first cut is the deepestI can actually say “deepest,” because a huge swath of the players remaining in camp are headed out the door.

Today, the Cubs cut pitchers Chris Rusin, Casey Coleman, Jaye Chapman, Drew Carpenter, Blake Parker, and Jensen Lewis, as well as outfielders Brian Bogusevic, Darnell McDonald and Johermyn Chavez, and infielders Edwin Maysonet and Brad Nelson.

Rusin will continue starting in the AAA rotation at Iowa, and is probably the Cubs’ 6th starter while Matt Garza and Scott Baker convalesce. Drew Carpenter might also get some starts at Iowa. Coleman, Chapman, Parker, and Lewis will head to the Iowa bullpen if the Cubs decide to keep them all.

With Coleman, Carpenter, Parker, Chapman, Lewis and Rusin out of the mix, the guys still in the race for the final bullpen spot are lefty Hisanori Takahashi, and righties Rafael Dolis, Cory Wade, and Zach Putnam. Not that I’m one to toot my own horn, but, aside from Dolis, who can be – and almost certainly will be – optioned to Iowa, the other three were my guesses this morning for the final spot. I’m still thinking it winds up being Takahashi, who can be a situational lefty and a long-man in the pen. I’m OK with any of those three getting the job, though.

Although he had a strong Spring, Bogusevic’s job was pretty much guaranteed to be at AAA once Dale Sveum said Dave Sappelt was going to make the team. Bogusevic is a nice insurance plan to have waiting at AAA if an outfield goes down with injury (though, let’s keep it in perspective: he’s a bench guy). McDonald could now either go to Iowa, or he may end up being released.

Chavez is still an intriguing younger player, but he was always more of a “fringe prospect” type minor league signing than a true competitor for a bench job. Nelson was never really in the running for a bench job, and was mostly just using Spring Training to parlay himself into a starting first base job at Iowa as the Cubs’ designated Anthony-Rizzo-emergency-kit.

Maysonet was in the running to be the “extra” 25th man, required because Ian Stewart is going to start the season on the DL. With him out of the picture, it’s either going to be Alberto Gonzalez, Steve Clevenger, or a waiver wire addition. Knowing the men in charge, smart money bets on the latter.

  • forlines

    Damn! I would’ve liked to see Rusin stay, but get him some lower level reps, and maybe a call up will be in order

    • BluBlud

      Why? so our team can have another Valbeuna or Liilibridge. I say keep Clevenger. Hell. I might even be tempted to start Clevenger at 3B. If he is even decent there defensively, then he has more value then Valbeuna, cause there is no way his bat can be as bad. At least he has upside. Valbeuna, lillibridge and probably anybody who is plucked off the waiver wire is going to have no upside.

      • BluBlud

        Opps, I meant to reply to Kenster.

        • Kenster

          Oh no I’m fine with them keeping Clevenger I’m all for it, he can backup at catcher, first, and third. He’s a left handed hitter and can sub in for Castillo late in games without worrying about an injury happening. He also mashed the ball before getting hurt last season. I was just saying if Clevenger doesn’t make the team I would rather see a waiver wire pick up than Gonzalez make the team. There’s always a surprise cut from the end of the season and if they find the right one I don’t blame them for picking that guy up either.

          • terencemann

            He was terrible in his ML games and was hurt too much to play much at AAA last season. I don’t know where you see mashing.

            • Kenster

              key words “before his injury!!!!” before he had his quad injury he was 13 for 26, 5 runs, 6 doubles, 4 rbi, and if you can’t do the math that’s an average of .500. I know its a small sample size but he was raking the first month… maybe you should pay a little more attention to the games

  • Kenster

    Clevenger is still in camp tho isn’t he? I could see him making the team but I wouldn’t mind another interesting waiver wire pick up

    • Brett

      You may have seen an early version of this post (first three minutes), but I added Clevenger’s name, too.

  • forlines

    yeah, he is

  • Frank

    I like Wade due to his track record. My preference would be to keep him rather than cutting him lose. Putnam intrigues me, but I’m thinking that he can be optioned.

