Tennessee Smokies Release Tentative Opening Day Roster

The Tennessee Smokies, the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, released their first roster of the season on Monday afternoon. Buddy Bailey’s team opens the 2014 season on Thursday night at Pensacola.

PrintKris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Dustin Geiger, Rubi Silva, John Andreoli, Zeke DeVoss and Stephen Bruno headline the position players that will start the season on the Smokies’ active roster. Jorge Soler was optioned to Double-A Tennessee in Spring Training and reports have suggested Soler will begin the season on the 7-day DL with a hamstring injury. The Smokies do not have Soler listed on the team’s disabled list. Theo Epstein addressed Soler’s injury prior to Monday’s game and said the team was being cautious with Soler.

The Smokies’ rotation will be led with C.J. Edwards at the beginning of the season along with Ivan Pineyro, Corey Black, Matt Loosen and Dae-Eun Rhee. Pierce Johnson is starting the year on the disabled list. Johnson has been dealing with hamstring tightness that will delay the start of his season. Jason McLeod said in March he did not anticipate Johnson missing one or two starts.

Tennessee’s pen will feature hard throwers Armando Rivero and Tony Zych.

The Smokies’ first roster features 12 pitchers and 14 position players. Tennessee will start the season with Taylor Davis and Anthony Giansanti on the disabled list. Double-A Tennessee can have 37 players on their reserve roster but only 24 players on the active roster.

2014 Tennessee Smokies Opening Day Roster

  • Manager – Buddy Bailey
  • Hitting Coach – Desi Wilson
  • Pitching Coach – Storm Davis 
Pitchers
  • Corey Black, RHP
  • Lendy Castillo, RHP
  • Hunter Cervenka, LHP
  • C.J. Edwards, RHP
  • P.J. Francescon, RHP
  • Matt Loosen, RHP
  • Jeffrey Lorick, LHP
  • Ivan Pineyro, RHP
  • Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
  • Armando Rivero, RHP
  • Ryan Searle, RHP
  • Tony Zych, RHP
Catchers
  • Charles Cutler
  • Rafael Lopez
Infielders
  • Stephen Bruno
  • Kris Bryant
  • Wes Darvill
  • Dustin Geiger
  • Jonathan Mota
  • Jeudy Valdez
Outfielders
  • John Andreoli
  • Zeke DeVoss
  • Rubi Silva
  • Jorge Soler
Disabled List
  • Taylor Davis
  • Anthony Giansanti

Release from Tennessee Smokies

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  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    What are the chances that CJ is in Chicgo lat in 2016? If he pitches in AA like he has at every other level I’d have to think it could be.

    • GaryLeeT

      I see faster movement than that, and not the rushing kind either. Not only do I expect to see him in next year’s ST games, but at the end of the 2015 (at age 24 BTW) he will be plenty seasoned enough for a September call up.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        I hope so Gary. I just don’t see the reason for a successful player to spend a full season at AAA. I like the “full year at each level,” concept. But not at AAA. The Cubs want to use it as finishing school for prospects but many teams view it as a wasteland for AAAA type players. Their top prospects jump straight from AA like Castro did. They use AAA for guys that will likely never be full-time big leaguers but can come up and fill a hole during an injury. It’s basically a home for mediocrity. I think if a prospect dominates at AAA from April to June and there is a need, it’s time for the call-up. If CJ dominates AA and starts next year at AAA and dominates there I think he should come up.

        • Tony_H

          The FO does not require a full year at AAA. The only thing that has been said is they believe it is good for players to go to AAA, and they would like for players to get 500 AB’s there. But the have also said that when a players personal development plan has all the boxes checked is when they advance..

          That is basically a way of saying that most players will need AAA for almost a year before being ready for the majors, but that the elite players that continue to dominate will move faster.

          I believe that Baez will dominate AAA and will be up before 500 AB’s. I also believe Bryant will test this as well, as he may be able to fast forward through a much shorter AAA time frame as well.

          As for pitchers, they have never said so many innings or anything that would tell us a set number.

          I see Edwards in AAA by the end of this year and in ST next year. He will go back to AAA next year and be a mid year call up. Of course this is all if he continues dominating like he has been doing.

          • Richard Hood

            This about what I see as well. If Edwards pitches as well as he did after the trade last year he will be in Iowa by July. Could we see a Sept call up this year? I think it all depends on his innings and if he can maintain his level of dominance while adding to his work load.
            I think that the innings will be the main hold on him late in the year though because they did not let him off the leash at all last year after he was acquired.

          • Tony_H

            I don’t see a call up in September as he needs more time and innings to get build up to a full season work load.

            2012 – 67 innings
            2013 – 116 innings

            I would expect them to try and get him to 140-150 this year and 180 next year. If all goes well, he will not get the call up except as bullpen option. He has to be added to the 40 man roster in the off-season anyway. But it will start his clock and that is why I would expect them to start next year in Iowa. One to control his innings easier and to make sure they get an extra year of control.

            Edwards is the type of guy as to why I can see them signing the Maholm’s, Feldman’s, Hammel’s of the world, as those guys can pitch the 1st half of the year, then call up a guy like Edwards after they trade them away. The $5-$6M they pay a Hammel, will save a year of control for a guy like Edwards, likely be a plus to the team, plus you get to trade that player for more players. This also helps to control the young players innings in their 1st year in the majors. All positives.

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  • mutantbeast

    Im going to go on record and call Bruno the surprise breakout guy at AA this year. Kid could always hit, and AA is a very agressive assignment for him considering his injury history. He might even force himself into a utility role in the majors by mid 2015 if he stays healthy.

  • mutantbeast

    BTW if Rizzo keeps shpwing he cant hit the Francisco Lirianos of the world, we all will be watching on Mr Vogelbomb a lot closer this year.