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.
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.