    • Mike Taylor (no relation)

      I think we’re keeping Wade, because he can easily sign elsewhere (when he elects to become a free agent if we try to assign him).

  • Jim

    Chris Rusin came in and did everything and more that was expected of him. He was one of the best pitchers this Spring, and maybe the best. It is sad that as bad as this team is expected to be, they could not reward him with a spot.

    • Edwin

      I’m sure that if he keeps pitching well in the minors, they’ll reward him with a spot.

    • Mike Taylor (no relation)

      They want to keep him as a starter and he can’t do that while Feldman is building up his trade value in the rotation.

    • praying the cubs get ready to win

      He should start and maybe our 5th starter goes to the pen and pitching is solved. He could have made a big difference to the Cubs record, maybe 3-5 wins better or more.

  • justinjabs

    I thought perhaps Lillibridge’s versatility would let the Cubs just carry a bat (Bogusevic) until Stewart was healthy… guess I was wrong. It will be interesting to see who that final bench job goes to.

    As for Figgins … besides being terrible, I didn’t want Figgins because it would possibly displace somebody on the 40 man or whatever. If the Cubs are displacing someone anyway for a waiver pick, though… yeah, still probably no Figgins.

  • Kenster

    Who gets DFA’d Brett? With Takahashi, Putnam, Parker, or Wade I assume that Vizcaino will hit the 60 day DL. Then there’s a possible two more spots with Lillibridge making it and possibly someone other than Clevenger. I don’t think Baker will be put on the 60 day too unless the injury is worse than stated

    • Kyle

      Baker is absolutely going on the 60-day DL. Nobody thinks he’ll start before June at the earliest.

      Nobody will be DFA’d.

  • Mike Taylor (no relation)

    Easier for me to visualize…

    01. LF Soriano
    02. CF DeJesus
    03. RF Schierholtz
    04. RF Hairston
    05. CF Sappelt
    06. 1B Rizzo
    07. 2B Barney
    08. SS Castro
    09. 3B Valbuena
    10. 3B Lillibridge
    11. C Castillo
    12. C Navarro
    13. 1B/C Clevenger—-> until Stewart is “healthy”
    01. SP Samardzija
    02. SP Jackson
    03. SP Wood
    04. SP Villanueva
    05. SP Feldman
    06. LR Bowden
    07. LR Rondon
    08. ————-> Wade, Takahashi, Putnam (last spot up for grabs)
    09. SU Camp
    10. SU Russell
    11. SU Fujikawa
    12. CL Marmol

    LF Bogusevic
    CF Ha
    RF Jackson
    OF Wright
    OF Chavez (could start in AA)
    DH/1B Rohan
    DH/1B Nelson (if retained)
    1B Bour
    2B Watkins
    3B Vitters
    SS Mota
    SS Lake (when healthy)
    IF Gonzalez
    C Lopez or Fernandez (dunno what the FO wants to do here)
    C Boscan
    SP Negrin
    SP Struck
    SP Rusin
    SP Loux
    SP Raley
    LR Wade, Putnman, or Takahashi
    LR Coleman
    RP Harris
    RP Parker
    RP Dolis
    SU McNutt
    CL Batista

  • Joseph McNamer

    Don’t toot so often. It was actually hubris that killed the cat.

    • Brett

      It’s not my fault. Too much fiber.

  • Die hard

    Coleman is being dismissed like Colvin was which turned out to be a mistake

  • Die hard

    If the plan for now is to build up a reserve of utility players Bill Hall is available

  • Chris

    Coleman is not the same level of talent as Colvin. The FO moved Colvin because they felt he swung and missed too much. He had success in Colorado, but the premise is still true. The bad part about moving Colvin is what they got in return, not that they gave him up.

    • frank

      Yes–the bad part was not getting rid of Colvin, but the fact that Stewart hasn’t worked out. Away from Coors, Colvin hit .244, had an OBP of .274, an OPS of .687, struck out 64 times and walked 9. That’s not all that good.

  • Die hard

    If injuries force the Diamondbacks to put TC on 25 do they owe Cubs a draft choice?

  • Luke

    Spammers are out in force tonight.