The Cubs addition of LHP James Russell back to the organization and RHP Pierce Johnson being placed on the 7-day DL to start the season headlined several roster moves the front office made at the beginning of the minor league season.
James Russell re-signed with the organization that drafted him. Russell inked a minor league deal and reported to the Cubs facility in Arizona. Russell joined the Iowa Cubs Monday in New Orleans for the first of a four game series. To make room on Iowa’s roster, LHP Jeffry Antigua was assigned to Double-A Tennessee.
James Russell pitched two perfect innings, with a strikeout Monday. Russell threw 18 pitches, 12 for strikes, and picked up a hold. Iowa beat New Orleans 4-1.
RHP Pierce Johnson not starting the season in the Double-A Tennessee’s rotation came as a surprise. Johnson was placed on the 7-day DL and is rehabbing a strained lat muscle in Arizona.
Cubs signed LHP James Russell to a minor league contract and traded RHP Jorge De Leon to the Dodgers for cash.
The transaction page on Cubs.com indicated the team traded RHP Tony Zych to the Mariners for a player to be named later, not cash as previously reported.
The Cubs released RHP Julio Sanchez. The 23-year old right hander pitched in the Venezuelan Summer League last year. Sanchez was 5-2 in 20 games, no starts, with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. Sanchez walked (24) almost as many batters as he struck out (25) in 35 2/3 innings.
The Cubs officially transferred the options of RHP C.J. Edwards and INF Christian Villanueva from Triple-A Iowa to Double-A Tennessee.
One former Cubs top prospect was released this past week while a former farmhand was loaded out by his new organization: SS Walter Ibarra (Diamondbacks loaned to Monterrey) and OF Tyler Colvin (Marlins) was released. 2B Tony Thomas signed a minor league contract with the Phillies which makes sense. Thomas played for Ryne Sandberg at Double-A Tennessee during the 2009 season.
Minor League Disabled List
Baseball America provided a comprehensive list of the players in each system that were placed on the disabled list before the minor league season started. Baseball America did not give details to the extent or what type of injury that sidelined each player.
The Cubs placed RHP Trey McNutt, RHP Jose Rosario, C Will Remillard and INF/OF Logan Watkins on the 60-day DL.
RHP Daniel Bard and RHP Anthony Carter signed minor league contracts with the Cubs in the off-season and both pitchers are still with the organization. The Cubs placed Bard and Carter on the 7-day DL.
RHP Trevor Graham, RHP Austin Reed, LHP Michael Heesch, LHP Tyler Ihrig, C Erick Castillo, 2B Andrew Ely, 2B Tim Saunders and OF Yasiel Balaguert are also starting the year on the 7-day DL.
C Taylor Teagarden did not leave the organization. Teagarden was placed on the 7-day DL and is at the Cubs facility in Mesa rehabbing an undisclosed injury.
RHP Pierce Johnson was officially placed on the 7-day DL. Johnson strained a lat muscle during Spring Training and the Cubs will not rush him back. When Jason McLeod addressed Johnson’s absence from the affiliates Opening Day rosters last week he said Johnson was still a couple of weeks away from “getting built back up to game readiness.”