Recapping the Cubs Roster Moves

The injury bug has bitten the Chicago Cubs … and there still could be another move or two prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Astros. Alfonso Soriano departed in the first inning of Monday’s game with a left quad strain. Soriano had a MRI and the Cubs are expected to know the severity of the injury at some point on Tuesday. If Soriano has to go on the DL, it would be the 29th roster move since May 11, and the 14th since May 27.

Here’s a recap of all of the roster moves than took place over the Memorial Day weekend …

May 26 and May 27
After trading Ryan Buchter to the Braves for Rodrigo Lopez on Thursday, May 26, the Cubs designated (RHP) Robert Coello for assignment on Friday, May 27 and removed him from the 40-man roster to make room for Lopez on the 40-man roster. Justin Berg was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room for Rodrigo Lopez on the active roster.

May 28
The Cubs optioned Casey Coleman to Triple-A Iowa and activated Randy Wells from the 15-day disabled list.

May 29
The Cubs transferred Andrew Cashner from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Brad Snyder. The Cubs selected the contract of Brad Snyder from the Iowa Cubs, added Snyder to the 40-man roster and called him up to replace Reed Johnson on the active roster.

The Cubs placed Reed Johnson on the 15-day DL, retroactive to May 26, with lower back spasms.

The Cubs activated Geovany Soto from the 15-day DL and optioned Welington Castillo to Triple-A Iowa.

May 30
The Cubs designated (RHP) Jeff Stevens for assignment and removed him from the 40-man roster to create a spot for D.J. LeMahieu. The Cubs selected the contract of D.J. LeMahieu from the Tennessee Smokies and added him to the 40-man roster. The Cubs called up D.J. LeMahieu to take Jeff Baker’s spot on the active roster.

Jeff Baker was placed on the 15-day DL with a left groin strain retroactive to May 29.

Minor League Roster Changes

All of the moves by the big league club have been felt throughout the organization. Here are just a few of the moves that took place on Monday.

  • Brett Jackson (OF) was activated from the disabled list Monday and rejoined the Smokies.
  • Steve Clevenger (C) was sent down to the Smokies from Triple-A Iowa
  • Junior Lake (IF) was promoted from High Class-A Daytona to Double-A Tennessee.
  • Nick Struck (RHP) was promoted from High Class-A Daytona to Double-A Tennessee
  • Robert Whitenack (RHP) was placed on disabled list with a right elbow strain.
  • Jae-Hoon Ha (OF) was sent down to High Class-A Daytona from Double-A Tennessee

There is speculation that if Alfonso Soriano is placed on the 15-day DL that either Brett Jackson or Tyler Colvin will replace Soriano on the Cubs active roster.

Stay Tuned for the latest on the Cubs revolving roster and M.A.S.H. unit …

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Great report. Very informative–as per usual. Thanks!

  • Ripsnorter1

    I hope it is Jackson. Colvin needs to get his confidence back. Frankly, he may not ever be able to play effectively for this buffoon we have managing the Cubs.

    I believe Quade is destroying Colvin’s confidence. “Ability will get you here [ie, the Major leagues]; but confidence keeps you here.” Or so said Ron Santo. Anybody who is going to play the youngster only against opposite handed pitching in order to protect a 34 yr old upcoming free-agent failure (Funko), and then sit the youngster a week at a time, giving him only 1 or 2 AB per week, and then blaming him as being “unproductive” and “a failure” is either an incompetent buffoon, or a malicious person. I believe it is the former.

    Unfortunately, the buffoonery is organization-wide. Proof: Lou [not a buffoon] came in and really managed the team. Then at the All-Star break 2008, something changed. He quit and just played out the string until he took “early retirement” in 2010. I don’t think that was simply a Lou Pinella character flaw that caused him to quit effectively managing the team in 2008. I think that came down from the top: Jim Clueless. Then Jim Clueless hired a bench coach with no credentials except he had successfully sat on the bench for 17 years in a row without learning a thing. He’s been part of the Cubs’ bench coaching staff off and on since 2003–and still doesn’t know his players.

