Archive for the ‘Media Releases’ Category

Cubs Get All Stat Geeky

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The Cubs media relations department sent this release about an exciting new partnership between the Cubs and Bloomberg Sports to develop some interesting technology.

CHICAGO The Chicago Cubs and Bloomberg Sports, one of the world’s leaders in sports analytic technology, today announced a new partnership to design a state-of-the-art player evaluation system for the Cubs Baseball Operations Department.

This new partnership is the latest step in player analytic technology for Bloomberg Sports, which has been creating solutions for MLB teams, players and fans for the past four years.  The Cubs new system will combine video with extensive data on all professional players, as well as customized and enhanced technology to assist the evaluation process.  The platform is being created with both laptop and mobile capability, and the two parties will begin implementation and development of the new system immediately.

“We are excited to partner with Bloomberg Sports and benefit from their world-renowned expertise in Analytics and Information Management” said President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein.  “The management and analysis of data, whether it be scouting reports, statistics, medical information or video, is a critical component of our operation.  We look forward to developing a customized program that utilizes the most advanced and efficient technology available in the marketplace today to facilitate quicker, easier and more accurate access to all the sources of information we use to make baseball decisions.”

“Over the past few years we have helped set the standard for excellence and efficiency in advanced analytics, whether it has been for MLB teams with our comprehensive, integrated systems, players with our tablet product or fans with our fantasy tools, and this partnership is the next step in that evolution,” said Bill Squadron, head of Bloomberg Sports. “Bloomberg as a company has always been about innovation, and we are very excited to partner with Theo and the Cubs organization.” 

Named as one of the Ten Most Innovative Companies in Sports in 2011 by Fast Company Magazine, Bloomberg Sports has quickly become one of the industry leaders in providing cutting edge analytic products for fans, MLB teams and professional players. Their fantasy baseball product, “MLB Front Office,” is the fastest growing and most in-depth tool for both the casual and the die-hard baseball fan.  The professional analytic tools are now being used by 21 Major League clubs for player evaluation, and their tablet products are being used by over 200 MLB players to evaluate performance almost in real time.


Launched in 2010, BLOOMBERG SPORTS BASEBALL is taking the tools developed by Bloomberg, the leading global provider in data and analytics, and applying them to the vast data analysis opportunities in sports.  BLOOMBERG SPORTS fantasy baseball products, in conjunction with MLB.COM, provide both a “draft kit” and “in-season tools” that give fans the most powerful resources to prepare and conduct their fantasy draft and make replacements, trades and other key decisions for their fantasy teams. The season update tool provides the casual fan with the ability to explore added features and insights about all their favorite players and teams. Additionally, the BLOOMBERG SPORTS professional product provides Major League Baseball clubs with a secure, virtually unlimited set of analytical functions that can assist them in personnel evaluation and performance matchups.  Their tablet product for players was launched in 2011 and provides individual players with the most advanced evaluation tools as well.  For more details, please visit

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Cubs Sign Paul Maholm

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

I had planned on running some baseball trivia today following the morning news, but things change. Jeremiah is MIA this morning and the Cubs made a move. As a result, here is the release on said move to add Paul Maholm.

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs and left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with a club option for the 2013 campaign. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Maholm, 29, went 6-14 despite a 3.66 ERA (66 ER/162.1 IP) in 26 starts for Pittsburgh last year, as his run support average of 3.38 ranked fifth-lowest in the National League. He allowed three earned runs or less in 19 of his 26 starts and two earned runs or less in more than half of his starts (14 of 26) but earned the victory only six times despite a 1.44 ERA (15 ER/94.0 IP) in those 14 outings. Maholm posted a 2.96 ERA (40 ER/121.2 IP) in 19 starts before the All-Star Break before making only seven starts afterwards due to a left shoulder strain.

Selected by the Pirates in the first round of the 2003 Draft (eighth overall) out of Mississippi State University, Maholm is 53-73 with a 4.36 ERA (554 ER/1,143.2 IP) in 185 starts covering all or part of the last seven seasons with Pittsburgh (2005-11). He made 29 or more starts in five-consecutive campaigns from 2006-10 before making 26 starts last season.

Maholm reached the big leagues in 2005 in his third pro campaign and went 3-1 with a 2.18 (10 ER/41.1 IP) in six big league starts to close out the season. He made his first Opening Day roster in 2006 and began his string of five-straight seasons with at least eight wins and 176.0 innings pitched, including career-highs with 10 wins in 2007, 206.1 innings pitched in 2008 and 32 starts in 2010.

Starting with his first big league season in 2006, Maholm has averaged 4.25 runs of support per nine innings pitched, the fourth-lowest mark in all of baseball in that span. At the same time, the durable Maholm is one of only six major league southpaws to throw at least 1,100.0 innings the last six years.

Maholm is a native of Greenwood, MS and attended high school in Germantown, TN. He was named Pittsburgh’s 2005 Minor League Pitcher of the Year and was selected to that summer’s Futures Game before making his big league debut that August.

The Cubs will make a corresponding 40-man roster move before Maholm is officially added to the roster.

Let’s discuss. What does the rotation look like now as of opening day?

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Cubs Trade Tony Thomas to Boston for Robert Coello

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Robert Coello from the Boston Red Sox for minor league infielder Tony Thomas.

