3/22 Cubs roster moves
Eleven players were sent to the Cubs Minor League camp on Friday, including pitchers Jensen Lewis, Drew Carpenter, Blake Parker, Casey Coleman and Jaye Chapman. Chris Rusin was optioned to Triple-A Iowa, but will start on Sunday for the big league team against the Indians. The position players assigned to Minor League camp include Brad Nelson, Edwin Maysonet, Brian Bogusevic, Johermyn Chavez and Darnell McDonald.
That leaves 35 players in camp, and four of those are expected to open the season on the disabled list. There appears to be one bullpen spot open, and four pitchers competing for it: Rafael Dolis, Zach Putnam, Hisanori Takahashi and Corey Wade. Takahashi is the only lefty in the mix.
Brett Jackson is still limited because of his shoulder injury, but position players still in camp include catchers J.C. Boscan and Steve Clevenger and infielder Alberto Gonzalez. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Dave Sappelt has made the 25-man roster, barring any unexpected additions from the waiver wire. Clevenger could backup at first, second or third if needed.
“It’s one of those days you dread,” Sveum said about the roster cuts. “A lot of those guys had good springs. Bogusevic had a really good Spring Training and did everything we asked. The Colemans, the Parkers, they all threw the ball well. That shows you some guys have stepped up, some guys have gotten healthy. One more extra year under their belt they’ve become more comfortable and done a good job at the big league level.”
Bogusevic, an Oak Lawn, Ill., native, had a great spring, batting .410 in 20 games.
Coleman will continue to pitch in relief. He has made some adjustments, using a new arm slot that has helped him be more consistent.
Sappelt batted .266 at Triple-A Iowa last year, and .275 in 26 games with the Cubs. He batted .182 in 18 games this spring.
“I think the writing is on the wall — ‘Sap’ is going to be on the team,” Sveum said. “There’s still things that can happen through guys getting released and waiver wires and all that with the extra spots. He’s proven to me and the organization he can swing the bat and he’s done a really nice job in center field.”
The Cubs front office is still looking at outside help. Last year, they acquired Shawn Camp in the final week of Spring Training.
“Through the waiver wire, people become available in other camps,” Sveum said. “No matter what you think you have, you’re always trying to make yourself a better team.”
– Carrie Muskat