#Cubs roster breakdown

With the moves Monday regarding Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Addison Russell, and the addition of Phil Coke, the Cubs are close to finalizing their 25-man roster. Here’s who’s left:

13 pitchers

Starters: Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, Kyle Hendricks, Edwin Jackson, Travis Wood

Relievers:

Britton
Coke
Grimm
Motte
Ramirez
Rondon
Strop

3 catchers:
Castillo
Montero
Ross

5 infielders:
Alcantara
Castro
La Stella
Olt
Rizzo

6 outfielders:
Coghlan
Fowler
Soler
Lake
Sweeney
Szczur

#Cubs select contract of Phil Coke

The Cubs selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Phil Coke, who had signed a Minor League contract with the team. By making the team, Coke will be paid $2.25 million.

In nine relief appearances this spring, Coke, 32, has given up four hits but has not allowed a run. He’s spent the last seven seasons with the Yankees (2008-09) and Tigers (2010-14), going 22-27 with 80 holds, eight saves and a 4.16 ERA. Last season, Coke was 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA in 62 relief appearances for the Tigers.

With the addition of Coke, the Cubs’ 40-man roster is now at 40.

He was one of three left-handed relievers in camp, joining Drake Britton, who is out of options, and Zac Rosscup.

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs Futures Game lineup for Mon 3/30

Some of the Cubs top prospects will face the Rangers in a Futures Game Monday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, starting at 7 p.m. MT. General admission tickets are $6 and a portion of the net proceeds will benefit the Mesa Diamond Project, which expands opportunities for children to play baseball in the Mesa community.

Here’s the Cubs lineup:

Hannemann RF

Almora CF

Schwarber C

Vogelbach 1B

Villanueva 3B

McKinney LF

Zagunis DH

Lockhart 2B

Penalver SS

#Cubs roster for Futures Game

Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora, Gleyber Torres and Eloy Jimenez are among the Cubs prospects participating in Monday night’s Futures Game at Sloan Park in Mesa. The game was scheduled to start at 7 p.m. MT. Tickets are $6.

Here’s  list of players on the Cubs roster:

Pitchers

Corey Black, C.J. Edwards, Armando Rivero, Josh Conway, James Norwood, Stephen Perakslis, Hunter Cervenka, Juan Paniagua, Gerardo Concepcion

Catchers

Kyle Schwarber, Wilson Contreras, Gioskar Amaya, Victor Caratini

infielders

Daniel Vogelbach, Daniel Lockhart, Chesny Young, Carlos Penalver, Gleyber Torres, Christian Villanueva, Jeimer Candelario.

Outfielders

Mark Zagunis, Albert Almora, Billy McKinney, Jacob Hannemann, Eloy Jimenez, Kevonte Mitchell, Charcer Burks.

MLBPA issues statement re: #Cubs Bryant

The Major League Baseball Players Association issued a statement Monday regarding the Cubs decision to assign Kris Bryant to the Minor League camp.

“Today is a bad day for baseball,” the MLBPA said in a statement. “I think we all know that even if Kris Bryant were a combination of the greatest Players to play our game, and perhaps he will be before it’s all said and done, the Cubs still would have made the decision they made today. This decision, and other similar decisions made by clubs will be addressed in litigation, bargaining or both.”

– Carrie Muskat

 

#Cubs Theo: “We have a lot of answers in camp”

The Cubs have had inquiries from other teams regarding catcher Welington Castillo but Theo Epstein said Monday he did not anticipate a trade prior to the start of the season.

“We don’t think it’s a high likelihood we’ll make a move outside of this camp,” Epstein said. “We think we have a lot of answers here in camp and as we look forward into the season with what we have at Triple-A, it’s pretty good.”

The Cubs will likely open the season with three catchers, Castillo plus Miguel Montero and David Ross.

– Carrie Muskat

Sorting out #Cubs infield

With the roster moves in Cubs camp on Monday, that leaves six infielders in camp:

Alcantara

Castro

La Stella

Olt

Rizzo

Herrera

Arismendy Alcantara and Tommy La Stella will likely share second base, or La Stella could start at third in place of Mike Olt. Joe Maddon says he hasn’t determined who will start Opening Night yet.

“We joked with Joe this morning, now that La Stella looks like Brooks Robinson at third, do you think you can get him some work at second,” Theo Epstein said.

Herrera is a non-roster invitee who has impressed Maddon with his “team first” approach.

“He’s played some big league ball, and I’ve thrown him in games late, and he sits on the bench patient,” Maddon said. “There’s no veteran animosity. He’s been fabulous for me.”

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs scratch Baez from Monday lineup

Javier Baez had been in the Cubs’ lineup for Monday’s game against the Giants, but that was before the second baseman found out he was being optioned to Triple-A Iowa. A few minutes before game time, Baez was scratched, and Jonathan Herrera inserted at second base in the No. 9 spot in the lineup. It’s normal procedure that when a player is re-assigned in camp to get a day.

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs extra bases: Russell, Denorfia, Lester and more

* When Joe Maddon met with Addison Russell to tell the shortstop he was being assigned to Minor League camp, the Cubs manager was nearly speechless.

“I couldn’t tell him what to work on,” Maddon said. “He’s that accomplished at that age. I told him, ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing.'”

Russell and top prospect Kris Bryant were both assigned to Minor League camp, while Javier Baez was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Monday. The moves leave the Cubs with 35 players in spring camp.

* Outfielder Chris Denorfia, sidelined with a sore left hamstring, took batting practice on Monday and was expected to play in a Minor League game by mid week. Whether or not he’ll be ready for Opening Day is still to be determined.

“I don’t like to speculate on things like that,” Denorfia said Monday. “When you’re rehabbing anything can happen. As long as everything progresses the way it should, [I should be ready] sometime around that time. The goal is to be ready by then.”

* Jon Lester will start in a Minor League game on Tuesday at the Cubs complex, his final tune up before Opening Night. The Cubs want to be able to control his pitch count and situations. The left-hander was scratched from his March 21 start because of a tired arm.

* Travis Wood and Kyle Hendricks will likely pitch on Saturday in the Cubs’ final Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. The rest of the big league team will be headed to Chicago that day to prepare for the season opener on Sunday night against the Cardinals.

* The Cubs players were greeted by “DJ Sean” as they did their morning stretch on Monday, courtesy of bench coach Dave Martinez, who found the disc jockey at a Scottsdale restaurant. Maddon was among those asked to dance a little after the stretch.

– Carrie Muskat

#Cubs option Baez to Triple-A Iowa

If you only saw Javier Baez play defense at second base or run the bases, you’d be convinced he’s ready for the big leagues. But Baez still has work to do at the plate, and the young infielder was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Monday.

“He’s so close to getting it figured out in the batter’s box, we feel Triple-A is the right venue for him to continue to make those adjustments and get locked in,” Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. “He does everything else so well on the baseball field. He’s a winning baseball player, and has to take that same mindset into the batter’s box. We feel he’s not far from making it.”

In 16 games this spring, Baez was batting .173 with 20 strikeouts in 52 at-bats. Last season, he was promoted to the big leagues, and batted .169 with 95 Ks in 213 at-bats. Cubs hitting coach John Mallee and manager Joe Maddon both went to Puerto Rico to start working with Baez this winter.

“He knows he has to get better offensively,” Maddon said Monday. “I said, as a 22-year-old baseball player, you might be the most accomplished 22-year-old I’ve ever been on the field with as far as defense, base running. The part that has to get better is the offense and he agreed, he totally agreed.”

– Carrie Muskat

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