    • Anonymous47701

      Would it make you feel any better if I created a “Coaching Staff that Should Have Been” list ?

      • Ripsnorter1

        Why wouldn’t you?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Speaking of Andrew Cashner . . . .

    Has anyone ever heard of shutting down a pitcher, and the result being that a strained rotator cuff is healed (or whatever is really ailing Cashner)? The vibes I am getting from all of this is that Cashner is similar to Guzman. Guzman was shut down for various stints, but all to no avail. I am afraid that this latest diagnosis is just another futile attempt to avoid surgery. Furthermore such delays will have ramifications upon next season, too. 

    • Aaron

      Rip,

      Coming from someone who had shoulder surgery that ended my playing career, I know a thing or two about this.

      When a pitcher first complains of discomfort, rest and anti-inflammatories are almost always prescribed first. A pitcher is told to shut it down for about a week, then throw a side session to see if the rest and pills have worked. Most often it doesn’t, because as the old saying goes, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”…..where there’s symptoms, there’s almost always a hidden injury somewhere, just like with Garza’s elbow.

      Some guys try to throw through the pain, not telling anyone, often to their detriment. In my case, I used this roll on gel called Bio-Freeze, and I’d go into the corner of the dugout, making sure the trainer wasn’t looking, and I’d roll in under my uniform on my shoulder, and it’d almost completely numb the pain. One of my teammates, who was the starting 1B noticed I was doing this, and put an end to it. He was studying to be a personal trainer, and knew about the dangers of that stuff, and made me see the trainer. 

      A few weeks later, I was under the knife, and my shoulder has NEVER returned to its pre-injury state…not even close. I have learned after the fact that orthopedic surgeons will tell you that you need surgery, because that’s how they make their money, but there are alternative methods out there, especially nowadays where you can avoid surgery and recover to where you were before in a short period of time. I wish the Cubs and other MLB teams, and even colleges would look into this, especially with their shoulder injuries:
      http://www.microcurrentinstruments.com/acuscope.php

      I have a friend that did this, instead of going under the knife, and now he can throw faster than he did before. I was never a believer in holistic medicine until I visited an orthopedic surgeon for my job, and spoke with his assistant. She told me that most patients, unless there’s a broken bone, or something is completely torn, do not have to go under the knife, and she gave me the rundown of why surgery is always recommended from these doctors….It was an eye opener to say the least.

      There’s no doubt in my mind that guys like Cashner (shoulder), Jay Jackson (shoulder), Whitenack (elbow), Garza (elbow), Wells (forearm….but, like I said before, keep in mind symptoms, and a forearm injury is usually indicative of putting added stress due to some other arm issue) are going to have surgery in the very near future. Gryzlo and Andrews (if that’s the doctor the player prefers) will make sure of it.

      The problem for the Cubs is…who do you replace them with? 

      Kirk is in Peoria. Struck just got promoted to AA, and while he’s done well in the minors to the tune of 15-12, 3.43 ERA in 2 seasons (the 3.43 is almost on the dot with his 3.42 ERA this year, so that should be about what you can expect with him in the future), his peripherals haven’t been all that great.

      McNutt would probably be the guy you’d call on right now if you had an immediate need, but he’s missed time with blister problems.

      Outside of those three, Kurcz is in Daytona and has a 3-0 record with a 2.95 ERA in 9 starts, then Rosscup has a 3-0 record with 2.83 ERA in 6 starts, but has been limited with an undisclosed injury of late. 

      After that, you have to go all the way to Peoria with Kirk’s teammates Greathouse 3-3, 3.53 ERA, 9 starts, Hicks 1-2, 2.41 ERA, 8 starts (but like Rosscup, has been limited with undisclosed injury of late), Beeler 1-1, 2.15 ERA, 7 starts, and you could even consider the lefty Jokisch, who is 6-0, 2.44 ERA in 44 1/3 IP as Simpson’s “piggyback starter”, where he usually comes in at the 4th or 5th inning when Simpson starts, and goes the rest of the way.

