Neil Ramirez began a rehab assignment Wednesday night with the AZL Cubs. Ramirez threw two-thirds of an inning and allowed two runs, one earned, on one hit with a walk and a strikeout.
Ramirez was placed on the 15-day DL July 29, retroactive to July 26, with triceps soreness after the team tried to option him to Iowa for ten days to give him a break. Ramirez is eligible to come off the disabled list Aug. 11 and was not expected to miss more than the required 15 days when he was put on the shelf.
By sending him on a rehab assignment, the Cubs technically have 30 days before Neil Ramirez has to be activated from the DL.
The Cubs would like to take a look at LHP Felix Doubront in a starting role before the end of the season. The Cubs acquired Doubront from the Red Sox prior to the deadline for a player to be named later. Doubront is viewed as a change of scenery guy with a high upside that could pay dividends for the Cubs down the road, and in the rotation as soon as next season.
According to a report from Carrie Muskat, Doubront completed another side session Wednesday, 88 pitches, and will travel with the team to Chicago. Felix Doubront could begin a rehab assignment next week as he works to get back to full strength after being placed on the 15-day DL with a left calf strain when he was acquired from the Sox.
The Iowa Cubs announced three roster moves Thursday.
Manny Ramirez was activated from the disabled list. Ramirez was placed on the DL on July 24. Blake Parker reported back to Iowa and was made available for Thursday’s game. INF Jonathan Mota replaced INF Javier Baez on Iowa’s roster.
The Cubs first round pick in June’s draft has started his pro career on a positive note, and MLB Pipeline has noticed. Jonathan Mayo listed Kyle Schwarber as one of the five best position players to have a strong start to his professional career.
Kyle Schwarber has slowed down with Daytona and is hitting .239/.372/.378 with 15 walks, 16 strikeouts, two doubles and two home runs in 20 games. Even with the struggles in High-A ball, Kyle Schwarber has hit .341/.437/.594 with 11 doubles, a triple, 10 home runs, 28 walks, 35 strikeouts and a 1.031 OPS in his first 48 games in professional baseball.
Baseball America’s Best Tools
Baseball America began posting its annual series on the best tools in each league for every level of the minor league system Wednesday. And to no surprise, the Cubs prospects are heavily represented.
Best Tools – Triple-A – Pacific Coast League
Baseball America asked Triple-A managers to vote on the best players for each of its categories.
- Power Prospect – Javier Baez
- Control – Kyle Hendricks
- Reliever – Blake Parker
- Defensive Second Baseman – Arismendy Alcantara
- Defensive Third Baseman – Kris Bryant
- Infield Arm – Javier Baez
- Defensive Outfielder – Matt Szczur
Best Tools – Double-A – Southern League
Baseball America asked Double-A managers to vote on the best players for each of its categories.
- Batting Prospect – Kris Bryant
- Power Prospect – Kris Bryant
- Infield Arm – Kris Bryant
- Outfield Arm – Jorge Soler
- Most Exciting Player – Kris Bryant
Mesa Solar Sox and the AFL
The Arizona Fall League rosters have not been announced yet, but when they are C.J. Edwards is expected to be on the list of Cubs prospects on the Mesa Solar Sox roster.
The AFL announced the managers and coaching staffs for the upcoming season at the end of July and Ron Villone was named the pitching coach for the Solar Sox, which is good news for the Cubs pitching prospects that will be participating in the AFL.
The schedule for the fall season was announced Wednesday and the 2014 AFL season kicks off on Oct. 7 … and for the first time, the Solar Sox will use Cubs Park for the team’s home games.
The season begins on Oct. 7 and runs through Nov. 15 with the league’s championship game at Scottsdale Stadium. Mesa is scheduled to face Glendale on Opening Day in the Arizona Fall League (Oct. 7).