Howard Hudson 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

David Peralta (October 2023 left flexor tendon surgery) who previously was limited to DH at MLB Spring Training, is now routinely making 250+ foot throws from the outfield. So he is about 100% ready to play with no restrictions. (He was already raking at the plate). He also has been like an outfield coach for the young Cubs outfielders (A. Rosario, Lubo, L. Espinoza, and Suriel) during drills, interrupting reps to offer instruction. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

As a post-2023 MLB Article XX-B free-agent who signed a 2024 minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day, David Peralta has automatic player opt-outs on Opening Day (which he did not exercise), May 1st, and June 1st, so unless something really bad happens to Ian Happ, Peralta opting out on 5/1 or 6/1 seems inevitable. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

The Cubs now have ten minor leaguers on the Development List (C Joe Hudson, C Caleb Knight, LHRP Blake Weiman, RHSP Matt Thompson, INF Scott McKeon, 1B-OF Felix Stevens, OF Bradlee Beesley, RHSP Luis Devers, RHRP Luis Rujano, and RHRP Eligio Paredes), and seven of them are at Extended Spring Training. 

Two of the three who are not at EXST (Hudson and Knight) will be serving as bullpen catchers at AAA Iowa and AA Tennessee respectively and be available to be reinstated in case one of the catchers at Iowa or Tennessee gets hurt. I don't know where Blake Weiman is at the present time. 

The Development List was created in 2021 ostensibly to allow a healthy minor league player who required remedial development or regular playing time to be removed from a minor league active list roster so that he could go wherever necessary to deal with his needs (whether it be a pitch lab like Driveline, a hitting lab like Elite Baseball Training, or to a club in the Mexican League or Pioneer League to get regular playing time), while still remaining under contractual control of the player's parent MLB organization. 
NOTE: A player on an MLB 40-man roster who is on Optional Assignment to the minors must give his consent before he can be placed on the Development List, but otherwise the organization can place any minor league player under its control on the Development List at any point during the course of the minor league regular season. 

The Development List was supposed to replace the old "Phantom DL" which was used by organizations for many years to stash a player if there was no room for the player on a minor league active roster, even if the player was not actually injured or ill. The problem with the "Phantom DL" was that team physicians got together and decided they would no longer sign off on what were (in many cases) clearly bogus injuries. Ergo, the Development List was created.  

So the Development List is where healthy minor leaguers are now assigned when there is no room for the player on a minor league active roster. As it turned out, however, almost all of the players assigned to the Development List just remain at the club's Minor League Spring Training base for Extended Spring Training, not to necessarily get any type of remedial instruction, but just to "hang out" and stay in game shape until somebody who plays their position at the appropriate minor league level gets hurt. 

So in reality, in most cases assigning a player to the Development List isn't done to help the player out (other than keeping the player employed). It's really more to help the organization juggle rosters, without having to release a player who might be useful as an injury replacement at a later point in the season... just like the old "Phantom DL!" 

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

Well there’s an exploded myth! I had envisioned the Development List as a path to a magical place where higher potential / lower performing guys (think Bryce Ball, Christian Hernandez, Anderson Espinoza, Malcolm Quintero types) would go to be individually coached, have their swings / pitching motions / mental approach examined to all ends of the Earth, have adjustments made, and let them loose to tear up the minors on their way to a brilliant MLB career.

Turns out it’s more of a sentence to being a spare part whereby a player waits for someone else to get hurt so he can  stand in only to be totally overmatched because nothing has been done to foster improvement over the performance that landed the player there in the first place. Seems like a depressing and demoralizing place to be as a player and a wasted opportunity for the team. Very disappointing to hear that the reality doesn’t add up to the implied moniker.

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In reply to by TarzanJoeWallis

I imagine there are different DL experiences for different players. Joe Hudson and Caleb Knight are probably not getting a lot of extra individual attention. But when higher thought of guy like Christian Franklin gets pulled from his full season assignment for a DL stint there is probably a little more going on. Or maybe he just took it on himself to max out that down time somehow. One way or another it really seemed to jumpstart him last year. 

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In reply to by bradsbeard

Of the ten players placed on the Development List last week, there are the two catchers (Hudson and Knight) who are remaining with their teams to serve as bullpen catchers while they wait for one of the other catchers to get hurt or get moved-up, Beesley, McKeon, and Stevens were left behind at EXST to get playing time in games while waiting for a position player injury, move-up, or release at South Bend, Tennessee, or Iowa, there was no room on the pitching staff at Tennessee for M. Thompson or Weiman (although M. Thompson got moved-up to AAA Iowa on Sunday to replace Palencia), likewise for Devers at South Bend and for Rujano and Paredes at Myrtle Beach (Devers, Rujano, and Paredes have been throwing "live" BP at EXST). So most of them are "misfit toys" stuck in the roster "twilight zone," where they are not injured, but the Cubs don't necessarily want to release them, either, because there could be a place for them at Myrtle Beach, South Bend, Tennessee, or Iowa eventually. Of the ten, I would say only Luis Rujano might actually be on the list for development purposes, but I'm not even sure about him.