      The pitching at the upper levels in AA and AAA has been absolutely dreadful, which is one of the major problems with all of these injuries, because they limit flexibility. 

      The Cubs rushed Jackson back from injury when they should have allowed him to build arm strength in EXST because Cashner and Wells went down with injury. Now, he’s getting hammered, and his arm is worse than before from what I’ve gathered, with his velocity being even further down than it was in EXST. The Cubs likely also rushed Whitenack to AA for the same reason, and now he’s shut down.

      If Lopez and Davis keep getting spanked around, the Cubs might have to bring up Cabrera, who isn’t doing very well this year, or make a reach, and bring up Struck as well. When/IF Garza ever comes back, it’ll make things a lot easier, as Lopez or Davis would go to the pen (likely Lopez as he was  a swing-man before), and the rotation would be Demp, Z, Garza, Wells, and Davis, which is much more palatable than it is now.

      Unfortunately, as I stated in a recent post…what all of this means, is that the Cubs will have an extremely pitching-heavy draft, and they will almost surely select a pitcher in the first round, which would be a mistake in my opinion, as it’s a really deep draft for pitching talent.

      Cole, Bauer, Hultzen, Gray, Meyer, Bundy, and possibly even Barnes figure to be off the board when the Cubs select anyway. The only guys I’d draft at the 9 spot out of that group would be Cole (no way he lasts beyond #2), Meyer (6’9″ righty that touches 98 mph with an excellent curve as well) and Bundy (who continues to slide, even though he touches 100 mph as a high schooler, because of bonus demands). 

      But recent history with Samardzija, Cashner, and Simpson not landing the Cubs much with top selections/money in recent drafts, I would NOT go with a pitcher here, because injuries make it too dangerous. In fact, guys like Whitenack, McNutt, Jay Jackson, Carpenter, Kirk, etc. were all taken after the first round. 

      If I’m the Cubs, I’m looking for a power bat like a Bubba Starling (HS-scholarship to Nebraska for football, and planning to play baseball there, so HUGE risk), Mike Mahtook (LSU), Josh Bell (HS-similar to Starling, but also represented by Boras, so cash is king to get him to give up scholarship to OU), Larry Green (HS 1B with HUGE power), and possibly even Dante Bichette Jr. (HS, but supposedly has character issues…ie.-thinks he’s entitled because of his dad) might be options for them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

         Good perspective Aaron.
        I saw on another site that some fans are beinging to blame the coaches and training staff for the rash of injuries with pitching. Is there anything that the Cubs or any organization can do to better prepare young pitchers other than what you have already stated about over use?

      • paulcatanese

        Good article Aaron, reminds me of the days of cortesone and novicanne. Pitchers are a fragile bunch, always have been. Often said how can they consitantly throw that many pitches and not have problems? As you say,so many things effect the arm and their are so many pitches in an arm over a career. Anything at all with mechanics will speed up the injury process.

      • Dorasaga

        Great stuff. I was gonna reply ripsnorter about tech. advances that might bring Cashner back. No. I can’t steal your thunder. You’ve gone through the bad stuffs and instead of grudging the rest of your life of missed opportunities, continued a studious attitude and learned the game, and stuffs that can make it better. Great stuff, again!

      • Ripsnorter1

        Thank you for the very fine response. 

      • studio179

        I have been saying the Cubs need to draft a bat for this years draft as well because they really need an impact bat in the organization. Wilken likes to draft up the middle, including the mound. I would like them to select a collage bat though. I think even the Cubs realize they need a power bat. But I agree, because of pitching depth in the draft, they will likely go with a power arm at #9.

