Roster Turnover the Only Constant for the Cubs in 2013

With the Cubs suiting up for their final home game of the season on Wednesday afternoon, it seemed like an appropriate time, if there is one, to take a look back at the long list of players that shuffled through the Cubs’ clubhouse this season.

After using a franchise high 53 different players at the big league level a year ago, the front office topped their own record this season. 56 different players sported a Cubs’ uniform this season. And with what became affectionately known as the Cubs’ Daily Roster Shuffle, here is the full list of the players that compromised the 2013 Cubs.

Pitchers

  • Jake Arrieta
  • Scott Baker
  • Michael Bowden
  • Alex Burnett
  • Alberto Cabrera
  • Shawn Camp
  • Rafael Dolis
  • Scott Feldman
  • Kyuji Fujikawa
  • Matt Garza
  • Kevin Gregg
  • Justin Grimm
  • Matt Guerrier
  • Edwin Jackson
  • Chang-Yong Lim
  • Kameron Loe
  • Carlos Marmol
  • Blake Parker
  • Zach Putnam
  • Brooks Raley
  • Henry Rodriguez
  • Hector Rondon
  • Zac Rosscup
  • James Russell
  • Chris Rusin
  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Eduardo Sanchez
  • Pedro Strop
  • Hisanori Takahashi
  • Carlos Villanueva
  • Travis Wood

Catchers

  • J.C. Boscan
  • Welington Castillo
  • Steve Clevenger
  • Dioner Navarro

Infielders

  • Darwin Barney
  • Starlin Castro
  • Alberto Gonzalez
  • Brent Lillibridge
  • Donnie Murphy
  • Cody Ransom
  • Anthony Rizzo
  • Luis Valbuena
  • Logan Watkins

Outfielders

  • Brian Bogusevic
  • Julio Borbon
  • David DeJesus
  • Scott Hairston
  • Cole Gillispie
  • Junior Lake
  • Darnell McDonald
  • Thomas Neal
  • Dave Sappelt
  • Nate Schierholtz
  • Alfonso Soriano
  • Ryan Sweeney

Five different pitchers saved a game for the Cubs this season, the most in a single year since 2008. Kevin Gregg, Pedro Strop, Kyuji Fujikawa, Blake Parker and Carlos Marmol notched at least one save for Dale Sveum this season. The only relievers left in the pen that began the season there are James Russell and Hector Rondon. Carlos Villanueva began the season in the starting rotation, along with Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson, Travis Wood and Scott Feldman.

Only 12 players on the Cubs’ current 32-man active roster were with the team on Opening Day in Pittsburgh. Nate Schierholtz is in the lone outfielder remaining from the Opening Day Roster while Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Luis Valbuena are the only three infielders still with the team. Darwin Barney began the year on the disabled list.

Opening Day Lineup in Pittsburgh

  • David DeJesus – CF
  • Starlin Castro – SS
  • Anthony Rizzo – 1B
  • Alfonso Soriano – LF
  • Nate Schierholtz – RF
  • Welington Castillo – C
  • Luis Valbuena – 3B
  • Alberto Gonzalez – 2B
  • Jeff Samardzija – P

Opening Day at Wrigley Field

  • David DeJesus – CF
  • Starlin Castro – SS
  • Anthony Rizzo – 1B
  • Alfonso Soriano – LF
  • Nate Schierholtz – RF
  • Welington Castillo – C
  • Luis Valbuena – 3B
  • Brent Lillibridge – 2B
  • Edwin Jackson – P

The Cubs’ 40-man roster currently stands at 40 players with six players (Rafael Dolis, Kyuji Fujikawa, Matt Guerrier, Zach Putnam, Arodys Vizcaino, Thomas Neal) on the 60-day DL. The Cubs roster will look a lot different when pitchers and catchers report to the Cubs’ new facility in early February.

