Cubs Finalize First Roster of the Season … and Set Iowa Cubs Roster

A lot is made about a team’s Opening Day roster but the fact is that a big league roster is a work in progress throughout a 162-game schedule. And this season could feature more roster changes for the Cubs than in years past.

The Cubs filled out their 40-man big league roster prior to Thursday’s opener against the Nationals. Marcos Mateo was placed on the 60-day DL with a sore right elbow and John Gaub was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Rays. The move of Mateo and the loss of Gaub opened up the two spots necessary to purchase the contracts of Shawn Camp, Joe Mather and Blake DeWitt from Triple-A Iowa. With the addition of the three players, the Cubs 40-man roster stands with 40 players.

Here’s a look at the other transactions made by the Cubs on Thursday, as well as the Iowa Cubs Opening Day roster and how Dave Bialas’ team fared in the first game of the season …

In other Major League roster moves, Tony Campana was optioned to Triple-A Iowa and Gerardo Concepcion was optioned to the High Class-A Daytona Cubs. Manny Corpas and Rodrigo Lopez were assigned to the Iowa Cubs. Rodrigo Lopez is expected to be added to the Cubs’ 40-man roster by the weekend and called up to help the pen.

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs
The I-Cubs Opening Day roster was set late Thursday after the big league team made their final decisions. The name that is missing from the rosters of top four teams in the Cubs’ system is Junior Lake. Lake is currently not listed on a minor league roster and the Cubs have not updated his status. According to a report from the I-Cubs television broadcast, Junior Lake is dealing with back issues.

Iowa Cubs 2012 Opening Day Roster


Jeff Beliveau, LHP
Casey Coleman, RHP
Manny Corpas, RHP
Frankie De La Cruz, RHP
Jay Jackson, RHP
Rodrigo Lopez, RHP
Scott Maine, LHP
Blake Parker, RHP
Nate Robertson, LHP
Ryan Rowland-Smith, LHP
Chris Rusin, LHP
Randy Wells, RHP
Travis Wood, LHP

The Iowa Cubs starting rotation: Randy Wells, Casey Coleman, Travis Wood, Jay Jackson and Chris Rusin


Welington Castillo
Blake Lalli


Alfredo Amezaga
Adrian Cardenas
Edgar Gonzalez
Anthony Rizzo
Matt Tolbert
Josh Vitters


Tony Campana
Brett Jackson
Dave Sappelt
Ty Wright

The Iowa Cubs beat the Round Rock Express (Texas Rangers) 5-3 on Opening Night. Randy Wells made the first start of the season for Iowa with mixed results. Wells gave up only two hits but both left the park. Wells left after six innings and allowed three runs on two hits (two home runs) with three walks and two strikeouts.

Manny Corpas pitched two scoreless innings in his I-Cubs debut and allowed just one hit.

The I-Cubs’ offense was very good, there is a lot of athleticism on the I-Cubs’ Opening Day roster. It was nice listening to players in the Cubs’ system stealing bags, going from first to third on a consistent basis and making diving catches in the outfield and infield.

Here are a few of the results offensively and a couple of defensive notes from the first game of the I-Cubs season.

Brett Jackson – 2-for-4 with two RBI, walk, stolen base, run – Jackson made a diving catch in center early in the game that kept Wells from having two on ahead of the two-run homer he allowed.

Anthony Rizzo – 2-for-4 with a RBI and a stolen base. Rizzo not only hit and ran the bases well but he took away two hits with diving catches and on the night he had 12 chances, nine for putouts.

Tony Campana – 2-for-4 with a RBI, stolen base and two runs scored

Welington Castillo – 0-for-2, two HBP. Castillo was tagged with catcher’s interference in the eighth but also threw a perfect strike to Adrian Cardenas to nail a runner at second in the fourth.

Dave Sappelt went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored and Josh Vitters, hitting out of the eighth spot in Dave Bialas’ lineup, was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in his first game at the Triple-A level.

The CCO’s Down on the Farm Report returns to a bi-weekly schedule beginning Monday.

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Quote of the Day

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  • Tom U

    Some opening night impressions:

    The Cubs need to do everything they can to improve Josh Vitters at third. He has a quick release and a cannon for an arm.

    Despite his strikeouts, Brett Jackson works a count and makes pitchers work hard to get him out, sometimes seeing up to ten pitches in an at bat.

    Kevin Rhoderick is going to be one heck of a set-up man.

    Mick Gillespie described the Tennessee locker room as “business-like”.

    The Peoria pitchers are going to really like the defense behind them.

  • John_CC

    Thanks for the positive report.  Sounds like Jackson, Rizzo, Campy and some of the others that spent the spring competing are going to push hard to get back.  I love it.  The future is bright!

    • paulcatanese

      John. that was kind of the point I made on the next post. Spring training was successful in my eyes, and know that these guys made a difference. It would have been the correct way to rebuild using them now instead of later, as they will be up anyway.
      The idea of control makes little sense to me if they will be up anyway and then have to start from scratch to get acclimated to the Majors.
      The money that the Cubs are paying out for stop-gap players should off-set any question of the control issue.
      I cannot see how this way affords the Cubs access to free agents or trades down the line (present players), as no one can predict what or how good that will turn out.

      • John_CC

         I respect your position Paul.  I disagree that $5mill for DeJesus or Stewart or league minimum for LaHair offsets the salaries that Jackson or Rizzo will be pulling down by the time they hit arbitration (if indeed everything goes as planned).

        And I don’t want to be rude, but frankly I am so tired of this conversation that has been going on here for so long that I just do not care anymore.  And I will not discuss it anymore. 

        I am going to focus on trying to enjoy baseball, the new team, Sveum and his staff, the moves that are made and not made with my eye on the big picture. And that is all I am going to post on too, at least until something big happens.  I am just exhausted with the commentary here and so I have to basically ignore it or would just stop reading all together.

        • paulcatanese

          Don’t do that John, I enjoy each and every post you put on here, and frankly what ever is posted on the site has nothing to do with what happens on the field, more than half the time it fills a void in my life and I revere all the posters, even the ones I think I dis agree with.

        • Gramps

           I have to agree with you John. So sick and tired of seeing every move analyzed like each and every one is critical to winning the World Series. Give this management team some time to implement their strategies. Let’s just enjoy the season. I like the fact that they are taking it a game at a time and not looking too far forward. I did not like the results of the opener but it was only 1 game!! I am looking forward to this summer watching the games and knowing that better things are ahead. GO CUBS!

          • OttawaBob

            Gramps, Ditto man DITTO!!  Most of the guys here must be young, they don/t remember the really bad Cub teams of the 1960’s and especiaaly the 70’s. And being led by an owner who could have cared less about winning or a World Series..  Tom Rickets just aquired one of the top GM’s in all of baseball,and made improvements to the scouting staff, that doesn’t sound like a guy trying to win or rebuild on the cheap. If he wanted to do that he could have canned Hendry and promoted Bush. To alot of the guys here who have all the definitive answers on how to rebuild the Cubs, well the GM job was open you should have mailed in your resumes.