The Cubs extended stay in Arizona came to an end on Thursday following the Cactus League finale against the Mariners. The team broke camp and departed for Houston. The Cubs have only two more exhibition games remaining on their spring schedule … and a couple of decisions to make.
During Thursday’s telecast on Comcast SportsNet, Jason McLeod said the organization was meeting on Thursday afternoon to finalize the minor league rosters for the start of the season. So barring any last minute additions, the Cubs should officially announce the final round of spring roster cuts well before Sunday’s deadline.
With the addition of Guillermo Moscoso and placing Arodys Vizcaino on the 60-day DL, the Cubs spring roster officially stands at 34 players.
According to multiple reports, Alberto Gonzalez, Zach Putnam and Cory Wade have been informed they did not make the team which would reduce the roster to 31 players. J.C. Boscan and Brett Jackson are expected to be on the I-Cubs’ Opening Day roster. That would take the Cubs’ spring roster down to 29 players. Matt Garza, Ian Stewart and Scott Baker will begin the year on the DL … and that leaves 26 players in camp.
Guillermo Moscoso does not appear to be a viable option for the Opening Day roster. Moscoso is not expected to catch up with the team in Houston. The Cubs have to open two spots on the 40-man roster to add both Brent Lillibridge and Hisanori Takahashi. Placing Scott Baker on the 60-day DL will clear a spot for one of the two players. With the conservative June timeframe for Baker to possibly join the Cubs’ rotation, there is no reason to place him on the 15-day DL and have him take up a roster spot.
The Cubs are anticipating Matt Garza and Ian Stewart being ready to play big league games in May. The front office can always transfer either player to the 60-day if they have another setback. For the second roster spot needed to add either Lillibridge or Takahashi to the roster, the Cubs could take the same route they did a year ago with Frankie De La Cruz and place Guillermo Moscoso back on waivers and once he clears outright him to Triple-A Iowa. Moscoso has not been outrighted to the minors, and by rule he must accept the assignment.
Unless the Cubs make a last minute addition, the Opening Day roster appears to be set and should include Steve Clevenger and Hisanori Takahashi.
According to a report from the Tribune, the Cubs are pursuing Venezuelan shortstop Gleyber Torres.
Torres becomes eligible on July 2 and the report from Phil Rogers, using Kiley McDaniel from Scout.com as his source, indicated that it could take $2 million to sign the 16-year old. According to the report from Scout.com, Torres doesn’t offer a ton of projection but has a lot of smoothness and now skills to propel him to the top group of talents in the class.
The Cubs followed up a 17-16-2 mark in the Cactus League a year ago with a 16-18-1 record this spring. The Cubs played one less game than scheduled (March 8 in Goodyear against the Reds was rained out) and beat Team Japan in an exhibition game at HoHoKam Park on March 15.
The Cubs see growth potential in Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and the young core … and according to the same report from Patrick Mooney, Alfonso Soriano doesn’t think the old, expensive, brand-name teams are sure things anymore.
Steve Clevenger told the Sun-Times he was glad he finally saw action at third base on Wednesday night. Clevenger was able to field a couple of groundballs which helped him with the confidence he will need to play the position this season.