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  • J Daniel

    32 pitchers … looks like an extended spring training all season.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Let’s list players who outproduced their projections for 2013.
    These have performed above and beyond all expectations:

    Pitchers:
    Blake Parker–simply had a great year as a 8th inning guy. He’s a stud.
    Strop–nice bound back 2nd half after being acquired from the Orioles.
    Gregg–who thought 32 saves were possible from this guy in less than a full year?
    Travis Wood–he had 24 quality starts. That’s good enough for #2 in all of MLB.
    (Wainwright is #1 with 26). Congrats to Mr. Wood.

    INF:
    Don Murphy–his stat line is near to Miguel Cabrera’s. IN FACT, if you measure him
    among all 3B who had at least 4 AB in MLB this year, Cabrera is #1 in slugging, Mr. Donny Murphy
    is #2 in slugging with .556. That, sir, is a great stat line for any player.

    OF:
    Jr. Lake–he’s sagging back a little now, but 226 AB has produced a .294 BA.
    I didn’t expect him to be on the roster in 2013. He has outperformed expectations thus far.
    Brian Bogusevic–.208 is what I expected, not .280. He has slugged at a nice clip as
    well at .485. That .818 OPS is nice–yet it is good enough for only 14th among ML LF.
    He has had only 132 AB, however.

    Some might think Schierholtz belongs here. NO. He has sagged back in the 2nd half.
    Look: .251 BA as a one way player. If he sags back to .249, that’s where I had him.

    C:
    Navarro–yup, Navarro, not Castillo. .303 BA with .500 slugging from your Catcher.
    I want it!

    These are your bonus players for 2013. Now how many will make the roster out of ST?
    Most of them are not expected to repeat their 2013 level of play.

    Pitchers:
    No real guarantees for any of them, really. Strop and Wood would look like it, except they could
    be a trade piece. Parker? “He has an option left, and we don’t want to lose Dolis, do we?”
    [Yes, we want to lose Dolis if he can't earn a spot. He has one pitch, and he cannot throw it
    for a strike]. Gregg won’t even be here in ST, imo. To quote Hawk Harrellson, “He gone.”
    SO at best, I’d expect only 3 of these 4 pitchers to return.

    INF:
    No guarantees for Donny Murphy, either. He should make it–as a reserve.
    He is not considered to be part of the future.

    OF:
    Lake should make the team–as a reserve OF.
    Fans alot. Not a great glove just yet. Only 4 SB, yet not a slugger, either.
    A lot of raw ability, with the emphasis on raw. Looks like a ML utility player.

    Bogusevic should make the roster as well. probably as only a sub as well.

    C:
    Navarro is probably gone.

    SO out of all these “bonus performers,” expect only 3 pitchers, plus
    maybe Murphy, Bogusevic and Lake to return.

    But for 2013, these had very nice years. Congrats to them all.

    • Tony_Hall

      You think Lake should be a reserve OF???? If the Cubs took a young player and made him a bench player you would be all over it. Lake will start in the OF next year, most likely all the time, but at a minimum against LH who he crushes. His average is going down because he is getting more AB’s against RH”s to bring it down.

      Even with the bar set at above your expectations, you still can’t compliment Castillo. Amazing.

      Also, I looked deeper on Blake Parker. He has the right to refuse an Outright Assignment and elect free-agency, because he has been outrighted already in his career. So they may not risk losing him.

      • Ripsnorter1

        You are always negative, Tony. You didn’t compliment Donny Murphy.
        You didn’t compliment me for pointing out the excellent seasons these
        guys had. You are just tooooo negative. LOL

        Castillo did not have a super, overachiever season. He made progress
        defensively in the second half, but he had a rough first half with the glove.
        Offensively, he’s nothing special. Let’s check that stat line:
        .274 BA….that’s okay.
        .349 OBP…that’s better than average.
        .397 slug….a little less power than I want, but he’s still learning.
        8 HR
        32 RBI

        He’s not elite just yet. He’s learning.

        • Tony_Hall

          Sorry Rip, you did a great job pointing out the performers who performed above and beyond this year. I just see how you expected Castillo to have the year he had, he’s not elite but who out of the list you gave is elite?

          • Ripsnorter1

            Tony,
            You are a great guy. : ) Gotta tease ya, man.

