iowa cubs mascotI could take a guess or two why the Iowa Cubs took right up until the eve of the season before announcing their Opening Day roster, but it’s probably not anything too crazy. The Cubs want to make sure guys are in the most developmentally appropriate place, and that there will be innings/at bats available for the guys who need them.

The roster, and then the comments:


Chris Rusin, LHP
Kyle Hendricks, RHP
Eric Jokisch, LHP
Carlos Pimentel, RHP
Tsuyoshi Wada, LHP
Blake Parker, RHP
Neil Ramirez, RHP
Zac Rosscup, LHP
Casey Coleman, RHP
Marcus Hatley, RHP
Marcos Mateo, RHP
Jonathan Sanchez, LHP
Yoanner Negrin, RHP


Eli Whiteside
Luis Flores


Arismendy Alcantara
Javier Baez
Christian Villanueva
Lars Anderson
Logan Watkins
Edgar Gonzalez
Chris Valaika


Brett Jackson
Josh Vitters
Matt Szczur
Chris Coghlan

Being that we’ve already seen the rosters for the lower full-season teams in the system, there aren’t really any surprises at AAA to start the year. The pitching staff is full of guys who could be starting, but there is one name missing: Dallas Beeler. I’m not sure what the story is there, but his absence will help resolve some of the rotation glut.

Also missing from the roster is Darnell McDonald, who is with the Cubs on a minor league deal. The outfield, for now, will feature a rotation of the four guys on the roster, with Vitters likely seeing most of his time in left, Szczur seeing most of his time in center, and Jackson and Coghlan rotating around.

In conclusion: Javier Baez.

  • Luke

    I saw somewhere that Beeler is injured, but I don’t know if that is true, or the extent of the injury, or how long he’d be out.

  • Coldneck

    Logan Watkins gets a call up last season and now doesn’t have a full time gig at AAA. That’s pretty good news for the state of the system.

    • Coldneck

      It should also be mentioned that Chris Valaika has played in MLB in parts of 3 seasons and he’ll probably not get a lot of time as well. The Cubs system is not the best place for him to be at the moment.

      • miggy80

        And Chris Coghlan was the ROY in 2009

        • JasonP

          And I thought Casey Coleman was dead, he’s down the list on likely arms to be called up and he’s had over 20 starts as a Cub

  • Spoda17

    What about Joel Pineiro?

    • gocatsgo2003

      Going to spend some time in Mesa before moving to AAA.

  • MightyBear

    A lot of talent on that roster and a lot of help coming up soon.

  • JCubs79

    Looking forward to seeing what Neil Ramirez can do at AAA. I was impressed with his raw stuff during ST. Can definitely see the upside there. Wonder where he is in the pecking order right now. Just a guess:


    In terms of who gets called up first.

  • cub4life

    What happened to Nelson, Torres and Hoon-Ha?

    • cub4life

      Ok so we lost Nelson (missed that somewhere) and just noticed we lost Dolis to?

    • Brett

      Ha is rehabbing a wrist injury. As to the other two, I’ll need first names.

      • Luke

        Brad and… Gleyber? No other Torres is immediately coming to mind.

        • cub4life

          Brad Nelson (now with Min) and Tim Torres

      • cub4life

        Thanks for the info on Ha. Just thought about another name I don’t see, Ty Wright

  • miggy80

    Thought about wussing out on tonight’s game because of weather…… until I was the pictures from yesterdays media day, game on.

    • Petey28

      Talks of snow for tomorrow’s game. Was hoping to take my son (9 months) to his first game, but not looking so good right now.

      What do you think about a BN night at Principal Park sometime this summer?

      • miggy80

        Yeah Saturday or Sunday might work better for the little guys first game.

        Keep your eye on the message board and the minor league update for any possible BN Principal park meet ups. I heard a rumor that Luke might make a trip out this summer.

        • Melrosepad

          The wife and I are heading to the opener tonight, but would be open to going more this year, specially if we did a BN night.

          Looking forward to seeing the kids play this year.

          BTW, according to the Iowa Cubs the starters are as follows to start the season:
          Rusin, Pimentel, Hendricks, Jokisch, Wada

      • ssckelley

        I like this idea!

        Brett, you have any plans to venture our way this spring/summer? Seeing this roster makes me more interested to drive to Des Moines to watch a game than go to Chicago. Besides the fact driving to Des Moines is 1/2 the drive for me.

        • Brett

          I very much want to, and I know I will *some* day. I’m not sure when, though. It’s a tricky trip for me. Pretty much have to fly.

          • miggy80

            We have an airport. It’s even “international”


          • ssckelley

            Oh, I don’t know where you live but Des Moines is only a 5 hour drive from Chicago if you only drive speed limit.

            • Brett


              • On The Farm

                Perfect, I have an aunt who makes the drive from Columbus to Cedar Rapids, IA every July. I will have her drop you off at CR and then we can head to Des Moines for the game. You might have to fly home, but I just cut your airfare in half. Boom

  • woody

    Neil Ramirez looked pretty good in ST. Is he going to be a starter at Iowa? I have to believe that Hendricks, Jokisch and Rusin could be in the rotation before the end of the year if Shark and Hammel are moved. What Grimm, Stropp and Rondon did last night was impressive. This power arm theory seems to be holding up. Veres just didn’t have any kind of control of his breaking ball last night. It’s pretty hard to sneak through a lineup like the Pirates using only your fastball. I bet that being inside of Castro’s head would be a scary place right now. He didn’t even look like he belonged in a MLB lineup last night.

  • Jon

    Thank God Iowa is starting. At least we can talk at night now about what Javy did, rather than the crappy ML product.

  • dreese


  • jp3

    Yeah Watkins has to be thinking, what just happened

  • MightyBear

    Where’s Arodys Vizcaino?

    • Jon

      Florida, where everyone should be right now.

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    What happened to Casper Wells? I seemed to have missed where he ended up.

    • Brett

      Back injury, I believe.

      • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

        Thanks, Brett. I Found him intriguing as a minor league signing. But it seems with the glut of similar outfielders on the MLB and AAA rosters, even when he gets healthy he will have an uphill battle to get any playing time or attention.

  • http://BN Sacko

    I’m not impressed as long as Rusin is starting. As long as there isn’t anyone to replace him and get him in the BP.

  • PatM

    Anyone know where Barret Loux is? Injured maybe?

    • Brett

      Injured, I believe, but don’t want to speculate without definite knowledge of the particular injury.

  • The Real Jason P

    I know the Free Parking is only night and weekend games, but will it be available for opening day? If not does anyone have any good parking suggestions?

  • NorthSideIrish

    keithlaw ‏@keithlaw 3m
    New post for Insiders – the six most loaded minor league rosters to start the season:

    Includes Tennessee’s roster if you want a chance to read KLaw saying nice things about Cubs prospects.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I don’t understand why the Cubs don’t give Neil Ramirez a shot in the rotation? Cut Wada, and plug in Rameriz in the rotation