The Daytona Cubs and Tennessee Smokies Announce 2012 Opening Day Rosters

The Daytona Cubs finalized their Opening Day roster Tuesday. The defending Florida State League Champions Daytona Cubs will feature Matt Szczur, Austin Kirk, Tony Zych, Ronald Torreyes and Rubi Silva to begin the season.

The Smokies released their roster Tuesday. The Cubs’ Double-A affiliate will begin the season with the likes of Trey McNutt, Dae-Eun Rhee and Nick Struck in the rotation with Logan Watkins, Rebel Ridling, Justin Bour and Jae-Hoon Ha in the infield and outfield.

Once the big league team decides their Opening Day roster, the I-Cubs roster will be set and announced.

The top four teams in the Cubs’ system open their season Thursday. The Peoria Chiefs open the year in Beloit and Daytona will hit the road as well to take on the Brevard County Manatees. The Smokies open their season in Chattanooga against the Lookouts and the Iowa Cubs will host the Round Rock Express.

High Class-A – Daytona Cubs

2012 Opening Day Roster


Hayden Simpson, RHP
Austin Kirk, LHP
Brett Wallach, RHP
A.J. Morris, RHP
Tony Zych, RHP
Eric Jokisch, LHP
Larry Suarez, RHP
Brian Schlitter, RHP
Ty’relle Harris, RHP
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
Frank Del Valle, LHP
Casey Harman, LHP
Matt Loosen, RHP


Sergio Burruel
Chad Noble


Richard Jones
Ronald Torreyes
Greg Rohan
Arismendy Alcantara
Dustin Harrington


Matt Szczur
Nelson Perez
John Andreoli
Elieser Bonne
Rubi Silva

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies

2012 Opening Day Roster


Jeffry Antigua
Frank Batista
Dallas Beeler
Dan Berlind
Alberto Cabrera
Marcus Hatley
Trey McNutt
Brooks Raley
Dae-Eun Rhee
Kevin Rhoderick
Ryan Searle
Nick Struck
Casey Weathers


Juan Apodaca
Michael Brenly
Luis Flores


Justin Bour
Matt Camp
Matt Cerda
Jonathan Mota
Rebel Ridling
Nate Samson
Elliot Soto
Logan Watkins


James Adduci
Michael Burgess
Jae-Hoon Ha

Peoria Chiefs 2012 Opening Day Roster

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  • Zonk

    Is it me, or does the AA roster look a little thin for prospects right now?  Other than McNutt, nobody really exciting on there, unless you like Ha or Watkins much.  (Or Ridling, but he’s a little old for AA)

    • Zach

      What about Justin Bour.  He is a big power first baseman, it could be interesting to see how he does against better talent.

    • Chadaudio

      I was thinking the EXACT same thing Zonk… except I believe in Ridling too (and maybe Watkins).
      Our AA team took a big hit this season.
      Man, these roster lists leave a lot of players unaccounted for.

    • Redlarczykg

      Antigua, Batista, Rhee and Rhoderick all have a good chance to be playing at Wrigley by 2014.  Just check their 2011 stats.

  • Zonk

    PS:  Did Junior Lake make AAA then? That would be a jump for him

    • Neil

      It appears Lake will open the year with the I-Cubs … should know tomorrow.

      • Chadaudio


        I think I should go out and buy and I-Cubs hat… that team is going to be awesome!

        Hope Szczur gets promoted up there soon too.

  • Aaron

    I am confused by how the minor league teams are set-up right now…very perplexing indeed. I still cannot fathom why Ben Klafczynski was released…it just doesn’t make sense.

    It’s a “trust but verify” thing with me regarding this new regime, and I guess I have to trust what they’re doing with the system. After all, they’ve been successful everywhere they’ve been (together in Boston, and Hoyer and McLeod on their own in San Diego), but a lot of these guys should not be in the system at all, such as Camp, Bonne, Samson, Mota, Apodaca, etc.

    I could give you a list of every level and how I think the teams should be comprised, but it’s futile at this point. Even though the lists are out, there’s still several players that are unaccounted for. What they’re doing just doesn’t make sense. I hope they figure it out, and I sincerely hope that they sign Soler, and end up with an outstanding draft filled with power arms, because they desperately need depth with power hitters, power pitchers, starting pitchers, and outfield depth. I am not worried about middle infield, which is filled with guys like Baez, Amaya, Hernandez, Lockhart, Watkins, Lake, Alcantara, DeVoss, etc. But if you look at high end OF bats, all you have is Jackson, Szczur, and Golden, which means that someone like Shoulders, Vogelbach (who is more agile than people think), etc. are going to have to be moved to LF, just to generate some power there. The Cubs appear to be absolutely loaded with 1B power, which was NOT the case a year or two ago. Same could be said for catcher. The only places they appear to be thin, as mentioned, are starting pitcher (more specifically power arms) and outfield…which if you look at the way the rosters are constructed, makes it even more perplexing how they’re configured, and the names that are still left at EXST camp.

