Today, the Chicago Cubs announced their non-roster invitees to Spring Training:
The following 14 pitchers have been invited to major league camp: right-handed pitchers Andury Acevedo, Maikel Cleto, Daniel Corcino, James Farris, Seth Frankoff, Jim Henderson, Casey Kelly, Jhondaniel Medina, Conor Mullee, Fernando Rodriguez, and Ryan Williams, as well as left-handed pitchers Gerardo Concepcion, Manny Parra, and Zac Rosscup.
Five infielders have been invited to major league camp: Chris Dominguez, Ian Happ, Munenori Kawasaki, Jemile Weeks and Chesny Young.
Three outfielders have been invited to big league camp: John Andreoli, Eloy Jimenez and Mark Zagunis.
Two catchers have been invited to big league camp: Carlos Corporan and Taylor Davis.
Non-roster invitees are players on a minor league deal (i.e., not on the 40-man roster) who get to come and participate in big league Spring Training with the players already on the 40-man roster. Some are competing for a spot on the big league roster, others are getting exposure in a new organization to work with coaches in advance of heading to AAA to open the season, and others still are getting a taste of what it’s like to be with the big league players and coaches.
That is to say that few of these players will actually be competing for a big league roster spot when all is said and done – for the most part, that’s the 40-man roster guys – but we will get to see all of these folks in camp. Which can be a lot of fun, especially when it comes to prospects.
So, that is to say, WOO HOO! Eloy Jimenez, Ian Happ, Mark Zagunis, Chesny Young, and others will be with the big league team when Spring Training opens, and we will likely get to see them in some Cactus League games. Realistically, though, barring a rash of injuries, they will not have a serious chance of making the big league team just yet (Zagunis, as an advanced outfielder, probably has an outside shot, but, again, it would take injuries).
On the pitching side, there actually aren’t too many surprises here, as we’ve written about most of the players recently signed to minor league deals. The new name, however, is Casey Kelly – we wrote about him here, but this is the first indication that he’d actually signed.
It’s good to see Ryan Williams on there – you’ll recall that he was a super-fast-rising command/control pitching prospect in 2015, who then missed most of 2016 with an injury. He’s all healed up and ready to go, and hopefully he’ll re-emerge as a depth starting option for the Cubs.
James Farris has been breaking out as a reliever in the minors, and capped off his 2016 campaign with a nice showing in the AFL. He’s a reliever to keep an eye on.
Pitchers and catchers report on February 14. Get ready. Here’s the full Spring roster (it’s large, so you can click the pictures to see):
And here's the full Spring roster, as it stands today. pic.twitter.com/s4GpHcGHnA
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) January 27, 2017