There were several moves involving Cubs’ minor league players announced Monday.
RHP Trey McNutt signed a minor league contract with the Padres. The Cubs released OF Kevin Encarnacion, LHP Carlos A. Rodriguez, 3B Carlos Jimenez and OF Kevin Brown. And INF Wes Darvill signed with a new team.
Trey McNutt was the Cubs top pitching prospect just four years ago. McNutt was one of the top five prospects in the system in consecutive years (2011, 2012) before injuries derailed his career. McNutt missed the entire 2014 season after undergoing shoulder surgery. The Cubs released McNutt last July.
McNutt was selected in the 32nd round of the 2009 draft and put together an excellent season in 2010 that shot him to the top of the prospect rankings. McNutt pitched over three levels in the Cubs system (Low-A Peoria, High-A Daytona, Double-A Tennessee) and was a combined 10-1 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. McNutt allowed 42 runs, 32 earned, on 42 hits with 37 walks and 132 strikeouts in 116 1/3 innings.
McNutt struggled with his command the following year with Double-A Tennessee and did not pitch any better in the Arizona Fall League. McNutt was not able to replicate his early success and continued to struggle until injuries ended his time in the Cubs’ organization.
The Cubs released OF Kevin Encarnacion after he spent his first season back from a serious, life-threatening car crash in which he suffered third degree burns over 50 percent of his body with the South Bend Cubs. Encarnacion batted .276/.345/.376 in 63 games for Low-A South Bend last year with six doubles, three triples and three home runs for a .721 OPS. Encarnacion turned 24 in November.
LHP Carlos A. Rodriguez spent last summer in the Venezuelan Summer League and Arizona Rookie League. Rodriguez was 4-1 in 11 relief appearances for the AZL Cubs with a 4.21 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. And for the year, Rodriguez was 5-1 in 15 games, four starts, with a 3.38 ERA and 0.95 WHIP (18 runs, 38 hits, eight walks, 49 strikeouts in 48 innings).
3B Carlos Jimenez played 30 games for the AZL Cubs last season and hit .236/.264/.330 with five doubles, a triple and a home run for a .594 OPS.
The Cubs selected OF Kevin Brown in the 22nd round of the 2013 draft. Brown turned 25 in November after playing last year with High-A Myrtle Beach and Triple-A Iowa. Brown managed a .278/.300/.389 line in 11 games with the I-Cubs and hit .225/.288/.336 in 75 games for the Pelicans with 11 doubles, three triples and four home runs for a .624 OPS.
According to a report from the Winnipeg Free Press, INF Wes Darvill signed with the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association in Independent Baseball.
Wes Darvill was with High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee last year. The utility infielder hit only .184/.268/.260 in 89 games with six doubles, two triples and three home runs. The Cubs selected Darvill in the fifth round of the 2009 draft. Over seven seasons in the Cubs’ system, Darvill put together a .234/.307/.308 line with a .615 OPS.