Spring Training Prospect Notes: Mazzoni lost on waivers, Cubs release 10 other Minor Leaguers

Carson Sands (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Carson Sands (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Less than a week after losing left handed reliever Dario Alvarez on waivers to the Seattle Mariners, Cory Mazzoni was claimed today by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both pitchers were acquired in the offseason, Alvarez as a six-year Minor League free agent and Mazzoni on waivers from San Diego, which means both exit the organization without appearing in a regular season game.

The Cubs 40-man roster now stands at just 37 while we await the decision on the final bullpen spot. The club could simply choose to award the spots to some combination of non-roster invitees Chris Gimenez, Ryan Court, Mike Freeman, Justin Hancock, Anthony Bass and Kyle Ryan. But the front office is undoubtedly scouring the waiver wire themselves for potential upgrades. We'll know more tomorrow, or perhaps even later tonight, and I'll update this post as new information arrives.

The organization also let go of ten Minor Leaguers, mostly from the upper levels of the system.

Pitchers: David Berg, Marc Huberman, Mark Malave, Steve Perakslis, Carson Sands, Tommy Thorpe

Catcher: Cael Brockmeyer

Infielders: Kevin Cornelius, Adonis Paula

Outfielders: Robert Garcia

The name that likely stands out the most to Cubs fans is Carson Sands. Drafted in the 4th Round (109th overall) in the 2014 draft, Sands was given a $1.1M signing bonus out of a Florida high school. He put up strong numbers his first two seasons, and then made a decent full season debut in the first half of 2016, even being named a MWL All-Star at midseason. But his effectiveness waned as the season went on, and he eventually required elbow surgery. He returned in the second half of 2017, but was plagued by massive control issues bordering on the yips. With the Cubs drafting a high number of college pitchers in the past two seasons the competition for rotation spots in South Bend and Myrtle Beach is intense this spring and Sands was unable to overcome his control issues.

David Berg was another intriguing follow the past few years as a submarining reliever. He was a dominant closer in college despite a lack of velocity and he continued to show well in his first forays into the lower levels of the minors. Berg hit a wall last year however. After pitching ineffectively at Iowa and Tennessee he was demoted back down to Myrtle Beach and never really rediscovered his game.

Cael Brockmeyer

Cael Brockmeyer

While he was never heralded much as a prospect, Cael Brockmeyer has been one of the most valuable org players in the system for the past several seasons. The 26-year old played at multiple levels in all but his second professional season, spending the past three seasons bouncing between Iowa, Tennessee and Myrtle Beach whenever a need at catcher or first baseman was needed. He's also been brought to spring training on non-roster invites as an extra catcher the past couple of years. I know John spoke highly of Brockmeyer in the past and I have heard the same from others. If he is unable to continue his career elsewhere I would not be surprised to see him catch on with the organization in another capacity.

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  • With so many players put on waivers now and later we will sign
    at least 2

  • With so many players put on waivers now and later we will sign
    at least 2

  • The only release that surprises me is Marc Huberman. He was only in the system one full year. He had good numbers at SB. Was he injured this spring?

  • In reply to Gator:

    Huberman never showed much command and seemed to be kind of a max effort guy just t get his stuff up to an average level. I thought they would keep him just for some left handed depth but can't say I'm shocked.

  • Erstwhile Cubs prospect Pierce Johnson just made the Giants 25-man roster. Probably wouldn’t have without injuries, but a good opportunity for him.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    I hadn't heard that. Thanks for pointing it out

  • Berg and Sands definitely caught my eye on this list. Too bad they couldn’t make the necessary progress.

    Happy that Vogelbomb made the Mariners’ roster after hitting .407/.529/.926 this spring.

  • In reply to seattlecub:

    Dan is a fun player to watch. Too bad the Cubs couldn't put him at DH. When Vogelbach, Schwarber and Contreras were at AA together, they tormented the league.

  • In reply to John57:

    7hrs in spring training this year. I saw Vbomb back when the Cubs first drafted him several years ago, I always liked his bat, even tho its slider speed, he has power to hit to all fields.

  • In reply to seattlecub:

    Yeah - I think we're all glad to see Vogelbomb get a shot in Seattle. He certainly wasn't going to get much of a shot with alternatives like Rizzo, Schwarber, Happ and Bryant there to fill any roles he might have had as either 1B or part-time DH.

  • In reply to seattlecub:

    I think Jorge Soler also had a good Spring Training, after a horrible 2017.

  • I bet Brockmeyer is brought back in some coaching job.

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    Agreed. Everything I had heard about him here suggests he's got some aptitude for it and that he was a decidedly good organization asset.

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    Agree wholeheartedly. After 2016 ST I chatted with him on the last day, and he is an impressive young man.

  • Any thoughts on Ricardo Pinto? He was DFA'd by the Phillies.

  • In reply to couch:

    In all honesty, I spend so much time watching the Cubs Minor Leaguers that I don't really have time to focus on players from other teams much. Heck, most of you actually see more of the actual Cubs than I do. When the Cubs are playing at the same time as a Minor League game my attention is at best split, and usually only focused on the Minors game since that is what I need to write about.

  • If the last bullpen spot comes down to Simmons and Butler who would you pick?
    Simmons has options left, but can chose FA instead of the minor league assignment. And Butler of course is out of options.

  • In reply to couch:

    II prefer guys that can throw strikes in middle relief so I would lean towards Butler/Bass over Simmons/Hancock. The latter two are guys I would consider if Strop/Edwards went down and we needed someone that could get a key strikeout. But as the 8th guy, I want someone that can throw enough strikes that they can easily make it through 2-3 innings without running up huge pitch counts.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Butler gets final spot. Strop will be active opening day. So no surprises.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Hopefully Butler can relax and do well. If he doesn't, there are options to go to at AAA.

  • In reply to John57:

    Yeah, I never stress about the 25th guy on Opening Day. Much ado about nothing. 90% chance the player is not around by the end of the year.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I remember you making this same point last year at this time. Often the 25th guy has more to do with covering "off-days" than "WOW, this guy is better than the alternative that got sent to AAA."

    In truth, the reason we discuss "Who will get the 24-25th spot on the roster?" is it is more interesting--OK, more plausible--than, "Will Rizzo AND Bryant make the opening day roster?"

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    You're forgetting Lendy Castillo. Oh, yeah. Nevermind.

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