Lake, Szczur and Beliveau Among Fourth Round of Cubs Spring Roster Cuts

The Cubs announced the fourth round of spring roster cuts prior to Thursday’s split squad games.

Junior Lake and Matt Szczur were optioned to Double-A Tennessee. Jeff Beliveau, Alberto Cabrera, John Gaub and Josh Vitters were optioned to Triple-A Iowa and Jason Jaramillo was assigned to minor league camp. The Cubs spring roster stands at 48 players (32 on the 40-man roster, 16 non-roster invitees).

Thursday’s roster moves were not surprising. Junior Lake and Matt Szczur need time in the minors and Jeff Beliveau proved again Thursday, that he is not ready to pitch out of a big league bullpen. As for Josh Vitters, the upcoming season will be a big one for him in his development on and off the field.

John Gaub has not pitched this spring, which is concerning after he was slowed early in camp with an injury.

Jason Jaramillo came into camp as a non-roster invitee and was expected to break camp as Geovany Soto’s back-up. But injuries have kept him from competing for the job. With Blake Lalli not on the 40-man and limited room on the big league roster, it appears Welington Castillo or Steve Clevenger will break camp on the Cubs’ active roster.

In the last six days, the Cubs have assigned Jason Jaramillo, Marco Carrillo, Trey McNutt, Jonathan Mota, Jae-Hoon Ha, Casey Weathers and Esmailin Caridad to minor league camp and optioned out Junior Lake, Matt Szczur, Alberto Cabrera, John Gaub, Josh Vitters and Jeff Beliveau.

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  • Harry Pavlidis

    I didn’t realize Gaub hadn’t pitched. Should have realized by the lack of walks stacking up in the box score.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Boy, did you hit the nail on the head!

      What’s he doing on a MLB roster? And more significantly, what is he doing on OUR roster?

      • Tony_Hall

        75 K’s in 55 IP at AAA last year.  If someone can help his control (development) he could be a good bullpen arm.

        • cubtex

          Hey…we agree

          • Tony_Hall

            As you know, we agree on way more than we disagree.  Just don’t have ongoing discussions about what we agree on though :)

  • woody34

    How many options does this leave Vitters?

    • Neil

      After this season Vitters will have two minor league options left.

  • gary3411

    Does anyone remember the guy that posted maybe 2 years ago saying he went to high school with Chris Carpenter saying the dude was a complete jagoff? Don’t remember the exact words but remember cocky, all-for-himself, all-that, etc. Just a reminder, could have played a role…

    • Zippy2212

      I don’t remember that but I do remember last year when he didn’t get recalled in September him saying something like I guess that shows what the organization thinks of me or something to that effect.

  • cubtex

     So far this spring…

    David DeJesus- 3 for 18  .167AVG  0HR 0RBI 4BB 5K’s  0 SB

    Pricetag- 5 mil per year

    Kosuke Fuko- 5 for 19    .263AVG  0HR 2RBI 6BB 4K’s  0SB

    Pricetag- 500,000

    Folks…..these 2 are basically the same players. DeJesus will not be an upgrade over Fuko and he is making 4.5 mil more a year.

    • Tony_Hall

      Spring training is such a great place to make definitive statements on players.  

      Look at their career stats, just once.

      • cubtex

        I have. Fuko is a much better value on a 1 year for a team rebuilder. I will make u a little bet. I say Fuko will have a higher OBP than DeJesus. You game?

        • Tony_Hall

          If that is your end all stat, then fine.  As long as they have similar range of AB’s, I’m fine with that.  But I doubt Fukudome will still get playing time for another team, past June 1st…

        • Dorasaga

          $1 million* for three months of renting some excellent defense and slightly-above average bat is always a good deal.

          *guaranteed money with 500k buyout for 2013

  • Coachdon

    The more I think about it, the DeJesus signing was an absolutely horrible move. That spot should be manned by a young guy. We have plenty of possibilities: Jackson, Campana, Sappelt, Mather etc. Preferably Jackson. This season we need to find out what some of the young guys really are, so you know where to go in the future. 

    • cubtex

      Agreed. If they wanted to hold onto Byrd(like it appears they will do) that signing made no sense at all. If they wanted a 1 year fill-in, they could have signed Fuko for 1 year at $500,000

    • Anthony

      Agree, but at the time, these new suits had virtually NO eye contact with the Cubs prospects and only computer printouts of scouting reports, OFP numbers, etc.

