3/12 Roster moves – UPDATED
The Cubs made the first roster cuts of spring on Wednesday. Arismendy Alcantara, Logan Watkins, Jorge Soler and Matt Szczur were optioned to the Minor League camp. Kris Bryant, Jeudy Valdez, Albert Almora, Carlos Pimentel and Eric Jokisch were assigned to the Minor League camp. Outfielder Aaron Cunningham was granted his release. The Cubs now have 56 players in camp.
Alcantara, Watkins, and Szczur were optioned to Triple-A Iowa; Soler was optioned to Double-A Tennessee.
Bryant, the second player selected overall last June, hit a home run in his first spring at-bat, and was 2-for-9 in seven Cactus League games. His other hit also was a home run. Almora, the Cubs’ first-round pick in 2012, had appeared in six games, and was 5-for-9. Soler, coming back from a leg injury last season, was 2-for-8 in eight games.
“We’re glad they’re Cubbies,” Renteria said of the top trio. “They’ve shown their ability to be professionals here in terms of how they carried themselves, some of the performances they had in the course of the spring. Now it’s time for them to get down there and start getting more at-bats and start getting ready for the regular season for themselves and continue to develop and improve on their skill sets. It’s like anything, all players are a little disappointed, but they know there’s a reason and purpose for what we do.”
Bryant, Almora and Soler handled themselves well in big league camp, and often had more interview requests than the veteran players on the Cubs roster.
“They showed maturity beyond their age, the way they deal with people, the way they deal with the press, the way they interact with teammates,” Renteria said. “It was pretty good.”
— Carrie Muskat