The Chicago Cubs have announced their non-roster invites to big league Spring Training – a necessary thing to do since it opens today. Usually we’d have gotten this list quite a bit earlier in the offseason.
Many of them we already knew about by virtue of the deals they signed before or during the lockout, but the prospect inclusions are new as of today (even if you could’ve guessed a couple). ALSO, don’t forget: these are just the NON-ROSTER invites. Every player on the 40-man roster is automatically already included in big league Spring Training to open camp.
C: John Hicks, PJ Higgins
OF: Brennen Davis
It’s actually a smaller group than usual, in part because a lot of transactions still have to happen. For example, Jesse Chavez is coming and he’ll join that group of righty non-roster invitees shortly.
As for the prospect inclusions, there aren’t any big shocks, because Leeper and Ueckert looked like guys who would contribute in the big league pen soon enough last year, Strumpf and Weber are getting really close to being big league bench considerations, and Davis, well, you know Davis.
It’s worth remembering, too, that other minor leaguers can and will be “called up to big league camp” for a day here and there, helping fill in some Cactus League games. They just aren’t officially in big league camp. Games start in just five days, and many of the Cubs’ prospects have been at spring training and mini-camps for months at this point – some of them might be more game-action-ready than their big league counterparts!
Officially, the Spring Training roster will stand at 56 once Chavez and Andrelton Simmons are included.