            Donny Murphy had an elite year.
            Parker likewise, was elite. Strop was elite in 2nd half.
            Wood had an elite year.
            Gregg, although sagging back, with 32 saves had an elite year.

            Bogusevic, in limited playing time, had a very good year.

          • Tony_Hall

            I think we have different definitions of elite.

        • cubtex

          Wellington Castillo did have a better 2nd half. His power numbers are below average for a catcher.

          428 PA 8 HR and only 32 RBI

          Check out his average with RISP .181

      • Ripsnorter1

        Let’s talk Lake–the facts:

        244 PA is almost a full half season.
        Especially if he plays the last games. Agreed?
        So in a half season, we see…..

        SB threat…..not so much.
        4 SB….4 CS
        So he has something to learn in that department, agreed?

        Power?
        6 HR…that would be 12 in a full year…not a heavy stick.
        But 12 HR and .443 slug is good enough for CF.
        In LF, it isn’t good enough. Bogusevic with his .818 OPS
        is #14 in MLB in the LF department. Sure, we could have a
        David DeJesus slugging .390 in LF, but only if one enjoys last place.
        I am speaking about building a winner.

        BA?
        .294 is good enough, if he can keep it up.
        He hit .295 in 2013 AAA Iowa in half a season.
        Maybe he can hit that much. He didn’t do it in the lower minors EVER–
        save a short stint at Class A Daytona, he hit .315 in 203 AB.
        SPLITS:
        .260 vs RHP…402 slug…..bench player
        .390 vs LHP….559 slug….ALL-Star

        BB?
        Not a prototypical Theo guy, with only 11 BB in 244 PA.

        K’s?
        Currently, he fans a lot. 64 K in 228 AB = 28% K rate.
        That will limit BA if no progress. Yes, he’s young and he could
        and should progress. That will limit BA to probably .260 in the future
        if no progress.

        How’s his CF glove?
        Not polished just yet. In fact….terrible. .974 fielding percentage.
        .957 in CF. And that doesn’t count the times he’s misplayed flyballs
        into triples. The box score says triple; your eyes say “he misplayed it.”

        VERDICT:
        If we were a contender, he’d be a platoon player.
        On a last place team, he may get ABs in the hopes of growth.
        He is not polished yet. His glove is not
        yet good enough to start if his offense drops off to .270 BA.
        His speed is wasted in that he cannot yet steal bases. He is not a finished product.

        THEREFORE–he may not start in 2014, or else, be limited to a Schierholtz platoon.

        • cubtex

          If they go with Bogusevic Lake and Schierholtz in the outfield next year……they will lose 90 plus games again. That will be the worst outfield in the majors.

          What they really need is a guy who hits 30 HR’s….drives in 100 RBI and can hit in the 4 spot. Do you know where the Cubs could get one of those guys??? lol

          • 07GreyDigger

            Not on free agency so don’t even suggest it. :) 20 HRs and 80 RBIs maybe.

          • cubtex

            you didn’t get who I was talking about?

          • 07GreyDigger

            I get it now. But I still don’t agree.

          • coachdon

            Out of that 3, Schierholtz is the one I’d like to see replaced by a power type bat.

          • cubtex

            They need a power bat somewhere. To start Bogusevic and Schierholtz in the same outfield would be tough.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Bogusevic is slugging .485, but he’s a one way player.
            He’s hitting .154 vs LHP.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I don’t think they’d start Bogusevic in the OF. He’s a 4th OF at best. I think they know that.

          • cubtex

            I am not so sure they will not go with that outfield next year. I think it is a very strong possibility

          • Ripsnorter1

            We just gave one away…..

            I don’t know where you can get another one. You’ll have to grow one.

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually we got a pretty nice arm back in return.

          • Tony_Hall

            Because they were winning so many games when they had a player hitting 30/100? I am not saying we don’t need power hitters, but it’s not like that is the make or break of this teams season.

          • cubtex

            what is the plan next year Tony? To lose big and get another top 5 pick? Then sure…go with Bogie, Lake and Schierholtz. If they ever are at the point to try and compete at the beginning of the year…they need to add better players.

