Today, the Cubs dropped their full non-roster invite list for 2019 Spring Training. These are the guys who are not currently on the 40-man roster, but will nevertheless start out Spring Training in big league camp. It’s both an honor and an opportunity.
Note: all players on the 40-man roster are already invited to big league camp by default.
Here’s the Cubs’ full release:
The Chicago Cubs have invited the following 27 non-roster players to major league spring training, which begins Wednesday, February 13 when pitchers and catchers have their first formal workout at the club’s Under Armour Performance Center in Mesa, Ariz. The team’s first full squad workout will take place Monday, February 18.
The following 14 pitchers have been invited to major league camp: right-handed pitchers Christian Bergman, Craig Brooks, Matt Carasiti, George Kontos, Dakota Mekkes, Carlos Ramirez, Colin Rea, Duncan Robinson, Rob Scahill, Junichi Tazawa and Allen Webster as well as left-handed pitchers Alberto Baldonado, Ian Clarkin and Mike Zagurski.
Five infielders have been invited to major league camp: Cristhian Adames, Ryan Court, Phillip Evans, Trent Giambrone and Zack Short.
Five outfielders have been invited to big league camp: Jim Adduci, Charcer Burks, Johnny Field, Jacob Hannemann and Evan Marzilli.
Three catchers have been invited to big league camp: Francisco Arcia, P.J. Higgins and Ian Rice.
There are no surprises there on the pitching side of things, although it would have been fun and nice to see Luke Hagerty get an invite. Craig Brooks, Dakota Mekkes, Duncan Robinson, and Ian Clarkin would be the “prospect” type guys that got the invite, which is at least suggestive that they might be the first in line types to get big league innings this year among the non-40-man prospects. And that sounds about right to me. Brooks and Mekkes are relievers who have lit up the minor leagues at times, while Robinson and Clarkin have generally been starters (though Clarkin could wind up a relief option from the left side).
Positionally, it’s really cool to see both Trent Giambrone and Zack Short get the invite, given that each absolutely could see big league time this year in the middle infield if the need arises and if their development continues as well as it did last year. No Nico Hoerner, which might have surprised some given that he played in the AFL, but he was only just drafted last year, and has almost no professional experience. There’s time.
There are plenty of expected NRI guys among the Cubs’ minor league signings, and we’ve discussed all of them previously. To that end, I’m a little surprised not to see outfielder Zach Borenstein not get an invite. He must not be viewed as being as close to potentially contributing as the rest of the outfield group.