IOWA to TENNESSEE: OF Charcer Burks
TENNESSEE to EUGENE/MESA: RHP Ryan Williams
SOUTH BEND to EUGENE/MESA: RHP Yovanny Cruz
The Cubs released what was described as the Myrtle Beach Opening Day roster on Friday, but as you will note it's exactly the same as the current Myrtle Beach Minor League Camp roster below, and it is three players over the Opening Day roster limit.
So three of the Cubs four full season affiliates are getting close to the Opening Day 25-man limit but none of them are quite there yet, and Iowa keeps adding players!
SIGNED: INF Dixon Machado (assigned to IOWA)
TENNESSEE to MYRTLE BEACH: RHP Tyler Peyton
MYRTLE BEACH to EUGENE/MESA: RHP Casey Bloomquist (going back to the Rehab Throwing Program) and OF Brandon Hughes (is being converted to LHP)
SOUTH BEND to EUGENE/MESA: RHP Sean Barry and OF Jose Gutierrez
SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: RHP Jesus Camargo (replaces Bloomquist) and OF Grant Fennell (replaces Hughes)
MLB CAMP to IOWA: LHP Brian Duensing
RELEASED: C-1B Michael Cruz, 1B Tyler Alamo, INF Austin Upshaw, and OF Luis Ayala
IOWA to TENNESSEE: RHP Craig Brooks, RHP Tom Hatch, and RHP Michael Rucker
IOWA to MYRTLE BEACH: C Tyler Payne
TENNESSEE to MYRTLE BEACH: RHP Alex Lange, LHP Luis Lugo, INF Jhonny Bethencourt, INF Yeiler Peguero, 2B Carlos Sepulveda, and OF D. J. Wilson
TENNESSEE to SOUTH BEND: C Rafelin Lorenzo
MYRTLE BEACH to SOUTH BEND: LHP Eugenio Palma, RHP Jeffrey Passantino, LHP Ryan Lawlor, INF Levi Jordan, INF Rafael Narea, INF Andy Weber, OF Jose Gutierrez, and OF Nelson Velazquez
MYRTLE BEACH to EUGENE/MESA: C Jonathan Soto
SOUTH BEND to EUGENE/MESA: RHP Ivan Medina, LHP Jack Patterson, RHP Jake Reindl, RHP Carlos Vega, C Alexander Guerra, C Caleb Knight, INF Jake Slaughter, SS Luis Vazquez, and OF Dalton Hurd
EUGENE/MESA to MYRTLE BEACH: C-INF Cam Balego (replaces M. Cruz as #3 catcher at MB)
IOWA to TENNESSEE: C-1B Ian Rice and INF Vimael Machin
The Cubs have optioned LHP Kyle Ryan to Iowa, signed RHP Junichi Tazawa (who was released by the Cubs on Saturday) to a new (different) 2019 minor league contract, and assigned Tazawa and MLB NRI RHP Allen Webster to Minor League Camp.
With less than a week remaining before the Cubs four full-season minor league affiliates (Iowa, Tennessee, Myrtle Beach, and South Bend) leave Arizona in their rear-view mirrors, the rosters of the four full-season affiliates are becoming a bit more clear, although considerable adjustments and pruning are still needed (see updated 2019 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS below):
Cubs Minor League Camp
Kevonte Mitchell walloped a two-run HR (off Brailyn Marquez), D. J. Wilson singled twice, doubled, walked, stole two bases, and scored two runs, and SP Paul Richan hurled six innings of shutout ball with nine stikeouts (also 6/2 GO/AO, all three hits he allowed were singles, he issued no walks, and he threw 80% strikes) and combined with five relievers to fan 20, helping the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) cruise past the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Cubs) 6-1 in Minor League Camp Spring Training game action Friday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
The game was pre-planned as an eleven inning contest so that all of the pitchers who needed to throw could get their work, and while the twenty strikeouts racked up by Myrtle Beach pitchers was certainly aided by playing two additional innings, Pelicans pitchers did punch-out 16 SB-Cubs hitters through nine innings.
