Adrian Sampson (and Vinny Nittoli) Cut from Big League Camp
This one doesn’t get the jokey “fifth cut is the whatever’est” treatment because there’s some news implicitly baked into it.
Today, per multiple reports, the Cubs sent reliever Vinny Nittoli and starter Adrian Sampson out to minor league camp (Sampson by way of being optioned to Iowa). Sampson, whose most recent start was another homer-laden affair, was competing for the fifth starter job in the Cubs’ opening rotation. Nominally, Javier Assad is also in that competition, but we increasingly get the sense that he’s being considered instead for a bullpen job.
SO, that could mean that the Cubs have finally made the decision that seemed clear for weeks now: Hayden Wesneski will open the season as the Cubs’ fifth starter. An official announcement now seems a mere formality.
Nittoli, if he doesn’t opt out of his minor league deal or isn’t otherwise let go, will be veteran bullpen depth at Iowa to open the season. Sampson, meanwhile, should be starting in the Iowa rotation, and summoned whenever a need develops for a fill-in start. He’s good starting depth to have, but Wesneski needs to be in the big league rotation right now. That’s just the reality.
Big league camp is down to 39 players.