It feels like an annual rite at this point, with utility man Trent Giambrone brought to Spring Training as a non-roster invite, and then eventually getting sent back out to minor league camp. And it’s mostly a compliment to him, relative to every other player trying to make it in pro ball: he’s got a versatile, power-speed skill set that is so close to making him a worthy big league bench guy. But the total package is juuuuust short at the moment.
So, then, Giambrone today was sent back out to minor league camp, together with righty Keegan Thompson. Giambrone, 27, will serve as a utility man at Triple-A Iowa, where he’ll hope to show another step forward with the bat and get a chance to come up if there are injuries.
Meanwhile Thompson, who is rising up the Cubs prospects lists, flashed 95+ mph with the fastball this spring, making him a much more compelling future starting pitching prospect (he was previously seen as a high-floor, back-of-the-rotation type). There’s a reason the Cubs put the 26-year-old righty on the 40-man roster this fall despite limited action the last couple years, and it seems a very good bet that he will be among the first fill-in starter options in 2021 when the need inevitably arises. But he wasn’t going to make the Opening Day roster, so the Cubs will send him out now so he can start prepping to hit up the alternate site and then the Triple-A rotation. This spring definitely made me much more excited about Thompson.
With Giambrone and Thompson cut, the Cubs’ spring roster is down to 47 players.