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

Pitchers

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

Catchers

Welington Castillo
Blake Lalli

Infielders

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

Outfielders

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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