chicago cubs logoThe Boise roster, recently announced, has already come in for some discussion around these parts, but that is not the final roster to be announced. Starting up about the same time as the Boise Hawks will be the AZL Cubs of the Arizona Rookie League. That roster has also been announced, more or less.

I say more or less because I do not think that roster is entirely accurate. Josh Conway is listed as active, for example, but he is not expected to pitch this year due to ongoing issues with his elbow. Despite those occasional omissions we can still get a very good idea who we will be watching in the early part of the Arizona season.

And as was the case with Boise, the biggest stories will be on the mound. Anthony Prieto and Ryan McNeil, two of the youngest pitchers in camp, are two of the better young pitching prospects in the farm system. They are many years from the majors and have a lot of work to do as they develop, but these are names we will hopefully be talking about a lot for the next half decade or so. Unfortunately McNeil, like Conway, is currently recovering from an elbow injury, and may not pitch again this year.

Keep an eye on pitchers Chad Martin and Carl Lang as well. Neither is a prospect likely to be ranked in the Cubs’ system, but both are solid sleepers with some upside.

Behind the plate the man to watch is Albert Mineo. This left handed hitting catcher has the distinction of being the youngest player in camp right now (although he is not lacking in experience). His line from his single season in the Dominican Summer League is far from impressive, but it is somewhat impressive that he was brought to the states as an 18 year old despite having just 17 games of experience in the Caribbean. I’m not sure what exactly the story here is, but I look forward to finding out.

In the outfield the names to watch are Jeffrey Baez, Rashad Crawford, and Garrett Schlecht. And on the infield we have a problem. There are no infielders currently listed. Hey, I said the roster wasn’t entirely accurate yet. Look for the Cubs to flesh out the infield slots soon, likely with some of the players taken in the 2013 draft.

[Brett: No Carlos Rodriguez or Daury Torrez, yet. Hmm. They were a couple of young pitchers who’d stuck around longer than usual in the States while others headed back to get ready for the DSL or VSL. Kind of thought/hoped they were going to get a Rookie League shot.]

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – There was a lot of late scoring in this game, but the Cubs came up short 8-5.
Tennessee – There was a good game in Mobile yesterday, but it ended with a 3-2 Smokies loss.
Daytona – The game was postponed due to wet grounds. Will someone please build this team a dome?
Kane County – Most of the scoring came early in this game, and even though the Cougars had more hits, they had fewer runs. It ended with a 7-6 Kane County loss.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Brett Jackson homered, walked, and struck out twice. Ian Stewart also homered and walked in what may he his final game for awhile.
  • [Tennessee] The Smokies had 10 hits in this game, but only a double by Christian Villanueva went for extra bases.
  • [Tennessee] Matt Szczur had a nice game (2 for 4) from the lead off slot. Arismendy Alcantara played both SS and 2B (not at the same time – he’s not that awesome) and stole his 16th base.
  • [Tennessee] Over 6.2 innings Eric Jokisch struck out 7. He gave up 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits and one home run. All in all, not a bad start.
  • [Kane County] Another big game from Jeimer Candelario. He finished 3 for 5 with 2 doubles. Over 10 games in June Candelario is hitting .429/.478/.643.
  • [Kane County] Marco Hernandez has also been quietly getting hot. After this 2 hit game he has an OPS of .900 over his last 10 games.

Other News

  • Shawn Camp pitched one scoreless inning on a rehab assignment in Kane County.
  • mdavis

    this may have been mentioned elsewhere, but has juan carlos paniaugua gotten cleared to come over yet? real disappointed he hasnt gotten stateside yet. thought he was a guy who could move quickly.

  • Cubbie Blues

    “Unfortunately McNeil, like Conway, is currently recovering from an elbow injury, and may not pitch again this year.”

    Of course they are. Why wouldn’t they be recovering from an elbow injury? I blame Steve. 😛

  • Jp3

    Don’t look now but Ian Stewart is heating uhhhhh…. Nevermind, it was nice knowing you Ian. He’ll go on to sign with the cardinals while we fit the bill and be wold series MVP

    • willis

      Jesus…now that you mention that is exactly what will happen.

  • Die hard

    Ian Stewart… switch ltrs and get…. sweatin’ rat … Which could sum up his and Sveums feelings added together… Suduko next on this slow day

  • Mat B.

    Looking forward to Matt Szczur moving up.

  • JeffR

    Sorry for my ignorance, but I’ve only recently started following the cubs farm system. With all the minor league rosters most of the way full (and a lot of the talent in the lower levels) where do the 30+ draftees once signed end up. I know there will be some promotions here and there, but those spots have to open up somehow and we will likely be adding some talent through trades soon as well. Will we start to see some releases in the coming weeks to clear some room? I suppose it makes things a little easier when so many pitchers were drafted that aren’t likely to pitch more than a few innings.

