first cut is the deepestToday the Chicago Cubs made their first round of Spring cuts, and it was just a few guys who were obviously going to be moved out soon enough.

Outfield prospect Matt Szczur, catching prospect Michael Brenly, and new pitching prospect Dayan Diaz will head to minor league camp, where they can start getting ready for their respective minor league seasons. Szczur was assigned to AA Tennessee for now (since he’s on the 40-man roster, that’s how these things work), which is actually probably where he’ll start the year. The other two were technically just sent to minor league camp, but it’s kind of the same thing.

Szczur, because he’s on the 40-man roster, is going to face some pressure this year to put up a quality season at Tennessee. He has the physical tools to be a very useful Major League outfielder, even if it’s just in reserve, but he’ll have show it offensively at AA this year to keep on that path.

Brenly, given the relatively depth at catcher in the system, is a plausible back-up catcher for the Cubs down the road, so he’ll continue to hone his craft in the upper levels this year.

Diaz, you may recall, was the pitching prospect the Cubs picked up on a minor league deal earlier in the offseason. He’ll probably wind up somewhere around High-A or AA, and actually is someone to keep an eye on.

It’s interesting how shallow today’s cuts were. Usually, there’s a relatively long list of young guys cut in the first go around, because there are a number of guys whom we all know won’t be making the big team. But, obviously there’s still a great deal of value in having them with the big league team and coaching staff, so there’s no real harm in keeping them around for a little while. Even after they’re sent to minor league camp, they can still come up for split squad games to help fill in.

The Spring roster stands at 59 after today’s cuts.

  • ETS

    You know, I think I mentioned this last year, but the Rod Stewart version is better.

    • DarthHater

      Yea, and we would all really prefer to look at a picture of Rod Stewart, rather than Sheryl Crow. 😛

    • WGNstatic

      Thank you very much, but I will go with the original Cat Stevens version.

      Rod Stewart is a rip off artist. Downtown train should only be a Tom Waits song. Forever Young is a Dylan song.

      Do not like Rod Stewart.

      • Pat

        Not to mention all the Temptations songs he covered.

      • Internet Random

        +1 Cat Stevens

        Don’t forget “Broken Arrow” in re Rod Stewart… not that I’m hating on Rod.

        • TWC

          The Robbie Robertson tune? Stewart covered that? Yuck.

          • Internet Random

            Yep. Yep. And yep.

            • TWC

              Wow. That must be terrrrrrrible.

              Love Lanois’ production on that Robertson album. Love it.

              • Internet Random

                “That must be terrrrrrrible.”

                It ain’t no Phil Lesh.

                “Love Lanois’ production on that Robertson album. Love it.”

                Yeah, the whole thing was very, very well done.

                • TWC

                  “It ain’t no Phil Lesh.”

                  You ain’t kidding. The first time I heard that song was at Soldier Field show, summer ’93. Sobered me up right quick.

                  • Internet Random

                    Rained, right?

                  • Dustin S

                    Was at that show too. Good times. What happens in the Soldier Field parking lot at a Dead show stays…

                    • TWC

                      … until you see it again in a flashback.

                    • Die hard

                      Didn’t see you at the 1994 one in Chicago

                    • TWC

                      Say WHA?! ::floored::

    • Cub Fan Dan

      How about Cat Stevens for the 1st cut, Rod Stewart for the 2nd Cut, Sheryl Crow for the 3rd Cut?

  • Good Captain

    Although Szczur’s ST performance warrants his reassignment, do you read anything else into this given he was one of only 3 “cut” today?

    • Brett

      Eh. I’d read only that he has some specific things to work on that they’d like him to be doing at minor league camp, rather than whatever he’d be doing at big league camp. Not necessarily indicative of him being cast aside. But good, fair question.

  • Leo L

    isnt brenly still in he bunt tournament?

  • justinjabs

    Sveum said today’s cuts were going to be very few in numbers, and the next round would be your typical size – Wednesday, maybe? If I recall correctly.

  • Luke

    I’m surprised they cut a catcher already. Usually they don’t cut catchers until the number of pitchers starts to drop.

    • Brett

      Good point. Hmm.

      • Theo Epstein

        Crap, I was ticked off and told Jed yesterday he was a “butt scratcher”. Guess he misheard it as “cut catcher”…

        • Morken

          Did you mash a watermelon after telling that joke?

          • Internet Random


  • Die hard

    Brenly has good blood lines to be a catcher- next yr

    • Tommy

      I’m really surprised we’re even able to be talking about Brenley. He was taken in the 43rd round in 2005, but give him credit, he’s performed apparently, and he’s even in the top 8 of the bunt tournament. I think a lot of folks thought he was drafted by the Cubs just as a courtesy to Brenley initially, but it looks like the kid can actually play!

      • justinjabs

        I think the lack of Brenly accompanying Campana to Arizona also shows they think he can actually play!

    • josh2

      Is Shawon Dunston Jr. still in the system? I was thininking he was injured but I don’t remember. (and I’m too lazy to look it up)

  • clark addison


  • Jp3

    Oh yeah he got no love in Luke’s top 40… I thought he was highly thought of?