After a brief period of apparent denial, MLB was recently forced to shut down Spring Training and to delay the start of the regular season. This leaves us without any live baseball to consume for at least a month and quite possibly a while longer. So, how are you all slaking your baseball thirsts?
2020 Cubs Winter Instructs is well underway on the backfields at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa.
Pitchers & catchers reported a week ago, and today was the first "full squad" work-out.
Rather than inviting 2019 draft picks and recently-signed IFA, the Cubs instead opted to invite mostly older players (including some with significant minor league experience) to instructs this year. (13 of the invitees are eligible to be minor league free-agents post-2020).
Several players & coaches from the Lotte Giants (KBO) are attending Instructs as guests of the Cubs, but it's possible that one or more of the Korean players could end up being acquired by the Cubs at some point. (Ex-Cubs minor league OF, coach, and scout Min-Kyu Sung was hired as GM of the Giants last September).
Here are the 2020 Cubs Player Development and minor league staff assignments (at least a couple of positions still TBA).
Of note is the Cubs first female field coach, the re-naming/re-designating of AZL Cubs #1 to AZL Cubs Blue, AZL Cubs #2 to AZL Cubs Red, DSL Cubs #1 to DSL Cubs Blue, and DSL Cubs #2 to DSL Cubs Red, and some re-definition of roles and job titles.
Three of the new hires (Director of Hitting Justin Stone, South Bend Hitting Coach Dan Puente, and AZL Cubs Blue Assistant Coach Rachel Folden) come to the Cubs from Chicago-based Elite Baseball Training, and another (Pitching Development Coordinator Casey Jacobson) comes to the Cubs from Driveline Baseball in Kent, WA.
* Cheated throughout the 2017 season including the World Series.
PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE:
Trevor Megill, RHP (selected by Cubs from San Diego Padres AAA El Paso reserve list)
CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN MAJOR LEAGUE PHASE:
1. Vimael Machin, INF (selected by Philadelphia Phillies from Cubs AAA Iowa reserve list)
NOTE: Phillies subsequently traded Machin to Oakland A's
2. Michael Rucker, RHP (selected by Baltimore Orioles from Cubs AAA Iowa reserve list)
PLAYERS SELECTED BY CUBS IN AAA PHASE:
1. Brock Stewart, RHP (selected by Cubs for AAA Iowa from Toronto Blue Jays AA New Hampshire reserve list)
2. Jerrick Suiter, 1B (selected by Cubs for AAA Iowa from Pittsburgh Pirates AA Altoona reserve list)
3. Vance Vizcaino, OF (selected by Cubs for AAA Iowa from Colorado Rockies AA Hartford reserve list)
4. David Masters, INF (selected by Cubs for AAA Iowa from Washington Nationals AA Harrisburg reserve list)
CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS SELECTED IN AAA PHASE:
1. Faustino Carrera, LHP (selected from Cubs AA Tennessee reserve list by Tampa Bay Rays for AAA Durham affiliate)
2. Carlos Sepulveda, INF (selected from Cubs AA Tennessee reserve list by Los Angeles Dodgers for AAA Oklahoma City affiliate)