Roster Reshuffle in the Cubs Lower Minor Leagues

The Chicago Cubs made flurry of roster moves involving their lower minor league teams in the past 72 hours. Recently signed 2014 draft selections INF’s Andrew Ely, Joe Martarano, and Chesny Young, along with C Mark Zagunis, were all assigned to the AZL Cubs and made their professional debuts. After going 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI on Thursday, Zagunis was promoted to the Boise Hawks.

Left-handed pitcher and 2013 eight round selection Sam Wilson was promoted to the Boise Hawks after completing his rehab in Arizona. Going the opposite way was 2013 fifth round pick RHP Trey Masek, who was sent to the AZL Cubs after being hit hard on Monday for Boise, allowing four earned runs in 1.2 innings.

Among the most surprising moves were LHP Gerardo Concepcion being sent outright to the AZL Cubs from the Kane County Cougars, and OF Kevin Brown being promoted to the Tennessee Smokies form the Boise Hawks.

It appears to be another setback in the somewhat stormy career of Concepcion, who began this season in the Cougars’ bullpen. Concepcion was uneven in his performace, going 1-1 with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP that included 23 strikeouts in 24.1 innings (12 appearances). Concepcion was placed on the disabled list in late May after suffering a broken foot on a line drive.

A 22nd round selection in 2013, Brown was given the huge jump from Short-Season A ball to Double-A after batting .293/.354/.500/.854 with a home run and 12 RBI in 15 games for the Hawks. The Smokes have been hurting for production in their outfield since injuries cost them Jorge Soler and All-Star John Andreoli. Although Brown is 23 years old, leaps of this size usually do not occur for very long. Expect for Brown to be reassigned to Kane County or Daytona after further roster movement.

It is expected within the next few days that further roster shake-ups will happen for Kane County and Daytona as more players from the 2014 draft are signed and assigned. Roster movement for Tennessee and Iowa is not expected until the parent club begins to make trades. Stay tuned.

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