  • RoughRiider

    If Soriano goes on the DL and it’s down to Colvin or Jackson it will most likely be Colvin because Jackson isn’t on the 40 man roster. With all the moves lately it isn’t likely that they would move another player of the roster to bring up Jackson.

    • Keith Moreland

      That, plus you want Jackson to face some live pitching for a few days before you consider bringing him up.  I wouldn’t promote a guy to the majors from the AA DL, which is basically what they would be doing.

      • Aaron

        I think that’s very plausible, but the Cubs might opt to play a man short for 3 days while Jackson gets a few more AB’s, then bring him up. I just don’t think Colvin has done enough at AAA to warrant a call-up, then go back down in 15 days yet again. 

        If Colvin’s OBP and pitch selection were better in AAA, I’d say it would be a no-brainer, but something’s not right at all with him right now. His confidence has been destroyed by riding the pine the whole year with the Cubs, and getting pinch hit opportunities here and there, then getting sent back to the minors after having clearly won the RF job last year going into this year. He even said as much in an interview about a month ago regarding going into this year, thinking he had proven himself last year and thought he earned the starting job over Fukudome.

    • Aaron

      I do not believe that’s the case at all. Here’s Colvin’s line in AAA:
      12 games, .260/.283/.500 slash line with 9 runs, 13 hits, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 1 hr, 8 RBI and an alarming 2 walks vs 13 K’s

      Compare that to Jackson:
      33 games, .284/.408/.500 slash line with 26 runs, 33 hits, 7 doubles, 3 triples, 4 hr, 17 RBI and 24 walks vs 33 K’s…and 13 SB

      I believe that Fernando Perez is the likely candidate to be dropped from the 40-man in that case. He doesn’t have a future at all with the team, especially with Campana stealing bases at the MLB level already, and Jackson on his way, and Szczur needing to be added to the 40-man roster in December…..no way he has a future with the team.

      The only other move I could see them making is dropping Smit, who has been one of the worst performers of anyone on the 40-man roster this year.  Aside from him, other candidates are Berg, Caridad, and Gaub.

      The Cubs also could choose to put Byrd on the 60-day DL, but that’s unlikely, considering they want to trade him. But if his left eye isn’t right….they might have to do this.

      In that case, my suggested lineup would be:

      Campana-CF
      Barney-2B
      Castro-SS
      ARAM-3B
      Pena-1B
      Soto-C
      Jackson-LF
      Montanez-RF

      bench-Hill (unfortunately), DeWitt, LeMahieu, Fukudome, Snyder

      If Barney struggles, slide LeMahieu in his spot. If you look at him recently, by the way, it seems as if Barney is popping the ball up a lot, rather than hitting line drives like he was doing earlier this year…It might be a good idea to give him a breather sooner rather than later, after his average falls below .300

      Then, LeMahieu can give ARAM a rest about 2 times per week to get him fresher, and replace Pena when they face lefties, and he’d have about 4-5 starts per week.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        Did you see the rumor out of LAA that they were scouting Hill and other catchers this weekend. I think that if Hendry got a offer for some bats and a number of balls to be added later he should jump on it.

        • paulcatanese

          Richard I did not see that rumor,but you can expect anything out of LA ,  LA land. Dont see it happening though what would JH and Quade do without him?

  • paulcatanese

    Great report Neil, one cannot tell who the players are without a scorecard.Maybe this is how JH keeps his job,reminds me of the hustler on the corner with three walnuts and a pea under one of them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      I can just see the guy with a bullhorn on top of the dugout yelling out” SCORE CARD GET YOUR SCORE CARD, YOU CAN”T TELL THE PLAYERS WITHOUT A SCORE CARD.” LOL 

  • paulcatanese

    Neil,as a child I played musical chairs, but this is something else,wow. I halfway expect Soto out day to day with his hand and Aram as well with what looked like a hamstring on his way to first base. Could be the only one left as a vet would be Fukudome and the Cubs still have tonight to go. But it was nice weather yesterday. 

