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It’s been unofficial for about a week now, but today, the Cubs made it official: Spring hero Welington Castillo will open the season at AAA Iowa, where he can start regularly. Max Ramirez remains in camp, presumably because the Cubs want to wait as long as possible before having to make a decision about him. He’s out of options, and would be subjected to waivers (and almost certainly claimed) if the Cubs tried to send him down.

But unless there’s a huge upset, Koyie Hill will remain the team’s backup catcher.

UPDATE: As noted in the comments by intrepid reader TWC, Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Cubs have already placed Max Ramirez on waivers (in the hopes that, if he is not claimed, they can send him to AAA Iowa). It’s very hard to see a catching-starved team like the Astros, for example, not claiming Ramirez, but I believe I’ve heard of an unspoken code among GMs not to claim guys who have been battling injuries and are being sent down for that reason. Does Ramirez count? He’s had ongoing wrist issues, but the Cubs themselves picked him up off of waivers just a couple months ago.

  • TWC

    Max Ramierz is on waivers right now.

    But come ON, Ace! Koyie Hill had a killer day today! He picked up two, count ‘em TWO, bases! One on balls, the other by getting in the way of a ball. What kind of “Cubby Occurrence” would have Koyie Hill get injured on a HBP at the same moment in time that Max Ramirez gets picked up by another team… *sigh*… One for freaking thirty-one. $850K. Awesome.

    But if I *had* to choose between Carlos Silva and Koyie Hill? I’d chose Ozzie Guillen.

    • Ace

      Ramirez is on waivers right now? Did the Cubs already place him back on waivers?

      Ozzie could hit at least .100.

      • TWC

        That’s what’s been herd ’round the twitterverse. Think Rosenthal noted it ~ 2 hours ago. No note if he’s been claimed, but I am not versed enough in all things labor-related to know what the exact rules are.

        • Ace

          Damn – you are correct. Rosenthal did note it. I don’t know all the detail either, but I do know that sometimes there are gentlemen’s agreements not to claim guys who have been battling injury. I just can’t see a team like the Astros, for example, not jumping at the chance to grab Ramirez.

  • http://bleachernation ramy16

    You have to be kidding me! Hendry is the Dumbest Gm in mlb! Koyie hill doesn’t deserve the back up role! To me max ramirez won this out right! I am sure somebody will pick him! What a bone head move! Also I see pedro feliz got. Released any chance cubs pick him up? Great glove…and he could spell aramis ramirez at 3rd!

    • Ace

      Feliz is awwwwwwful at the plate. I’d much rather have DeWitt on the 25-man, and that’s saying something.

  • TSB

    If Wellington Castillo’s spring training batting average dropped by 95%, he would still have a higher average than Koyie Hill. From where I sit in Los Angeles, this is craaaaaazy!

  • Art

    best 25? don’t think so.

  • Michigan Goat

    I’m speechless… I really hope that Max has a major wrist injury that brought this on. Otherwise I’m certain Hill has some dirt on ole Jimbo… What could that be, dead hookers?

  • Derrick

    Koyie Hill should be bagging groceries at Jewel that dude is nowhere close to being a MLB caliber baseball player…..SMH….

  • Cheryl

    How fast do waivers work? When will we know if he gets through waivers or is claimed? Any idea?

    • Ace

      It’s three days, I think. So we should know by Thursday.

      • Bric

        I would think any team that wanted him would’ve gotten him by now. So by now the only way he has a job is by an injury to someone that hasn’t been announced or happened yet.

        • Raymond Robert Koenig

          If someone claims him off waivers they’re responsible for his salary. After he clears waivers any team that picks him up only owes him the league minimum.

          • Kenny L.

            Ramirez makes the minimum.

      • Cheryl

        It seems as if Ramirez might be better off if he didn’t go to Iowa. He will be behind Castillo there and be limited in playing time. He almost needs a clean break to reassess his future.

        • Ace

          I’m guessing he’d see time at other spots, to keep him in the lineup and to develop some versatility.

  • TSB

    I think Koyie has pictures of Mr. Hendry doing unspeakable things with the AMFAC duck…

  • KB

    I totally get that the Cub’s pitchers like throwing to K Hill. And a comfort zone is nice to give them.
    But at what point does a good defensive player become impossible to play in MLB? For JH, does the player have to hit less than .010? .005? One hit per half-season? There’s got to be a breaking point. I know he doesn’t want to admit a stupid $850,000 mistake, but he just cut the someone who makes 15 times that!

    WTF?

    • PFK

      He’s hitting.034. Which, going forward, will forever be know as the “Hill LIne.” If Hendry signed you and you can hit .034 or better – you’re in.

  • http://bleachernation ramy16

    Ace any more news on micheal young? i am still in shock over hendrys move on max ramirez! i think koyie hill and hendry have a thing! next time i see koyie hill wiping lips becuz he really blew hendry on keeping his job!!

  • Patrick

    The cubs have lost all integrity by keeping Koy Hill on the roster. It shows Quade as the Hendry puppit he is.

  • TSB

    Actually, it would be better for Koyie Hill to leave the Cubs. Think about the boos when your name is announced coming into the game, the heckles when you strike out for the third time, and god knows what will happen when you have a passed ball. And think of the humiliation of, when in interleague games, Mike Quade (if he is smart) lets the Zambrano or Dempster bat, and uses the DH to keep YOU from batting.

    • wax_eagle

      Pretty sure the guy will deal with the Boos to make his 850k. Its a lot better then he will make anywhere else. You don’t get paid if you retire or leave voluntarily. Also AFAIK Koyie is still the player union rep, this does give him an extra bit of sway with the rest of the club.

    • Ace

      I’d feel bad if he gets booed. It’s not like he’s done anything wrong (other than not be particularly good at baseball), and he’s trying his best. Boo management.

      • TSB

        I can see him on the roster if the cubs were a big offensive team, and decided to carry three catchers. Then they could use Hill for defensive purposes when enough runs have been scored. But with the Cubs having problems scoring lately, and carrying only two catchers, he would have to start some games. And there he is a definate liability.

  • greg

    Ramirez cleared waivers!

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