Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spring Training Preview: Non Roster Pitchers

Today we begin our first look at what we will see this March, when the Cubs take the field for the first time in 2010. When the Cubs are in Arizona, there we'll be some position battles, comebacks, stories, and injuries to watch regarding the big league players in camp, but that preview will come later. Today we take a look at the minor league pitchers that have been invited to big league camp.

Andrew Cashner
  • RHP
  • Was drafted by the Cubs in the first round (19th) of the 2008 MLB June Amateur draft.
  • Rated the top pitcher prospect in the Cubs organization by Jim Callis of Baseball America.
  • Cubs #4 prospect overall.
  • Rated best fastball and slider by Baseball America
  • Rated "Best Mechanics", and "Best Slider" in the Cubs system by Vineline.
  • Started 12 games with Class A Daytona last year, his 1.50 ERA earned him a promotion.
  • Then started 12 games at AA Tennessee, going 3-4 with a 3.39 ERA.

Casey Coleman

  • RHP, bats left handed
  • Drafted by the Cubs in the 15th round of the June 2008 draft
  • Rated "Best command" by Vineline
  • Rated best changeup and control by Baseball America
  • 14-6 with a 3.68 ERA with AA Tennessee in 2009

Thomas Diamond

  • RHP
  • Aquired by the Cubs on September 4, 2009 after he was DFA'd by the Rangers 3 days prior
  • Underwent Tommy John and missed the entire 2007 season
  • Went 2-3 with a 4.20 ERA in 38 games between AA and AAA last year (32 in AA)
  • Went 2-0 with an 0.64 ERA in 3 games in winter ball in Mexico this offseason

Jeff Kennard

  • RHP
  • Signed a minor league contract with the Cubs on January 12, 2010
  • Has spent time in the Yankees (2001-2007), Angels (2007-'08) and Reds (2009) organizations
  • Has yet to make big league debut
  • 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA in 40 games for AAA Louisville in 2009
  • 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 6 games in Dominican Winter League this offseason
  • An interesting name to watch this spring

J.R. Mathes

  • LHP
  • Drafted by the Cubs in the 16th round of the 2004 draft
  • Real name is Alfred George Mathes
  • Born in Granger, IN
  • good command
  • 12-8 with a 3.62 ERA in 26 games (21 starts) for AAA Iowa in 2009
  • 1-2 with a 5.08 ERA in 6 games in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason

Vince Perkins

  • RHP (bats left handed)
  • Has spent 8 seasons in the minors
  • Has been in the Tonorto ('01-'05), Milwauke (2007) and Cubs (2009) organizations
  • Played for team Canada in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics
  • 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 6 games for the Smokies last year, before being moved up to AAA where he went 6-2 with a 3.48 ERA

James Russell

  • LHP
  • Drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round of the June 2007 draft
  • Struggled as a starter, found new life in the bullpen
  • 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA in 11 games (6 starts) at AA Tennessee in 2009
  • 3-3 with a 3.43 ERA in 26 games (7 starts) for AAA Iowa
  • 0-1 with a 1.26 ERA in 11 games in the Arizona Fall League for the Mesa Solar Sox last fall

Guy to Watch for the Future: Andrew Cashner

Best Chance to Make the Club: J.R. Mathes

Most Underrated: Thomas Diamond

Up Next: The Non Roster Hitters

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