On the eve of Minor League Opening Day, some more of the latest Cubs prospect bits besides the C.J. Edwards bullpen thing …
- Our answer to the Pierce Johnson question: strained lat. The question arose this week when minor league rosters came out and Johnson wasn’t on any of them, and the reason he’s sticking around extended Spring Training for a little while is more fully addressed here. The good news is that it’s not an arm issue for Johnson, nor is it the hamstring or calf issue he dealt with last year. The bad news is that, once again, his season start will be delayed, and Johnson might not be back in action for a month or more – conservatively, the Cubs believe he might not be throwing in games for a couple weeks, according to that CSN piece. Like Edwards, Johnson didn’t throw a ton of innings last year (102.2), so the Cubs may have had to limit him a little anyway (and, like Edwards, he could make an appearance in the big league bullpen late in the year as part of a transition (Johnson is Rule 5 eligible after the season, so the Cubs will have to add him to the 40-man roster anyway)).
- I mentioned it in the Castro/Russell piece yesterday, but I want to make sure folks see it here, too – the Cubs have said Addison Russell could see some time at second base at AAA Iowa this year, once he gets settled (Des Moines Register). He’d flip-flop with Javier Baez, occasionally.
- Another from the DSM on the real possibility that Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora, and C.J. Edwards could be up to Iowa at some point before the top guys there move on – such a loaded team, potentially.
- In BP’s league preview series, Jordan Gorosh looks at the Carolina League, which includes the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The rotation looks the most interesting, but there are definitely bats to follow (as Luke has written about previously).
- Christopher Crawford on Kris Bryant’s 80-grade power.
- In his latest chat, Kiley McDaniel questions whether shortstop is Addison Russell’s long-term position, and whether Starlin Castro might not actually be the better defensive shortstop.
- Arizona Phil reports that catching prospect Will Remillard has had Tommy John surgery. Bummer.
- Don’t miss Luke’s top prospect list, by the way.