Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

cubs azl spring training logoThe big league team has opened its season, and the full-season minor league clubs are about to do the same. That means it’s time to set those opening day rosters, and each of the Iowa Cubs (AAA), Tennessee Smokies (AA), Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High-A), and South Bend Cubs (Low-A) have announced their rosters. You can see the rosters here, here, here, and here, for the full info and coaching staff.

Below, I’ve got the names of the players on each club, and then some reactions and notes. Each affiliate opens up its season on Thursday, April 9, and each affiliate will have at least some games available on (which you can get here, together with if you’d like).

Iowa Cubs

RHP Donn Roach
RHP Carlos Pimentel
LHP Eric Jokisch
RHP Barret Loux
RHP Yoanner Negrin
RHP Blake Parker
RHP Brian Schlitter
LHP Zac Rosscup
RHP Blake Cooper
LHP Drake Britton
RHP Gonzalez Germen
LHP Joseph Ortiz
RHP Armando Rivero

Rafael Lopez
Taylor Davis

Kris Bryant
Addison Russell
Javier Baez
Mike Baxter
Chris Valaika
Jonathan Mota

Junior Lake
John Andreoli
Adron Chambers
Rubi Silva

Tennessee Smokies

LHP Jeffry Antigua
RHP Frank Batista
RHP Corey Black
LHP Hunter Cervenka
RHP Fernando Cruz
RHP C.J. Edwards
RHP P.J. Francescon
RHP Michael Jensen
RHP Felix Pena
RHP Stephen Perakslis
RHP Ivan Pineyro
RHP Andres Santiago
LHP Rob Zastryzny

Erick Castillo
Willson Contreras
Kyle Schwarber

Stephen Bruno
Ryan Dent
Dustin Geiger
Elliot Soto
Christian Villanueva
Dan Vogelbach

Albert Almora
Pin-Chieh Chen
Anthony Giansanti
Bijan Rademacher

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

RHP Paul Blackburn
RHP Matt Brazis
LHP Gerardo Conception
RHP Josh Conway
LHP Michael Heesch
RHP Jonathan Martinez
RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua
RHP Starling Peralta
RHP James Pugliese
RHP Tayler Scott
RHP Tyler Skulina
RHP Daury Torrez
RHP Jen-Ho Tseng
RHP Duane Underwood

Victor Caratini
Ben Carhart
Albert Mineo

Jeimer Candelario
Wes Darvill
Andrew Ely
Danny Lockhart
Carlos Penalver
Jacob Rogers

Shawon Dunston, Jr.
Jacob Hannemann
Billy McKinney
Mark Zagunis

South Bend Cubs

RHP Francisco Carrillo
RHP Trevor Clifton
RHP James Farris
RHP Zach Hedges
LHP Tyler Ihrig
RHP Erick Leal
LHP Jordan Minch
RHP James Norwood
RHP Jeremy Null
RHP Jasvir Rakkar
RHP Jake Stinnett
LHP Tommy Thorpe
RHP Ryan Williams

Gioskar Amaya
Cael Brockmeyer
Justin Marra

David Bote
Jesse Hodges
Gleyber Torres
Jason Vosler
Chesny Young

Jeffrey Baez
Yasiel Balaguert
Kevin Brown
Charcer Burks
Rashad Crawford
Trey Martin

  • Eloy Jimenez and Kevonte Mitchell didn’t make the full-season South Bend Cubs just yet, but I wouldn’t be too discouraged. Each is still quite young and raw, and there’s still a chance that they make it to South Bend by the end of the year. For now, I’d expect the plan is to keep them in Extended Spring Training before heading to Eugene for short-season ball when the Northwest League kicks off in mid-June.
  • You’re noticing that pitching prospect Pierce Johnson is nowhere to be found. That means he’s still at Extended Spring Training, which, for an experienced player like Johnson, suggests an injury. I suspect we’ll hear soon about what’s going on. Johnson started last year at Extended Spring Training because of a calf injury.
  • C.J. Edwards begins the year at Tennessee, rather than Iowa, which makes sense, given his low innings last year. I expect he’ll probably have his innings artificially limited this year, so don’t be alarmed if you see him going only three or four or five innings early in the year.
  • Donn Roach will be starting in the Iowa rotation, rather than relieving (as the Cubs had previously hinted he might). I suppose with Dallas Beeler injured (and maybe Pierce Johnson, too), the Cubs felt they needed a little more rotation depth at AAA.

  • Taylor Teagarden is not on the Iowa Cubs’ opening day roster, and I’m not sure what’s up there. He was a minor league free agent, and he may have had an opt-out in his contract. With the Cubs keeping Welington Castillo (for now), perhaps they decided not to hang onto Teagarden? Or maybe he decided he didn’t want to stay? Or maybe he’s just injured? If the Cubs do eventually deal Castillo, though, it sure would be nice to have a defensively-strong catcher available at AAA, just in case. Then again, Taylor Davis was very good in limited time at AA last year, so maybe the Cubs really like him. Maybe one Taylor was plenty.
  • Both Billy McKinney and Jacob Hannemann start out at Myrtle Beach. Here’s hoping both are pushing for AA by late May. Together with Mark Zagunis and Shawon Dunston, Jr., I love that outfield.
  • Neither Carson Sands nor Justin Steele gets a full-season assignment out of the gate. To be sure, that would have made them the exception, rather than the rule, when it comes to high school pitchers. Still, it was a possibility.
  • It’s good to see Ivan Pineyro back after a mostly lost season in 2014. Hopefully he’ll be solid out of the gate, and can move up to AAA soon enough.

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