          • Tony_Hall

            I hope they go after someone like Carlos Gonzalez, but lets be realistic, they can’t just do a FA deal or trade regardless of the deal. It has to make sense. The young guys are close and I believe that July-Sept nexy year will see guys like Baez, Bryant, Olt, Alcantara, etc all being ready to be called up. And yes I know there are no guarantees and that they may all fail, or never make it, but there are no guarantees on a guy like CarGo either.

            You know what the plan is, where they are at in it, you just like to spend every day complaining about it.

          • cubtex

            at some point you need to try. Bogusevic will have no trade value at the trade deadline. We saw no team was willing to pony up for Schierholtz this year. Who is being blocked in the outfield. No one is beating down the doors.

          • Tony_Hall

            I believe they are trying all the time. But the other teams just won’t give us the players we want without us giving up something we don’t want to give up.

            I like the Carlos Gonzalez idea and most likely that is the best chance to make something happen in the OF this offseason, but at what cost is the question.

        • 07GreyDigger

          I agree with Rip over Tony. WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?!!!

          • Tony_Hall

            Also, I believe you ended up arguing that I am right, he is a short sided platoon player, but on the Cubs in 2014, he should start every day to see what he can do.

          • Tony_Hall

            Re-read his final analysis, it says Lake should be a platoon player (R/L) and that on a team like the Cubs will be in 2014, he should player everyday.

        • coachdon

          I can’t wait to see what Lake can do next year after an offseason and Spring training working with Dave McKay, the best coach on the Cubs staff, by far. Defensively, he should be much improved as he was a SS and third baseman until he came to the bigs. Offensively, there are times that he gives you just a great at-bat, like last night when he fouled off a couple close pitches, took some other close balls and worked a tough walk. My thought is that he could be a solid centerfielder with plus speed, plus arm, and hit about .280 with 15-20 homers, steal 15 to 20 bases. I would take that in a heartbeat. I like that he seems to hustle at all times

          • paulcatanese

            Agree, McKay is a great coach, if not the best one that they have.
            I mentioned that before, if he could do what he did with Soriano, I know he can help Lake.

        • Tony_Hall

          Actually 244 is around 1/3 of a season to maybe pushing 40%. Most full season players reach 700 PA’s.

  • Tony_Hall

    Just to make it clear on the pitching staff, after this season and going into next season

    Free Agents (3)
    Baker
    Gregg
    Guerrier

    60 Day DL (1)
    Fujikawa – he will come off the DL then be put back on to start next year

    Pitchers with Options (no restrictions) (9)
    Grimm
    Lim
    McNutt
    Putnam
    Raley
    Ramirez
    Rosscup
    Rusin
    Vizcaino

    Pitcher with waivers who can say no (FA) (2)
    Parker
    Rondon

    Pitchers with waivers who have to be exposed to Optional Assignment waivers (2)
    Arrieta
    Bard

    Pitchers out of waivers or on contracts, etc. (8)
    Samardzija
    Wood
    Jackson
    Russell
    Strop
    Villanueva
    Dolis
    Cabrera

    Clear now…..

  • John_CC

    What a looong season! I forgot that Shawn Camp was on the team this year!

    • Ripsnorter1

      I wanted to forget…..7.04 ERA…1.870 WHIP….2.7 HR/9 IP….

      He lost his control–9 BB in 23 IP…

      I bought a hot dog at a sporting event the other day, and who was
      serving the dogs? None other than Mr. Shawn Camp. He slopped the
      relish, mustard and ketchup over the side–still can’t find the strike zone. LOL

      • 07GreyDigger

        He’s still better than you…

        • Ripsnorter1

          I can make a better hot dog than Shawn Camp any day of the week.

          LOL

  • cubtex

    I would like to commend Theo on his compassion this year to give so so so many fringe major leaguers the opportunity to play in the big leagues this year with the Cubs. He gave a lot of players an opportunity where no other team in baseball would have! What a great gesture!

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Nice Guys always finish last.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Ain’t that the truth.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    All I can say is, we can forget about 2015 and playoffs……the clock is being pushed back to 2016 the earliest.
    Theo will have an excuse telling everyone the new International Signing / Money restrictions slowdown his plan.

