Although we focus on the big league roster crunch this time of year – who can fit where given their options, who gets squeezed out, etc. – there are also minor league rosters to set. The vast majority of interesting minor leaguers can be accommodated somewhere in the system, but as Spring Training winds down, there are always some minor leaguers, in every organization, who must be let go.
Baseball America’s Matt Eddy has a thorough catalog of the minor leaguers around the game who’ve been released in the past week. The Cubs minor leaguers released, according to Eddy:
- RHP Matt Loosen – The biggest name on the list, Loosen was a legit Cubs pitching prospect for several years, even throwing a no-hitter in 2013. Loosen, now 25, simply couldn’t make the leap from High-A to AA, which some say is the biggest minor league jump. He always had great stuff, and struck out plenty of batters, but the command necessary to keep doing it at AA just wasn’t there, and his walk rate skyrocketed. If he’s healthy, Loosen will likely catch on with another organization, but it’s a bummer that he couldn’t quite get over the hump.
- RHP Brad Renner – Taken by the Cubs in the 23rd round in 2013, Renner didn’t pitch for the Cubs in 2014.
- LHP Jeff Lorick – A long-time Cubs minor leaguer, Lorick made 196 appearances between rookie ball and AA from 2009 to 2014, mostly as a reliever, but never broke through. The Cubs got Lorick as part of the August deal that sent Derrek Lee to the Braves in 2010.
- 1B Shane Kennedy – Only recently signed as an undrafted free agent out of Clemson, Kennedy apparently didn’t show quite enough to the Cubs in Spring Training to stick around.
- 2B Alex Tomasovich – A 20th rounder for the Cubs last year, the 23-year-old infielder hit .311/.372/.371 in 37 games at short-season Boise in his professional debut.
- OF Shamil Ubiera – The 22-year-old outfielder saw his performance erode last year after coming over to the States for the first time.
- OF Charlie White – Taken a round after Tomasovich, the 23-year-old outfielder hit .200/.306/.259 in 36 games at short-season Boise in his professional debut.
You can see the other minor league transactions from around the league here at Baseball America. Expect to see some more notable veterans heading out this week as many vets who’ve signed minor league deals have opt-outs that allow them to head back into free agency if they aren’t going to make the big league team (and if their team opts not to pay them a $100,000 retention bonus).