Minor League Cubs Released, Estrada on the Mend, Kipnis Doing Good, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Minor League Cubs Released, Estrada on the Mend, Kipnis Doing Good, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

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  • Another in a long line of things that feels like it happened in another lifetime: the release of minor league players at the end of Spring Training. To be sure, this is an annual process of evaluating the farm system and where guys can fit, rather than being something directly tied to the pandemic. Baseball America has the rundown of minor league transactions from the past month, and it includes the following players being released by the Cubs:

“RHP Casey Bloomquist | RHP Jamie Galazin | RHP Jose Gomez | RHP Elias Herrera | RHP Brendan King | RHP Chi-Feng Lee | RHP Riley McCauley | RHP Raidel Orta | RHP Luis Ramos | RHP Niels Stone | RHP Alexander Vargas | RHP Carlos Vega | RHP Danny Zardon | C Alexander Guerra | C Rafelin Lorenzo | C Richard Nunez | 1B Abraham Rodriguez | 2B Orian Nunez | 3B Luis Diaz | 3B Grant Fennell | OF Ervis Marchan | OF Kevonte Mitchell”

  • You no doubt recognize a few of those names, though most are lower-level guys who must not have panned out. There had long been hope that Mitchell would put together enough of his game to take advantage of his enormous raw power, but it has happened, and he turns 25 this year having not yet played above High-A. You figure he might get a shot elsewhere, though.
  • Lorenzo was a former minor league Rule 5 pick, but the bat didn’t take a step forward after coming to the Cubs. Guerra was a fun guy at rookie ball out of Cuba, but I presume the projections didn’t look promising from there. Throw in the Cubs’ glut of catching talent in the system, and guys like Lorenzo and Guerra (and Jhonny Pereda, who was traded) got squeezed out.
  • Brendan King was an interesting pure relief prospect with fantastic peripherals at South Bend this year, but they didn’t quite sustain after the bump to High-A. At 25, I’m guessing there was just a question about projection here.
  • Hopefully these guys catch on elsewhere, or are otherwise helped out during this crazy transitional time. You can peruse the list of players released by the other 29 MLB teams here (appears some still aren’t out yet, though). Interestingly, the Cubs didn’t release any of the remaining veterans still in camp on minor league deals, which means they will continue to get the larger interim payment from the league. Looks like a number of other teams decided to go ahead and cut veteran minor leaguers before the suspension.
  • One more prospect bit:

  • Jason Kipnis is Cameo’ing to help raise funds to support COVID-19 efforts:

  • Someone should get him to sing ‘Go Cubs Go’ and conclude it with “I knew that ball was foul off the bat.”
  • And one more reminder (yes, it’s important for us to share these things especially right now, but I also do use the Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ bundle every single day):

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.