    • diehardcubfan

      Paul, I do not think anyone would even notice if ARAM were out of the lineup.  That would actually probably be the best thing for the team. 

  • cubs1967

    i’m the first to get annoyed on here when there is talk of synder or lahair or other 4A players.jake fox, felix pie, both pattersons; the cubs have been great at 4A players; but i cannot say colvin is one yet.  he needs another 300-400 at bats in the majors to know……..which in a year when the cubs will not make the playoffs, he should of started from day one in RF.  he hit 20 homers in 350 at bats last year; but becuz the owner has NO clue what he is doing and does not mandate playing the kids; like last year when quade played to win his job; this is the crap we get.

    it’s been 103 yrs since the cubs won; that should be the ONLY goal; and something cubs fans need to demand; however in 2011 it’s too late to win anything and never was gonna based on the moves done in the offseason (and the lower payroll again depsite higher tix)……..so ricketts should get off his weeine ass and say play the kids; we suck; and let’s see what talent Dj, colvin, or brett…..have.

    (and this should of been done in the offseason w/ a baseball president like dallas green OR gillick or stan kasten, followed by a new gm and mrg)…….instead we get this hodgepodge of some kids playing like campana and others like castillo sitting.

    i refuse to watch this crap.  i expect a winner……..yesterday; but here’s a clue to the clueless; if i’m this pissed off and would watch dj, bj, colvin, castillo playing for this year………….even if we lose; then you might want to consider other diehards would do the same and play them……….it’s a throw away year; so don’t insult my intelligence by playing blake dewitt in LF.

    and they wonder why there were empty seats in the bleachers yesterday; that speaks volumes; as those always sell out becuz everyone will set there; the diehards, the yuppies, the chicks, the drunks, the bums; and if those dont’ sell out on a 90 degree day………………..well then tommy boy; ya asked for it!

    • cc002600

      Whaaaat ??  You’re not excited about Dewitt playing LF ???  Come on, if he gets hot, he could carry the cubs to a 10 game winning streak, which would help them over take the redbirds.  !!   LOL 

      boy, its times like these that makes me soooooo happy I’m not a season ticket holder or scalper.

      It would one thing if the tickets were cheap, but when the face value is $60 for an upper deck box to watch this slop, good luck.

  • cc002600

    Neil,
    question:  If I recall correctly,  BJax was supposed to come back yesterday.  Did he play and if yes, how did he do ?

    • ZT

      Yes he was back but he went 0-4 with 3 strikeouts.

  • cc002600

    Hope this doesn’t sound mean, because I do not want to wish bad on players, but how happy will all of you be if Sori is placed on DL ?   :-)

    FWIW, I was listening to David Kaplan last night and he is absolutely convinced Soriano won’t be here next year.  He thinks they will find a way to send him to AL team to be DH, with the cubs picking up about $15M of the 18M annually.  I would be celebrating for weeks if that happened.

    Let’s be honest, in my opinion, as long as he is in LF, they will never win a thing. He has always been bad out there, but now it is such a joke, he misplays at least one play every game.  It’s so pathetic. 

    But oh, did you hear ?  Hendry said the cubs are in the “Production Business”.
    riiiiiiiiight.

    • paulcatanese

      I know that you do not want to wish bad on any player and I feel the same. If there were to be any defense for Soriono it would be that his legs have been failing him for some time now and it seems that it would only be a matter ot time before something like this happened. He really should be in the AL as a designated hitter, that would be the best for him and the Cubs. As long as he had to play it would have been better served to pull him after 2 or 3 ABs. That is Quades fault for not exercising that option. His defense capabilities would have been cut in half if that were practiced by Quade and it may have not been as bad as it was. Greed has dictated a lot of his playing time (JH wanting to get his monies worth) this totaly could have been prevented. Again it goes back to the original contract, and think about it  Pujols or Fielder may end up being the same situation with long term deals.