Also, three of the pitchers who threw for Myrtle Beach (Ian Clarkin, Jordan Minch, and Wyatt Short) were actually Tennessee relievers who needed work (the Minch FB was sitting 94-95 and touched 97, BTW), and another (LHP Ryan Lawlor) was recently moved-down to South Bend from Myrtle Beach but (like the Tennessee trio) he needed work and the South Bend bullpen dance card was full.
As is typical this time of year, several players from the Eugene/Mesa squad (Vicens, K. Moreno, L. Diaz, O. Nunez, Hurd, Zardon, and Daniel) served as late-inning replacements for the MB and SB starters, and the ones who played for South Bend combined to go 1-7 with six strikeouts (which also contributed to the prodigious Pelicans pitchers' strikeout total).
In Minor League Camp news, OF Brandon Hughes (Cubs 2017 16th round draft pick - Michigan State) is being converted to a LHP. Hughes is the second Cubs outfielder to be converted to pitcher this month (Jamie Galazin was the other one). Like Galazin, Hughes does have some prior experience as a pitcher in college (he appeared in seven games as a reliever in his freshman season at MSU).
Here is the box score from the game:
83 pitchers and 14 catchers were on the field at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park this morning, as the Cubs minor league pitchers & catchers engaged in an extensive workout at Minor League Camp. The full squad will be on the field later this week, with the first minor league Cactus League games scheduled to commence on March 19th.
Among the pitchers on the field at Riverview Park today were two ex-position players.
Five players arrived from the Cubs Dominican Academy this week and were assigned to the Kane County squad, although they will be remaining in Mesa for Extended Spring Training once Minor League Camp has concluded:
Varonex Cuevas, INF
Frailyn Figueroa, LHP
Dalfis Ortiz, INF
Jose Paulino, LHP
Alexander Santana, RHP
2014 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (last updated 3-27-2014):
The Cubs have added a couple of 25-year old "suspects" to Minor League Camp, acquiring 1B Matt Scioscia from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for 1B-OF Trevor Gretzky, and signing RHP Reinier Roibal (ex-SF).
The 6'3 230 Roibal was a high-profile Cuban defector signed by the Giants in 2010, but he was unable to work his way out of Lo-A ball after three seasons in the Giants organization, and was released at the end of Minor League Camp this time a year ago. He then spent the 2013 season pitching for the Newark Bears in the independent Atlantic League.
The son of Angels manager Mike Scioscia, the right-handed hitting Matt Scioscia was selected by the Angels in the 45th round of the 2011 draft as a college senior out of the University of Notre Dame, where he had been a catcher, first-baseman, and DH. The Angels moved him to 1B full-time in 2013, but like Roibal, the younger Scioscia has been unable to progress, hitting a combined 194/248/224 in 46 games (146 PA) between AZL Angels, Burlington, and Inland Empire in 2013.
I strongly suspect the Cubs will immediately move Scioscia back to catcher, the one position in the Cubs system that lacks quality depth, perhaps hoping that his catching "bloodlines" might awaken. The Cubs are also probably hoping a change of scenery might help the younger Scioscia fulfill his promise, but at age 25 he won't have a lot of time to show what he can do.
21-year old Trevor Gretzky is (of course) the son of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, and was the Cubs 7th round pick in the 2011 June draft. But through no fault of his own, he was seemingly buried in a Cubs system that is chock full of outfielders with promise. The younger Gretzky never fully recovered from right shoulder surgery (he suffered a torn labrum while playing QB in a football game his senior year in HS) and so he been has been relegated to playing only DH, LF, or 1B in pro ball. (He has what is sometimes called a "rag arm"). However, he doesn't have the HR power you would want out of DH, 1B, or LF, he has just average speed so he doesn't profile as a CF, and he is a below average defender at both 1B and LF. What the younger Gretzky does have is decent eye/hand coordination, a good eye for the strike zone, and a nice opposite-field line-drive stroke at the plate (albeit without any HR power).
2014 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (last updated 3-20-2014):