      DeJesus is a 4th/5th OF.

      DeJesus is NOT a proto RF, bat and arm

      Once again:

      1. Soriano is a Cub due to his albatross contract
      2. Byrd is pedestrian and on the downside—on way out
      3. DeJesus was a stop-gap

      Jackson is next in line.

      After that, the outfield is a wide open race that includes ALL of the current Cubs minor league outfielders as well as any more recieved via trade or 2013 free-agency.

      Let the competition begin.

    • Richard Hood

      I don’t know maybe we are looking at the signing the wrong way.
       Last year a lot of scouts were saying that Jackson could be the player that we thought DeJesus was suppose to be.
      With DeJesus it is has never been a question of his work ethic just the results were not what was expected. So maybe they brought him aboard in case Jackson was not as far along than they thought. Plus we do need a lead off guy that gets onbase. It seems over his career that is the one place he has been comfortable.
      Not saying that he should be here instead of Jackson playing in Chicago just that maybe they thought that he was a rental and the extra year was worth the investment if he makes Jackson and Szcur better players in the long run just by having him on the team.

    • Aaron

       Agreed as well, and I said as much at the time. He’s a good guy, and he was decent in the past with high OBP, good defense and versatility in the OF, but his time is past, and that’s quite evident not only last year, but this spring.

      Could he surprise us, and have a decent year? Absolutely! But what do you define as a “decent year”? Is it .260/.345/.400 with 8-10 hr, 50-60 RBI? Is it .280/.360/.425 with 10-15 hr, 60-70 RBI?

      If it’s the former, then I don’t see how they can justify the signing, especially in RF.

      The thing is, DeJesus has typical CF production, but is playing a power/RBI production position in RF. That is NOT a recipe for success.

      The fact is, the Cubs need a power prospect for the OF, and they don’t have one that is MLB-ready. The closest they have to that is Jackson and Rebel Ridling (who plays 1B and LF). They could potentially move LaHair to LF and promote RIzzo to 1B, but that seems unlikely.

      An OF of Ridling/LaHair in LF, Szczur in CF, and Jackson in RF might be the most ideal situation LATER this season.

      I would then use Soriano (paying almost all of his contract), Byrd, Soto, Garza, and Baker to replenish the farm system with high-end power pitching prospects and power OF prospects. In the cases of Byrd, Soto, Baker, and Soriano, you’re likely going to get the high-risk, high-reward types versus the “sure things” like Garza would bring.

      But the point is, the Cubs aren’t built to compete this year….not by a long-shot. That being said, if you deal those guys I listed above, you have VERY capable replacements already on the roster (aside from Garza) that you can just plug in, and likely not miss a beat.
      Soriano=LaHair or Ridling in LF
      Byrd=Jackson in CF (now, but Szczur later with Jackson moving to RF)
      Baker=Mather or Cardenas, depending on whether or not DeWitt makes the team

      I’m pretty damn sure that if you dealt all those guys away, you’d find at least one quality arm that would have the potential of Garza down the road. Just look at the spring stats of Samardzija, Volstad, and Wells thus far. The Cubs could theoretically go with Dempster, Maholm, Samardzija, Volstad, and Wells, and likely not miss a beat, even without their staff ace, Garza…After all, how many wins did he have last year? How many did the Cubs have? How many do you think they’ll have this year? Case closed!

      The Cubs also do have some decent arms coming up for the rotation…albeit, nobody really knows their ceilings right now…McNutt, Jay Jackson, Whitenack (recovering from TJ), Liria, and they are now trying the electric lefty arm of Kyler Burke (sits 94-96 mph) as a starter…and he experienced very good success last year as a reliever…

      Overall, I thinking you’re looking at 2-3 years before the Cubs compete at a high level when Castillo, Lake, BJax, Szczur, Vitters, etc are all hitting their stride. Garza will be 30-31 years old at that time. Is it worth it to hang onto him? Doubtful.

      Also, just FYI regarding Soto…I saw that the Royals are looking for a veteran, starting caliber catcher. Perhaps John Lamb, Yordano Ventura, or Chris Dwyer would be a sufficient trade? The Rays have also been rumored to be looking for an upgrade. How about trying to get Chris Archer back, or another one of their surplus arms?

    • Theboardrider

      I think it’s a little early in pretend games to draw too much conclusion.  Fuko always started well and did well in spring training.  Personally I’ll wait until June at least to evaluate.