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

The best example of a player getting left behind at Extended Spring Training and using the opportunity to better himself was Jake Slaughter a couple of years ago. 

While he initially might have wanted his release or maybe even considered retiring from baseball, Slaughter did not pout or sulk. Instead, he took it as a "wake up call" and worked his tail off in pre-game and Camp Day BP, fielding practice, and base running drills, and played with passion and energy in EXST games. 

And then an opportunity suddenly came about at South Bend, Slaughter got the call-up and was ready for it and he played great there, got moved up to Tennessee and played very well there, and now he is in AAA. 

Some players can handle disappointment and adversity, and some can't. It's a character thing. 

While Jake Slaughter might not ever play for the Cubs in Chicago, he should get some interest from other MLB organizations (or from NPB or the KBO) once he becomes a free-agent post-2024.

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In reply to by TarzanJoeWallis

To kind of echo what others have said, I think it makes sense to view it through the lens of the player involved. Devers is a misfit toy, basically a somewhat unheralded guy who they don’t currently have a spot for. Hudson is a guy waiting for a injury because he’s positional depth. If you see someone you know is a prospect, like Christian Franklin, or I feel like Brennen Davis and Jordan Nwogu a few years back got put on that list, guys like that are definitely working on something specific. Or a pitcher who loses his mechanics midseason but is a legit prospect. Those types are definitely there for pure development.

There are now 151 minor league players on the Cubs in-season 165-man Domestic Reserve List (DRL), plus seven players are on the 60-day IL, three are on the Full-Season IL, and two are on the Restricted List (players on the 60-day IL, Full-Season IL, and Restricted List do not count against the DRL roster limit, so 14 DRL slots are open). 

There are now 65 players on the Cubs 70-man International Reserve List (IRL), plus two players are on the Restricted List (players on the Restricted List do not count against the IRL roster limit, so five IRL slots are open). 

So of the 235 minor league reserve list slots available during the season (not counting players on the MLB 40-man roster who are on Optional Assignment to the minors), 216 of the slots are filled and 19 are open. 

Patrick Wisdom goes on an Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment to AAA Iowa. Barring another (different) injury or an aggravation of the original one, Wisdom must be reinstated no later than April 26th. 

A maximum of 20 days on a rehab assignment are allowed for position players (even if the player moves from one minor league affiliate to a different one during the course of the rehab assignment), a max of 30 days for pitchers, a max of 40 days for position players rehabbing from TJS. and a max of 60 days for pitchers rehabbing from TJS. 

Recent comments

  • Childersb3 (view)

    Phil with an absolute dagger to the heart here !!
    All Perlaza did was hit and hit at every level. Switch hitter and performed equally well from either side. He produced good results. Just like Assad did at every level.
    Jed didn't think he was worthy of the 40man.
    I get keeping Canario over Perlaza (but Canario is never going to play for Jed)
    I get keeping B. Davis in order to save some value there after his injuries (but he'll never play for the Jed)
    Jed had to add Alcantara. Just can't let him walk in the Rule5.
    But Perlaza not being on the 40man in order to use him as a DH is just nuts to me.
    He's younger than Mervis. And statistically just as good if not better than Mervis. Probably has more bat speed from both sides of the plate. Why didn't Perlaza get a chance?

    Phil, did Perlaza sign a 1yr deal in the KBO? Can he's contract be purchased by a MLB club right now? I'm sure that's not possible, but I wanted to ask.
     

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Former Cubs minor league OF Yonathan Perlaza is hitting 327/405/624 with 15 HR and 15 doubles in 51 games for Hanwha in the KBO. He leads the league in SLG, is tied for lead in HR, is 2nd in OPS, and is tied for 4th in doubles. He was a minor league 6YFA post-2023 but the Cubs chose not to select him to the MLB 40-man roster and he declined to sign a 2024 minor league successor contract. 

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    I know they’re managing innings especially for Brown, but I feel like if we’re rolling out our top 5 SP, it includes Assad and Brown, and Wicks would be in Iowa. Wicks is solid and I think will continue to be, but Brown has been awesome and Assad has been our second best SP this year.

  • crunch (view)

    110%...unlike the decision to put in t.miller to protect a 4 run lead with 1 on and get the last out of the game.

    this is the most over-managed thing i've seen of counsell with the cubs.

  • Eric S (view)

    Seemed like the right decision from my vantage! 😂

  • Eric S (view)

    What is this whole clutch hit/score multiple runs thing the Cubs are doing? They can do that? And it’s legal? Nice!

  • crunch (view)

    this game got really f'n good.

  • crunch (view)

    scoring from 2nd on a 60ft hit...a hit off the pitcher's elbow...ow.

    megill walking off the mound towards where the ball was rolling was a poor decision even if he was nope'ing himself out of the game to the dugout.

  • Eric S (view)

    Vazquez with the heads up running - Cubs could could steal this one back. 

  • Eric S (view)

    Is Adames going to steal the Cubs soul two days in a row? Yep