As we inch towards opening day we will be seeing more of these reports, these are both good and bad, good meaning we are finally getting an idea of what the roster might look like, bad because, well, being cut isn’t a bad thing, it’s a developmental step, yeah that’s it. Today the Cubs announced they have sent six players back to various levels of their system, five pitchers and one position player. We will start with the position player, Logan Watkins, a guy I really like, and I think the Cubs do as well as he is versatile in that he can play a number of infield spots. It looks as though he will start the 2013 campaign in Iowa as the starting second baseman, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at Wrigley at some point this year.
Now let’s discuss the pitchers that were sent packing. Brooks Raley, who started a few games for the Cubs at the end of last year will be headed to Iowa, and most likely be in the rotation there. Raley had an opportunity to crack the roster coming out of camp but had a less than memorable Spring up to this point. Alberto Cabrera, who the Cubs are trying to morph back into a starter will also take up residence in Iowa, like Raley, there was an outside shot of Cabrera making the team as he saw time with the Cubs last year, but a bad Spring forced the Cubs hand. The 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year in the Cubs organization, Nick Struck, was also sent home from camp today. Struck had a decent Spring and will look to build off an impressive 2012 this year, most likely in Iowa, yes that staff is pretty full already. Robert Whitenack, who spent much of 2012 coming back from Tommy John surgery, was another one of the cuts. Whitenack is intriguing, as many people in the organization like his arm, and ability, it’s now a matter of regaining confidence post surgery and I think that is what is holding him back. Whitenack is someone to pay attention to as he is already on the Cubs 40-man roster, my guess is he starts a AA Tennessee, that might be a little advanced for him, but he has to show the Cubs organization that he belongs.
The final cut is probably the most notable, Trey McNutt, and his beard. McNutt was a pitching prospect for the Cubs before they restocked with other pitching prospects, if that makes sense. McNutt, originally a starter has become seemingly more valuable out of the bullpen, that made it realistic for him to break camp with the Cubs and be another solid arm in the pen. With him being cut from camp I would think the Cubs would like to see what he can do strictly as a reliever at AAA Iowa, I think that McNutt has a future with the Cubs, and I think it’s out of the pen, but time and performance will tell. The Cubs roster now stands at 53, as I said, inching closer to that magical 25 number for April 1st.
Thanks for reading,