The front office would like for the position players coming up through the system to be able to play at least two positions in the field. The Cubs are so focused on position flexibility that they’ve added it to each player’s development plan.
Jaron Madison, the Cubs farm director, spoke with the Des Moines Register after the minor league assignments were announced Monday. Madison told Tommy Birch the Cubs would like for Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Javier Baez “to play multiple positions during their time with Iowa.”
Addison Russell will start the season at shortstop and Javier Baez at second base. After they’ve had a chance to settle in and get comfortable, the plan is to have them move back and forth between shortstop and second base. Baez has moved between the two positions since last summer and Russell played a game at second base in the Fall League. Russell took grounders at third base during Spring Training but spent his time in games at shortstop.
The Cubs would like for Kris Bryant to be able to stick at third base, a point that Jed Hoyer reiterated during an interview on 670 The Score. Bryant will see time in the outfield with the I-Cubs. According to the report the Cubs have discussed how they are going to use Bryant and “the plan is to solidify it more before Iowa’s season start Thursday at Memphis.”
Jaron Madison also told Tommy Birch that he “could see a scenario in which Kyle Schwarber, C.J. Edwards and Albert Almora all get to Des Moines this summer.” Madison thinks Edwards “could possibly be the first of those three” to be promoted from Tennessee to Iowa during the season.
Cubs Minor League Opening Day Rosters
The Cubs and each of the four full-season affiliates announced the Opening Day or initial rosters Monday. The minor league season kicks off Thursday.
So if you would like to know where the top prospects in the system are starting the season, click on the links … spoiler alert, Kris Bryant is with the Iowa Cubs, C.J. Edwards is starting the year along with Kyle Schwarber at Double-A Tennessee.
- South Bend Cubs Announce 2015 Opening Day Roster (Low-A)
- Myrtle Beach Pelicans Announce 2015 Opening Day Roster (High-A)
- Tennessee Smokies Announce 2015 Opening Day Roster (Double-A)
- Iowa Cubs Announce 2015 Opening Day Roster (Triple-A)
Minor League Roster Moves
According to Baseball America, the Cubs released LHP Francisley Bueno and traded RHP Tony Zych to the Mariners for cash considerations.
LHP Francisley Bueno signed a minor league contract with the Cubs during the off-season that included a non-roster invite to big league camp. Bueno was a longshot to make the team and didn’t exactly pitch his way into consideration for a spot. Bueno appeared in 10 games and allowed seven runs, five earned, on 13 hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings (4.66 ERA, 1.45 WHIP).
The Cubs moved on from RHP Tony Zych. The hard-throwing right hander was actually drafted by the Cubs twice, one in the 46th round of the 2008 draft and again in the 4th round of the 2011 draft. The 24-year old has a big arm, but hasn’t been able to throw enough strikes. Zych stumbled last season after a good year in 2013. In his second season with the Smokies, Zych was 4-5 in 45 games with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. Zych gave up 75 hits with 18 walks and 35 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings.
Former Cubs that were recently released includes: RHP Henry Rodriguez (Diamondbacks), LHP Scott Downs (Indians), INF/OF Josh Vitters (Rockies), INF Ryan Roberts (Royals), 2B Tony Thomas (Twins), Zeke DeVoss (Athletics) and RHP Mitch Atkins (Rangers).