Why are names missing, transaction considerations, perspectives, much more

Every time there is a big deadline or a list setting or something like that, you have to go through two big phases of thinking about what happened: initial reactions and considered explanations.

For the initial list of Cubs Summer Camps, that’s even truer, because we’ve literally never seen this before. Initial reactions are fine, but I tried to hold back most of my thoughts for the “considered explanations” part, because I knew it would take some time to really think about it.

Here is the initial list, again, if you missed it:

On a broad level, you immediately see that the Cubs went to just the 39 boys at Wrigley Field who they believed could win a job on the Opening Day roster. There will be 30 players, and by the time initial spring training closed, almost all of the 39 you see there were still in the major league camp. These are the guys who really have a chance to be on the Opening Day 30-man roster. That part really isn’t complicated.

South Bend’s starting group is clearly seen as a mix of possible season calls (Adam, Alzolay, Gamez, Mekkes, Rucker, Garcia, Zagunis) and the best prospects who get experience (Marquez, Amaya, Morel, Davis). That’s also mostly straightforward, though the biggest question I’ve seen out there, and the one I had initially, too, is why not more prospects? Don’t you want some of your best prospects to get the competitive experience they might have this year?

After reflecting, I think the answer to that question is yes, and I think the Cubs would say so too. But some of the list rules surrounding the 60 men are the reason we haven’t seen those named guys. Still.

Getting players into the 60 player roster is easy – just add them if there’s an open spot. However, removing players from the roster necessarily involves a special situation that cannot predict or expose that player to exemptions:

Players on a 40-man roster may be eliminated through swapping, exemption claims, return of draft draft Rule 5, release, direct assignment, assignment designation, placement on the 45-day disabled list , COVID-19 related disabled list placement, or suspended (club) list, voluntarily withdrawn, restricted, disqualified or ineligible lists.

Players who are not 40 players may be eliminated by exchanging, releasing, COVID-19 related DL, or suspended (by the club), military, voluntarily removed, restricted, disqualified, or not. eligible.

Basically, once you add a man to the 60 men, you don’t get him out of there unless he gets badly hurt, gets COVID-19, goes on a restricted list … or runs the risk of getting lost from the organization in some way. (trade, release, exemptions). Now, can you see why the Cubs were extremely judicious about the prospects they put on the initial roster?

Well, keep one thing in mind from the start: To be changed this year, you must be on the 60-man list. So even putting all other considerations aside, it’s easy to see why you might want to keep at least some places open for as long as possible in case something pops up, and then you need, very briefly, to add a player to the list of 60 men to complete an exchange.

With that said, I think there’s a bigger reason why the Cubs’ starting roster has 10 open slots: no need to fill them all right now.

Here’s the thing. By the time spring training ends in late July, you may decide that you want to keep all the players you put on the starting roster, which will limit the volume of additional players you can add (the Cubs currently have 10 spots) open). It could also make you much more careful about who you add at the time, after you’ve seen what you have, and what you don’t have, when the boys got ready at camp.

But if you decide instead that there are some guys who are not on the Opening Day list AND you no longer want to stay in the alternate site group, you will have much more flexibility to add additional leads later, with the total convenience that Then you won’t need those places for big league fillings.

A specific and hypothetical example: A lot of people (again, including me) wondered why Zack Short, the 40-man roster player who is on the list of 40 men and who could help contribute this year, was left out. the initial list. Is it possible that the Cubs think they’re more likely to release one of, say, Daniel Descalso or Jason Kipnis, in which case Short is a guy you’d want available on reserve? But just in case the Cubs decide to keep Descalso and Kipnis, the Cubs still don’t want to use that 60-man spot for Short. Why mess around today when you could end, organically, with more flexibility in a week or two?

You might think the same with many pitchers who were left out (Cory Abbott, Justin Steele, Tyson Miller, etc.). If the Cubs think it is probable that some of the NRI-type launchers that are not on the opening day list also no Ultimately staying in South Bend, so why risk filling your 60 men right now, just in case you decide do then you want to have more of those NRI type launchers? He could end up using 55 points to keep the same players when he could have used only 50.

When all that dust has settled, which will include major league injuries and considerations and COVID-19 testing, I hope there is a place for men like Abbott, Steele and Miller and other top-level pitching prospects to pitch some of the makeup. shift tickets under the care of the Cubs. Yes, the alternate site group is primarily about completing the major league team, but you could also use it for player development.

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo / Getty Images)

To that end, and given all this discussion, I think it can be concluded that its location in the initial list is a great compliment for Márquez, Amaya, Davis and Morel. Not surprisingly, those four are highly regarded (they’re all in our top 11), but the Cubs have essentially stated that, no matter what else happens, these were the four that we wanted to make sure we got this South Bend experience from, even if it is highly unlikely that they will contribute at the major league level this year.

Also, given that Marquez, Amaya, and Davis are evenly considered among the Cubs’ top four prospects, along with Nico Hoerner (who will compete for a job on Opening Day), how huge is this compliment for Morel? The 21-year-old third baseman has extremely strong tools and hits the ball as hard as anyone in the system, but he also has limited full-season A-ball experience (like Davis). For him to be included in this group? Great compliment

Also getting time from South Bend, although theoretically capable of major league contributions this year, you have Michael Rucker, who just returned to the Orioles Cubs after being a Rule 5 pick. He was showing some really awesome things in Relief late last year, and after the Orioles tried to start it, it was a squeeze off the list. Very happy to have him back.

And Juan Gámez, who was an unannounced Mexico shutdown last season for the Cubs. A former Twins prospect, Gamez performed well in Mexico, a competitive league, thanks to an elite base rate. That being said, his profile didn’t strike me as a man the Cubs felt they absolutely had to include in this list, so that tells me they must have seen something in Spring Training, and maybe because of the quarantine, who really stood out. . Now you’re really making me want to see it in action, Cubs.

As for your first thoughts on the opening day roster, if you think the Cubs are going to 14 position players and 16 pitchers, here are the locks (barring injuries or something shocking at camp):


Willson Contreras

Victor Caratini


Anthony Rizzo

David Bote

Javy Baez

Kris Bryant


Albert Almora, Jr.

Kyle schwarber

Ian Happ

Steven Souza, Jr.

Jason Heyward

Initial Launchers

Yu Darvish

Kyle Hendricks

Jon Lester

Jose Quintana

Tyler Chatwood


Craig Kimbrel

Jeremy Jeffress

Alec mills

Kyle Ryan

Rowan Wick

That leaves you with three more position player positions to choose from Jason Kipnis, Daniel Descalso, Ian Miller, Josh Phegley, PJ Higgins and Nico Hoerner. Guess early? Since there will be one catcher on the three-player cab team at all times, I doubt the Cubs have three on the major league roster. Kipnis is likely to stay, and Hoerner surely will, too. From there, the Cubs would like to have Miller’s elite speed available.

On the pitching side, you have six open spaces (if the Cubs have 16 to start with) for a large group. Brad Wieck is a good bet. Casey Sadler, Ryan Tepera and Dan Winkler looked great in spring training, and the Cubs really like that trio. Duane Underwood (no options) and Trevor Megill (Rule 5) may have their legs up depending on the considerations in the list.