Spring Training Prospect Notes: Roster and Statistical Update

The Cubs sent nine players to the Minors on Tuesday, leaving 40 players remaining in Major League camp, including ten Non-Roster Invites:

PitchersAnthony Bass, Justin Hancock, Kyle Ryan

CatchersTaylor Davis, Chris Gimenez, Ali Solis 

InfieldersRyan Court, Mike Freeman, Efren Navarro

OutfieldersPeter Bourjos

Chris Gimenez (.280/.357/.400 in 28 PA this spring) is all but assured a 40-man roster slot and the backup catcher job in Chicago. The rest of these veterans have little chance of securing a 40-man slot, let alone a job on the Opening Day 25-man roster, barring an injury. A serious injury to a middle infielder which could potentially open a spot for Mike Freeman, while an outfielder going down could provide an opening for Peter Bourjos. Taylor Davis will likely fill the role of emergency 4th catcher in the event something happens to Victor Caratini or one of the backstops in Chicago. Anthony Bass and Justin Hancock have pitched well enough to put their names into 40-man consideration once openings on the staff pop up during the season.

Oscar De La Cruz (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Oscar De La Cruz (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

40-Man Roster Spring Stats

Spring Training statistics really do not provide much value but with a couple of weeks to go and many of the prospects already sent to Minor League Camp I figured now was as good a time as any to take a peek at how the players on the bottom half of the 40-man roster have performed. I highlighted a few of the most hopeful and concerning results.

Position Player Prospects

Mark Zagunis: .286/.375/.357 in 31 PA, 2 XBH, 3 BB, 11 K

David Bote: .282/.364/.462 in 44 PA, 4 XBH, 4 BB, 7 K

Victor Caratini: .231/.394/.385 in 31 PA, 2 XBH, 5 BB, 4 K

Pitching Prospects

Oscar De La Cruz: 0.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 SV

Randy Rosario: 0.00 ERA in 4.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K

Duane Underwood, Jr.: 0.00 ERA in 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K

Alec Mills: 3.38 ERA in 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 K

Rob Zastryzny: 5.63 ERA in 8.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 7 K

Jen-Ho Tseng: 5.79 ERA in 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 K

Dillon Maples: 12.60 ERA in 5.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 5 BB, 6 K

Adbert Alzolay: 0 Appearances


Shae Simmons: 2.45 ERA in 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 3 K

Eddie Butler: 2.70 ERA in 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Cory Mazzoni: 5.06 ERA in 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K and caused a moment when millions of Cubs fan voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Yes, I'm using a Star Wars quote about the destruction of a planet to describe the home run Mazzoni surrendered to Eloy Jimenez. So, thanks for that, Cory. But also, uncool.

Luke Farrell: 5.40 ERA in 6.2 IP, 9 H, 4 R, BB, 7 K

Dario Alvarez: 8.53 ERA in 6.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 BB, 9 K

Justin Grimm: 9.00 ERA in 4.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 2 K


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  • It would be cool to see Underwood finally have a healthy season and some breakthrough in 2018. Is he likely to start the season in Iowa, or more likely in AA?

    And you have to think - Zagunis and Caratini are going to be on somebody's MLB roster sometime soon. If not for the Cubs during 2018 or 2019 - somebody else is going to want to make a trade for those guys.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Agree, especially Caratini as a catcher with the versatility to play other positions and a switch hitter. Both he and zagunis lengthen a lineup.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I would not want to trade Caratini. His defense is improving and he is a ML switch hitter right now.

  • In reply to John57:

    I do not want to trade him either. I'd like to see him on the 25man roster pretty soon though.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I think the Cubs keep him at least until the trade deadline as depth. Then, if there is a need they have to fill, Caratini could potentially be used as a MLB-ready trade chip. If no big need arises, then Caratini can come up in September and the Cubs can reassess his future in the offseason, and whether bringing Gimenez back for another year is necessary.
    Much will depend on Contreras's development imo. If Willson becomes a true leader and takes a step forward in pitch calling and handling the staff, they may feel the need for a veteran mentor diminished heading into 2019. Meanwhile, spending 2018 at Iowa won't adversely affect Caratini's development in my eye.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Underwood got in a full, healthy season last year at AA, throwing well over a 100 innings. Hopefully his health issues are behind him. Like De La Cruz, he never had a major injury that required surgery, so hopefully Underwood's rebound will prove a template for ODLC this season.

    It looks like Underwood is going to begin the year back in Tennessee, but I think a first half call up to Iowa is likely if he pitches well. Cubs usually time their first batch of promotions for the end of May.

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    Dillon Maples has shown us why we can dream on his stuff, and also why we may want him to polish that at AAA....he's erratic.

    I wonder if Eddie Butler's FB will play up in the bullpen, and if ditching his very bad changeup and sticking with FB/Curve in a relief role will get better results than Grimm

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Maples could definitely use more seasoning in Iowa. I would prefer to see Butler or Mills get the last bullpen spot over Grimm and Maples. I like guys that can throw strikes be used in middle relief. Of course, if Strop doesn't begin game action soon the Cubs may have two openings at the beginning of the year, in which case both Grimm and Butler could make the team.

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