    • matt

      Rookie ball and instructional league and etc. Spread throughout the lower farm pretty much.

    • Luke

      Extended spring training, to start with.

      After that, I do not believe the ARL roster is subject to normal size limitations. The Cubs can pack it pretty full.

      But we may also see some releases, particularly in the upper levels of the system.

  • JeffR

    It’s interesting knowing how this whole process works (I consider myself an expert now after gaining that last bit of knowledge). I’m assuming extended spring training is where they come up with the “player development plan” for all the players that you hear Theo and Jed talk about.

  • Norm

    The MILB site hasn’t been updated.
    Here is the list from the local source:

    • Norm

      Forgive the formatting:

      Name Pos. B/T Ht. Wt. DOB Hometown Acquired Last Team / Year
      BLACKBURN, Paul RHP R/R 6-2 185 12/04/93 Oakley, CA 1st Round 2012 AZL-Cubs (Rookie) / 2012
      BREMER, Tyler RHP R/R 6-2 225 12/07/89 Berkeley, CA 27th Round 2012 Boise (SS-A) / 2012
      ELIAS, Ethan RHP R/R 6-3 180 04/27/93 Entwhistle, AB 22nd Round 2011 AZL-Cubs (Rookie) / 2012
      HOFFNER, Corbin RHP R/R 6-5 240 07/30/93 Sebring, FL 14th Round 2012 AZL-Cubs (Rookie) / 2012
      IANNAZZO, Matt LHP L/L 5-9 170 01/08/90 Norwalk, CT NDFA 2012 Kane County (Low-A) / 2013
      MARTINEZ, Carlos RHP R/R 6-4 230 04/02/91 La Habana, Cuba NDFA 2011 AZL-Cubs (Rookie) / 2012
      PADRON, Loiger RHP R/R 6-0 180 01/31/91 Bolivar, VZ NDFA 2009 AZL-Cubs (Rookie) / 2012
      PUGLIESE, James RHP R/R 6-3 205 08/12/92 Hamilton, NJ 18th Round 2011 Boise (SS-A) / 2012
      RAKKAR, Jasvir RHP R/R 6-2 200 04/27/91 Brampton, ON 26th Round 2012 AZL-Cubs (Rookie) / 2012
      RODRIGUEZ, Orbandy RHP R/R 6-6 200 09/29/88 Puerto Plata, DR FA 2012 DSL-Diamondbacks (Rookie) / 2009
      UNDERWOOD, Duane RHP R/R 6-2 210 07/20/94 St. Petersburg, FL 2nd Round 2012 AZL-Cubs (Rookie) / 2012

      Catchers (3)
      No. Name Pos. B/T Ht. Wt. DOB Hometown Acquired Last Team / Year
      MARRA, Justin C L/R 5-10 190 01/18/93 Toronto, ON 15th Round 2011 Boise (SS-A) / 2012
      RODRIGUEZ, Rony C R/R 5-11 210 03/01/90 Miami, FL FA 2013 Quebec (Can-Am) / 2012
      RYMEL, Lance C R/R 6-0 195 05/02/90 Broken Arrow, OK 28th Round 2012 Tennessee (AA) / 2013

      Infielders (5)
      No. Name Pos. B/T Ht. Wt. DOB Hometown Acquired Last Team / Year
      BOTE, David SS/2B R/R 5-11 185 04/07/93 Thornton, CO 18th Round 2012 Kane County (Low-A) / 2013
      GRETZKY, Trevor 1B/OF L/R 6-4 190 09/14/92 Thousand Oaks, CA 7th Round 2011 AZL-Cubs (Rookie) / 2012
      LOCKHART, Danny SS/2B L/R 5-11 175 11/04/92 Nashville, TN 10th Round 2011 AZL-Cubs (Rookie) / 2012
      PENALVER, Carlos SS R/R 6-0 170 05/17/94 Aragua, VZ NDFA 2010 AZL-Cubs (Rookie) / 2012
      ROGERS, Jacob 3B/1B L/R 6-4 220 08/23/89 Clearwater, FL 40th Round 2012 Peoria (Low-A) / 2012

      Outfielders (4)
      No. Name Pos. B/T Ht. Wt. DOB Hometown Acquired Last Team / Year
      BALAGUERT, Yasiel OF R/R 6-2 215 01/09/93 La Habana, Cuba NDFA 2011 Peoria (Low-A) / 2012
      DUNSTON Jr., Shawon OF L/R 6-1 160 02/05/93 Fremont, CA 11th Round 2011 Boise (SS-A) / 2012
      ENCARNACION, Kevin OF S/R 6-1 175 11/23/91 Santo Domingo, DR NDFA 2010 DSL-Cubs (Rookie) / 2012
      DORE, Jose OF L/R 6-1 170 02/09/92 Kissimmee, FL 8th Round 2010 Fort Wayne (Low-A) / 2012

      • Brett
        • Norm

          Ooops, read Boise Hawks at the beginning of this post and skimmed past the mention of the AZ Cubs…clicked the link to the MiLB page and figured it too was for the Hawks. That’s what I get for for looking here during a conference call.