      • cc002600

        Agree.  I don’t care how it happens, I just want them to rid ourselves of this guy,……even if they have to just release him, which I know is unlikely.  I would even settle for making him a 4th or 5th OF in the coming years, if that’s all that have, at least that’s better than starting him everyday.

        Bottom line, with this guy in the lineup everyday, they cannot move forward. He’s the worst outfielder I have ever seen, bar none…..and as he gets older and older, it will only get worse. Just think about THAT for a second. OMG.

        As for Fielder or Pujols…..I say no way to Pujols, he’s on the down side now…. but I would love to see Fielder, as long as its not 8-10 years…..I totally agree. 

  • Dorasaga

    Aaron,

    You brought up Starling and suggested the Cubs “should” draft him. Well, the draft will come in two weeks. I was reading this Jess Passan article; a good writer, by the way:
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-passan_10_degrees_draft_scott_boras_053011

    Seems like the latest Boras client might either push for the biggest signing bonus (or something close to his forerunner in the Nats system now), or go to college for a brighter future.

    I don’t know if the signing of Pena was to build on something more (Boras connection and draft info.). Boras invited the Nats for the Teixeira derby in 2008. What happened next? Two back to-back, record-breaking signees from the Rule 4 (June) drafts, all Boras clients.

    Trevor Bauer and Anthony Rendon look interesting.

  • Jmvukovi

    Unbelievable stuff.  Not sure why some blaming the manager for this rash of injuries.  Cubs main problem continues to be pitching.   Haven’t looked at the stats vs 2010 stats but it would seem the Cubs offense is scoring more runs than last year even with all these injuries to position players.   Bullpen doesn’t seem too bad this year so again without looking at stats in detail starting pitching and middle relief are the major flaws.  

    • paulcatanese

      That was one of my posts. I did not blame Quade for the injuries like Byrd or Colvin had but the pulled muscles, hamstrings,sore arms are usually the end result of poor conditioning and who was respnsible for conditioning in ST,well Quade was the man in charge to make sure conditioning was done. Fatigue is also a cause of injuries and a lack of conditioning. If you would compare it to any other sport, football,basketball,track, and the conditioning was not up to par there would be injuries and a number of them. Thats what I was trying to get across, maybe not correctly but my intention. Thanks for the reply on that.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat:

    Tyler Colvin is back at Wrigley Field. That’s not good news re: Soriano and his leg injury. We’ll have more later. #Cubs 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      Wow so much for Colvin “Earning it”. Hopefully he is just visiting old friends.

      • paulcatanese

        Thats too bad for Colvin as he will probably sit. But JH and Quade felt that Colvin is almost a vet and preffered him over others,its that “vet” thing creeping in again.

    • cc002600

      Oh great, so that means Colvin will probably  go back to picking splinters out his hiney, with the great Blake Dewitt playing in LF !!

    • cc002600

      Did she really mean “not good news” ?

      LOL

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Bruce Miles:

     
    #Cubs to place Soriano on 15-day DL with left quad strain. Colvin to be activated. 

  • paulcatanese

    Neil, early workout at Wrigley, attention given to DeWitt in left field, that Quade is one stubborn man, so much for an outfielder there.

    • Tedtop16

      Righty pitching for Houston tonight. It should be an interesting line up for the CUBS. How many lefties can we pack into the lineup?

      • paulcatanese

        Thanks for the reply. But beware of rookies bearing a strong arm. And as a rookie he may not know how good the Cubs are, and wont be nervous. And an afterthought you are right the more lefties we can get in the lineup the better. We should turn Aram around to the left side also,sure to be an improvement.

  • studio179

    Ram is due for a DL stint anytime now.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Ain’t that the truth.

      • diehardcubfan

        It can’t come soon enough.

    • paulcatanese

      Right, nothing like sitting on the bench and collecting his money. Although Aram would have to give up the rocking chair that he sits in out at third base.