3/18 Roster moves

The Cubs optioned outfielders Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters, pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Zac Rosscup, and infielder Christian Villanueva, to Triple-A Iowa, and assigned catcher Rafael Lopez, outfielder Mitch Maier and pitcher Armando Rivero to Minor League camp on Tuesday.

Vizcaino, who has not pitched in a big league game since 2011 because of Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, had been a nice surprise this spring, throwing 98 mph fastballs. In three Cactus League games, he gave up two hits and struck out two over three innings.

“We’re still following the plan and want to make sure he gets his innings in a controlled environment and kind of ease him back in,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “He needs to get in more game situations and things of that nature and make sure he can handle it all and see where it’s at.”

If Vizcaino continues to progress, he’ll likely be one of the first relievers promoted to the big leagues.

“He’s got a great arm and needs to continue to command his fastball and do all the other things that the game asks him to do,” Renteria said. “If there’s a need, he’s a nice guy to have. The depth he gives us is real nice.”

Jackson, the Cubs’ first-round pick in 2009 who led the Pacific Coast League in 2012 in strikeouts, was 4-for-20 this spring with 10 Ks.

“I don’t worry too much about his strikeouts because I think there’s a lot of damage comes with his stick,” Renteria said. “If his approaches are good and he gets pitches he can handle, it’s going to be good. He does have the ability to recognize the zone pretty well and I think I saw that this spring. He plays nice center field, and he’ll work in the corners, too. He’s a pretty good looking player.”

Vitters, another Cubs’ first-round pick who is switching from infield to outfield, was 2-for-17 with 11 strikeouts, but Renteria saw lots of positives.

“He had some really good at-bats, missed a couple balls,” Renteria said. “That’s the thing about these guys having to get their at-bats now so they can get their work. He’s been working diligently in the outfield.”

— Carrie Muskat


All good moves in my opinion. I just hope they dont have Vizcaino throwing in TEMPS of 30’s and 40’s early in the year.

Okay Jasper…..are you ready what I am about to say?…..do you have your meds nearby?……..Both BJax and Vitters have no future with the Cubs……let me repeat….No Future with the Cubs………they strike out too much…..and both will not be everyday players……..they are other guys pushing their way through the system………as Theo sees it….”they were Failed Hendry Picks”………….if the Cubs need a outfielder due to an injury, Szczur might be the first guy to get the call…..

as For Vizcaino…..did you not see what Renteria said about Vizcaino?…..”Controlled Environment” for Vizcaino……which means in baseball terms……extended spring training in warm Arizona under a watched supervision pitching program until he pitches in warm climates like Daytona……then Tennessee…….then warm days in Iowa……..then Chicago….which is sometime in May…………won’t be a starter……but will see some serious pitching time with our Cubbies……

Keep an eye on several hitting minor leaguers this summer……..Hanneman, Canderlario, Golden…….

So Jasper, you did not answer my question a few days ago…….when will you give up on Theo if the Cubs did not make it to the Playoffs by 2017?….that is four full seasons to get this team going……you think Theo had enough time (6 years) to give us a Playoff team or does Theo need even more time to rebuild / retool this club?

I expect a Playoff team by 2015…….I don’t believe it will happen, but four years was enough of this propaganda of putting together a team……Chicago is a large market baseball city, but its owner acts like small market owner……..Oakland is a small market team, but they find a way to get to the Playoffs…….and I don’t have to remind all Cubs fans how many World Series titles the Florida Marlins have in the last 15 years.

So kick back and watch the Cubs tonight……and if you get bored, A&E has a new season of “Storage Wars” tonight…….Yuuuup!

We need to just take steps forward this year…. That’s what I’m worried about . I will be upset if we don’t take those steps plain and simple. We can’t be a playoff team next year without improvement from last year. Better bullpen and production from Castro and rizzo are really the two things I’m hoping for …. A productive Olt would be a huge plus and Baez coming up to be the stud is a bonus .

Do you really think I dont get the if’s?
I keep an eyes on all of the Cub players, to include Haneman to DeVoss.
To anaswer your question, which I did not see: I will not give up on Theo/Jed. They are a very fresh, young, up to date, thinking outside the box Management. They have done great things for this Organization, of which, I believe you will see.
Where do you get 4 years? It hasnt even been three?

4 more seasons from now……..2014-2017……..plus two that we had,,,,, …equals six seasons under Theo & Jed……..should be a playoff(s) appearance somewhere in that time period……agree?……or what is the next excuse for Theo that you have?

if not…….Theo & Jed will need to hide in a box

So what have they done, that would you would have done different?
What is it that leads you to believe the Cubs wont be competing in 2015, 16 or 17?

Aloha CubsTalk and Jasper- Well, a lively discussion! I remember hearing from baseball folks that if things do not work out in the “Show,” for many it was back to AAA, and many then retired from there. So, your comment about BJax and Vitters could be true, meaning not coming up to the bigs with our Cubs. I remember seeing the potential folks-minors making jumps from AA to the bigs, so again they may be on their way out but kept in AAA for trading purposes. The other thing I did want to comment on and I have been blessed to be around baseball through college, have friends that made it into the “Show,” and friends that work for teams is that it takes time to “right a ship,” especially if the ideology of the organization has to be gone through from top to bottom. Yes, I would love to see our Cubs in the play-offs sooner rather than later and yes we are a different market than other teams. My friend from college has been with the A’s for years now and helps out in the scouting department. He will tell you that it took years and an understanding because they are a “small-market” team to get to the place where because of a lack of funds would in many ways “feed” other teams. Just look over the years the many players that came through their system be it from the beginning or because of trades, spent so many successful years with them and then were traded. Yes, it is amazing to watch the A’s the past decade+ but again, they had to get their system in place and once the work was done, they knew they could sustain a team for years to come, even though fans joke about not getting too attached to anyone player because they could be gone soon. I am not saying that about our Cubs, being a team like the A’s that feed other teams but it is exciting to know where our farm clubs are today as opposed to just 3yrs ago. Hendry was GM for 10yrs during his tenure the team went 749-748, some would say that is an accomplishment. He spent a lot of money, we did get to the playoffs but just could not get over that line. So, we now have a group with different thinking, instead of spend spend spend, and no farm system they are trying to spend wisely, build up the farm system and add players where it makes sense. I hope we can give them a little more time; it is not easy when we as fans have not celebrated a WS in over a 100yrs but I do think the FO is trying to set this organization on a more successful course. Mahalo!

That train of thought is much better than threating before they have finished their rebuilding vision. I believe they have done a remarkable job in their very short time.
Sometimes you can replace a persons mobile home with a brand new double wide, then they want to know where the money is for the older one.
There is alot of competition at AAA for regular spots, not so much three years ago. Everyone wants prospects on the field NOW and living up to the hype NOW. It just is not going to work out that way.
As a fan, do we have any choice but to wait? Of course not! So why not question every move Management makes, knowing that we do not have the inside privy. We can threaten their positions if it makes us feel more baseball savy. That dont even make sense. In fact, it’s pathetic.
It would be very nice if you could discuss it with someone and try to figure out Managements logic. However that cant happen, because everyone knows every thing & can predict the future. They might as well just give up on two guys under 25 years of age and release them. Bye Vitters and Jackson, a poster says you will never be a regular in the Majors, so we have to release you.

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what a load of crap jackson and vitters are finished. trade them for whay you can get or release them but quite lieing to them they will never hit major league pitching

Trade them to who? Who would want either of them? The Cub Organization has alot invested in both. Hope one of them has a decent AAA season and someone then might give up something for them.

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