        • baldtaxguy

          As part of effort to salvage this thread, does anyone know of a link or source that combines all the Cubs affiliate rosters with this or a similar format, that can be sortable by draft/acquisition year and last team/year?

  • Kyle

    I get the impression that the Arizona rookie league is only slightly more formal than extended spring training, and the roster is just “whoever happens to be around in Arizona that we want to get some game time for.”

    • Spriggs

      It is more formal and does have official scoring though. Obviously you can’t do things like continually lead someone off each inning.

  • JeffR

    Do both extended spring training and the Arizona cubs play at the cubs spring training g facility?

    • Spriggs

      Yes. This is the last year but, EXT ST is at Fitch Park and the AZL was at Hohokam last 2 years… Fitch Park before that. Hopefully will be at Hohokam for this last year – much more comfortable to watch a game there than Fitch.

  • TampaCubsFan

    “Unfortunately McNeil, like Conway, is currently recovering from an elbow injury, and may not pitch again this year.”

    Of course they are. Why wouldn’t they be recovering from an elbow injury? I blame Steve. 😛

    According to Obama, its George Bush’s fault :)

  • max

    does anyone know how to play? i grew up in the chicago area and would like to play for the cubs in wrigley this year. i don’t know how you do these sort of things. Noone ever told me or watched me or whatever. i don’t want to tryout or whatever, or play minor league ball or whatever, just the big leageus. i guess id b willing to do about one week in a minor league somewhere. but that’s it, max. i’m what you’d call ‘raw’.

  • Saving grace

    Lots of signings by the Cubs.
    A very good start
    numbers 3,7,9-14,18,20-23,27 and 30 have signed.

    Looks like Bryant, Z ,and numbers,4,8,16,17,24 and 29 have indicated they will sign.

    Just 3 seem to have indicated they will not sign so far 31 S.Johnson,39 Z.Brown and 40 J.Greene.

    • max

      hi SG, u seem like a baseball-guy/cubs-fan, would you know how to play for them? consider me #41 on your list then, and i’ll ‘sign’ for free right now, & start producing at the big-league-level. all’s i want is to make sure i get to play in the bigs, soon. might as well be this year, since they could practically use almost anybody off the street, and not take much risk, & especially since there will be better players next year, so less chance of me playing as opposed to this year. i’ve emaild in past years asking to play, but i’ve never heard anything back from them. guess i’d try fanbase support on a blog…

      • Saving grace

        Go to the open try outs
        They hold them every year.
        My friend Steve went to the White Sox open tryouts in 1980.He didn’t make it thou,lol

        • max

          is this like a weekly thing at a secret location? or like a once a year thing in the spring. i’d be interested in the former

      • DarthHater

        Two questions: (1) have you had Tommy John surgery? (2) Is your name Scott? 😛

        • max

          no and no

          • DarthHater

            Well, that explains why the Cubs don’t respond to your emails.

      • hansman1982

        1. What is your sCRAP+?
        2. Do you have BellyFire?
        3. What about TWTW?

        • max

          no sCRAP+ turnup on google search, but ah yes, the will to win, yes, i do have that, more than you know

  • max

    open tryout? for real? when/where??!! No, no TJ ever, not looking to pitch even, just bat, and field. what is scrap? no, not belly fire, its all heart. whats twtw?

    • TWC

      How’s about this: put a video up on YouTube showing off your mad skilz, post the link here (this is important!), and we’ll forward it on to Theo for you. We’re here to help.

      • max

        hmm, maybe. idk, i saw someone do that on a cubs article recently, and it came across as a little too public and self promoting to me. i was thinking more like a private in-person viewing. but maybe, if i have time, i could try to figure out how to do that and who to help me. if i do that for you it’ll be b4 the allstar-break, i’ll remember your tag. ive kinda got some time-consuming plans for the nxt couple weeks (work :(/sidetrips), but i’ll work-on-it/or-think-about-it. thanks for the idea, were on the same team! i see

        • TWC

          Seriously: I’m here to help.

      • MichiganGoat

        I’m seeing Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite.

        • max

          lol, i’ve seen most of that movie, but i don’t remember any baseball metaphors, now i have to rewatch it sometime!

          • MichiganGoat

            Uncle Rico recording his “film” for NFL teams to see his QB skills.