Today the Chicago Cubs announced their 2012 Spring Training invites – 21 in all – and, while we’ve collected piecemeal the names of the guys from outside the organization who are coming, now we know what young guys who were already in the system (but not on the 40-man roster) will be coming.
From the official press release:
Nine pitchers – righthanders Marco Carrillo, Manuel Corpas, Jay Jackson, Rodrigo Lopez, Trey McNutt, Blake Parker and Dae-Eun Rhee and lefthanders Trever Miller and Chris Rusin – have been invited to major league camp, as well as catchers Michael Brenly, Jason Jaramillo and Blake Lalli.
Five infielders – Alfredo Amezaga, Edgar Gonzalez, Jonathan Mota, Bobby Scales and Matt Tolbert – have also been invited, along with four outfielders – Jim Adduci, Jae-Hoon Ha, Brett Jackson and Joe Mather.
We’ve known about Corpas, Lopez, Miller, Jaramillo, Amazega, Gonzalez, Scales, Tolbert and Mather, as guys the Cubs have signed this Winter to minor league deals. Brett Jackson and Trey McNutt were obvious invites, and I’m not surprised by Chris Rusin, who is a 25-year-old lefty starter at AAA. Marco Carrillo and Jay Jackson, as pitchers who have spent parts of the last two years at AAA are also no surprise. Carrillo is a 24-year-old, moderately successful reliever, and Jackson is a once-beloved starting pitching prospect who’s fallen on hard times.
Righty pitcher Dae Eun-Rhee, 22, is an interesting invite, as a guy who’s always had a ton of scouting hype, but who has only slowly come back from 2008 Tommy John surgery (2011 was his second full season back from the procedure). Pitcher Blake Parker, infielder Jonathan Mota, infielder/catcher Blake Lalli, and outfielder Jim Adduci have been in the organization for some time, so their invites are probably as much about giving them some love as they are about giving them a legitimate shot to make the team. Jae-Hoon Ha is a 21-year-old AA outfielder whom I suspect the Cubs would like to get a closer look at.
McNutt will look to rebound in 2012 from an ugly and injury-filled 2011 season, and, while he could see the bigs later in the year, is not a real threat to make the team out of Spring Training. Brett Jackson will almost certainly be with the Cubs later in the year, but, for reasons related to the availability of a starting spot, his high strikeout rates, and his service clock, barring a rash of injuries, Jackson will not break camp with the big team.