    • John_CC

      What makes you say that now?

  • CubbyDenCritic

    How many more years will we all suffer.
    Odds are one of us will be dead before the Cubs win a World Series…….if you are under 35 yrs of age, should see a few Cubs titles……under 35 -65, at least one……over 70, time to be a Cardinals fan.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Time for “What If?”……………..
    What if Theo does not bring us a title?…what then?
    What if only one of the big four (Almora, Baez, Bryant, Soler) makes it?
    What if Castro & Rizzo is the same in 2014 as we saw in 2013?
    What if the Cubs lose more than 100 games next season?
    What if Vogelbach is hitting lights out next season in the minors, and Rizzo is not in the majors?
    What if the Astros or Marlins make it back to the World Series before the Cubs do?

    • cubtex

      It is very possible about the Astros and the Marlins.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        The day that happens, time say “goodbye” to the Wonder Boy…..we are way more advance than the Marlins or Astros…..makes me want to vomit just thinking that could happen.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Not more advanced that the Astros. Every list I read ranks
          the Astros system above the Cubs’ system.

          Really.

          • cubtex

            George Springer is going to be good!

    • John_CC

      Two years in and now “it’s time” to “what if?”

      Typical.

      • Ripsnorter1

        No, it’s been 105 years.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I don’t think Theo will bring us a title, certainly not before his contract expires.

      Of the big four….no guarantees anywhere, of course, but the one I am most concerned
      about is Soler.

      Castro and Rizzo being the same in 2014? I expect Rizzo will be the same, to be honest.
      Castro…hmmmm….you might not like this, but the damage done by Rowdon
      may be permanent. He is hitting .250 for Sept, and that’s an improvement over
      August’s .218. He did not hit .300 for even one month of 2013. Other players have
      been permanently ruined by an incompetent coaching staff.

      Losing 100 games? Not if Team Theo gets us a decent rotation like we had this year.
      We are 10th in MLB in quality starts, right behind the #9 White Sox. (No lie). Hard to lose
      100 games with a decent rotation.

      Vogelbach….hmmmm….you ain’t going to like this…..he doesn’t look ML to me.

      Astros: they have a very sharp GM, and they have a very good MiL system. They
      very well may make it back first.

      • cubtex

        When is his contract up? Was it a 5 year? If that is the case…I agree with you. Not before his contract is up.

        • Ripsnorter1

          5 year contract for Mr. Theo Epstein.
          Signed Oct, 2011 by Mr. Ricketts.

          He has three years to win before it’s up.

          • cubtex

            I don’t even think they will win a division title by then at the pace they are going.

  • paulcatanese

    Out of all the players listed on today’s blog, one stands out for me,,,, Borbon, a true Martyr, he did the smart thing an loafed down to first and then was made an example of by the Cubs. It’s like no one else on the team made any mistakes that would qualify them for the same treatment.
    Countless mistakes were in fact made, but no action like that. Poor, poor handling by the front office.
    Not that Borbon should have been kept around, but to do what they did in the way that they did it was just a no class move.
    On the other hand he is away from that circus .

    • cubtex

      I agree Paul. It was the way he was cut. If I am not mistaken….he got thrown out at 3rd when he should have been more conservative since they were down in the game(like most games) Sveum said he cut him for his mistakes on the basepaths and then Rizzo did the same thing a few days later….and no punishment.

      • paulcatanese

        And if punishment were fair, McDonald would not have hit the homer today, would have been pulled and released today after his muff going to third base.
        Ah, but who said life is fair.

    • Tony_Hall

      You guys are ridiculous. It was after that that they cut him, but it wasn’t because of that. If he had done everything good up until then, he wouldn’t have gotten cut at that time.

      • cubtex

        Agreed he deserved to be cut….but what did Sveum say to the media why they cut him? That was what was ridiculous!

        • Tony_Hall

          That was the final straw, if he had been doing great up until that point, he wouldn’t have gotten cut for that reason.

  • Eugene Debs

    Remember when all you dweebs were chanting for Tony Campana?