    1B-LaHair, Rizzo, Bour, Ridling, Jones, Hoilman, Vogelbach, Shoulders, etc.

    C-Castillo, Clevenger, Gibbs, Lopez, Rosario, Malave, Marra

    Anyway, like I said….I hope they know what they’re doing, as it’s especially perplexing that not a single one of the big-name draftees last year is starting on a full season team. Guys like Shoulders, Vogelbach, Dunston, Schlecht, Martin, Lockhart, Baez, Scott, etc. are all still at Fitch.

    On one hand, you have management bitching about the system being devoid of talent…which is true….because on the other hand, they’re keeping all that talent technically out of the system at Extended Spring Training, which also includes international signings like Jeffrey Baez, Carlos Martinez, Candelario, Penalver, Acosta, Amaya, Kim, and Peralta

    • SuzyS

      Aaron, can the EXST camp players be assigned to any level…at any time??? Is it possible the brass is just taking extra time in assessing players…as a new regime???

      It sure seems to me that there must be some things in the wind….I’ve never heard of a team delaying a final roster with six guys vying for a spot…the day before an opener.
      Trade time, …anyone???

    • Tony_Hall

      By keeping those players at ext ST, it is giving spots to other players.  

      So, is this a way to evaluate those players for a couple of months of real games, before creating the openings for the guys at ext ST?  

      Plus wouldn’t it ease the guys into a full season a little easier, by staying in ext ST?  

      I can’t say I have ever followed below even High A much, so I’m not sure what the normal procedure teams use for getting their signings draft picks into the system.

    • Chadaudio

      Yeah, I’m REALLY curios about all of the players omitted from the rosters as well.  It seems like getting most of those players onto an actual roster would be a better way to evaluate them anyway… It’s a bit concerning.

    • Redlarczykg


      In addition to Klafczynski’s poor numbers last year, maybe Cub management knows something about him that we don’t.

      I also wonder how Hayden Simpson gets assigned to Daytona when he couldn’t get anyone out in Peoria last year?  Of course, roster movement happens every month of so, which is determined by player performance and politics.

      I met Ron Kittle just after the Sox picked him up from, I believe the Dodgers, when he was at AA.  He told me that they weren’t playing him because he wouldn’t kiss their behinds.  Lucky for the Sox.

      • Anthony

        Ben Klafczynski has pedigree makeup and 1st class work ethic. Here is what I was told.

        Theo commanded to Fleita that any player that had minimal financial investment is to be released regardless of baseball ability, and he was quoted by saying something along the lines of “lets blow this thing up and start all over”

        It was confirmed that Ben Klafczynski came to camp at a muscular 6’3″ and 217 pounds, and was already one of the lowest body fat percentage athletes in the Cubs system as measured in 2011, and 2012 ST.

        It was confirmed that Ben Klafczynski hit the ground running and raked each and every day at the plate and make a great impression on his coaches and instructors.

        It was confirmed that these same coaches and instructors were NOT included in discussions about this Player, and they only became aware of it when he thanked them before heading home. This was confirmed by a few players in the system, two scouts, and one other source.

        It was confirmed that this Player outperformed pretty much every other outfielder at ST and Theo probably didn’t want a senior sign player occupy RF for A+ Daytona as a block to some other players who received large bonuses.

        The Cubs, specifically Theo and Fleita did this kid a wrong as far as the timing of the cut. They either should have done it in Fall 2011, or not at all as catching on with another affiliate is a longshot at the beginning of any new season.

        Instead, they plugged the hole with 25 year old Bonne and demoted Nelson Perez.

        This cut was awful mainly because this kid was not the usual Senior sign, but one of pedigree dating back to early high school years, national rankings and competitiveness against players currently in MLB or on the verge.

        Players make choices, especially college players, and it was also confirmed the player had options in the 2010 draft but chose to become a college graduate first.

        The player is written up in a Peoria Star article about his process of hitting and wood bat conversion, and he finished his Peoria stint on a high note hitting .321 in August 2011………… the article, and gained the respect of his Boise coach, Peoria coach, and hitting instructor Desi Wilson.

        The Cubs messed up huge cutting this kid. You all have seen the videos on YTUBE, just Goog his name for yourself.

        Sources have told me the player was prepared 110% and got screwed by politics and business? I thought the game was about putting your best on the field and try to win regardless of status.

        I first saw this player in Joplin, Missouri as a high schooler playing in the USA Baseball TOS while scouting.

        Somebody needs to sign this kid.