Evan Brunell of Firebrand chimes in with these thoughts on Coello:

The trade of Robert Coello does not come as good news to this writer, as I was rooting for the club to waive Daniel Nava instead of Coello. While Nava is a feel-good story, he is limited to left field while Coello is valuable as a major-league ready pitcher with years of league-minimum salary ahead of him. The former independent-ball pitcher rocketed through the minors for Boston and excelled at striking out batters and limiting his walks. Coello is unlikely to ever emerge as anything more than a middle reliever, but in that role he can do very well. He got knocked around at the beginning of his major-league career in 2010 but by the end had settled down and showed that he could handle being part of a big-league bullpen. Coello can also be counted upon to start in a pinch, but his pitches play better in relief.

He also provided a scouting report from last year on Coello from

Big righty with a powerful frame. Smooth, deceptive delivery. Heavy fastball sits between 91-93 mph and tops out at 94 mph. Also uses a nice low-80s forkball, a mediocre curveball, and an developing changeup. Attacks the zone and throws strikes. Gets a ton of strikeouts but can be hittable when he works too much down the middle of the zone. Projects as a middle reliever at the major league level, one that might be able to be utilized in high-leverage situations. Still learning how to pitch. Coello was well-regarded as a catcher when he was drafted byCincinnati in 2004. However, he missed the 2005 season with a rib injury and the Reds released him in the spring of 2006. He converted to pitching after signing a one-year minor league deal with the Angels in September 2006. The right-hander dominated much younger competition in the rookie-level Arizona League in 2007, but the Angels opted not to re-sign him to a long-term deal. He impressed with Edmonton of the independent Golden Baseball League in 2008, and Boston acquired his rights from Edmonton in November 2008.

What are your thoughts on the deal? I’m not much of a Tony Thomas guy. He’s been a bit of a bust since being drafted fairly high. Better to get something for him and see what Coello can add in a potential bullpen role in 2011.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Out of the Park 12 (Pre-Order to win an iPod Touch)

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Chilly temperatures can’t shake the warm feelings we get when we realize that not only are pitchers and catchers reporting soon, but the next version of Out of the Park Baseball is getting ready for spring training too. OOTP 12 will throw out its first pitch this spring, and we want to make sure you have the best seat in the house two days early.

How? By pre-ordering the game now for just $29.99. Not only is that 25% off the list price, but you’ll also get to download the game two days before its official release. Hurry, though, because only those who pre-order in January will get the game early, and the special pricing ends the day before OOTP 12 ships this spring. After that, the full price will be $39.99.

With pre-orders for Out of the Park Baseball 12 underway, we started chatting in the office about iOOTP, which is being developed for iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone. And then we realized: Wouldn’t it be great to make sure one lucky OOTP 12 player also gets a chance to experience our other upcoming baseball sim?

So here’s our offer to you: Pre-order OOTP 12 by the end of January and we’ll enter you in a drawing to win a brand new fourth generation 32GB iPod Touch, along with a free copy of iOOTP when it arrives at the App Store. That’s right: you’ll get twice the OOTP fun this summer, whether you’re in front of your computer or out and about. And you’ll even save $10 and get OOTP 12 two days before its official release.

Lineup Improvements in OOTP 12

PC Gamer called OOTP 11 “a no-doubt, walk-off home run no-brainer to become a part of your game collection,” and OOTP 12 is no different. Our All-Star lineup of features gets better every year, and we’ve again improved many of them during this off-season. We’re not done yet, so stay tuned to future newsletters.

2011 Major League Rosters

Here’s a treat: the best roster set we’ve ever produced, from the big leagues’ top stars to the guys making their debuts in rookie leagues. All players are individually rated with updated statistics and realistic contract data. Last year’s top draft picks are included too. Could Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg, with the veteran leadership of newly-acquired All-Star Jayson Werth, help propel the Washington Nationals to the top of the National League East in coming seasons?

Revamped Financial System

The Philadelphia Phillies shook the baseball world this winter when they signed top-flight free agent pitcher Cliff Lee, despite expectations that he would opt for the highest bidder. Now you can do the same with OOTP’s improved player contract negotiations, which are more realistic and fun. You can even try to talk your owner into expanding the available budget, letting you squeeze in another All-Star contract. Don’t forget to stay on top of the latest free agent signings and other news in the new off-season center, and keep your finger on the pulse of your team’s finances with an improved view.

Contract possibilities are now more realistic, including vesting options, buyouts, minor league split contracts, signing bonuses and more performance bonus options. You can even now include remaining contract payments as an option in trades with AI-controlled GMs.

Online Leagues

We’re proud to support Official OOTP Online Leagues with a full-featured interface inside OOTP 12. With just one click, you can join a team, and creating a league is just as easy. Commissioners can make their leagues public and advertise open teams, with the ability to accept or deny requests from would-be GMs.

Official OOTP Online Leagues offer several key advantages:

  • League files are patches rather than full-size files, saving plenty of up- and download time.
  • Reports can be saved in MySQL databases, increasing their upload speed.
  • Forget about FTP: team data exports and imports work through the database. That results in improved compatibility and security for the league web site server.
  • An export tracker.
  • The promise of more great features to come, including online drafts and trades.

Greater Immersion and Realism

Historical leagues benefit from improved AI and real life transactions and as-played lineups as optional features. Thanks to OOTP’s sophisticated game engine, you’ll be able to enjoy the most realistic historical simulation results possible. How would the 1927 Yankees fare against their 1961 counterparts?

In addition, storylines have been expanded, and there are new ways to interact with your players. News presentations have also been revamped, making you feel like you’re part of the hectic 24-hour “better stay on top of this” news cycle that dominates today’s sports reporting.

In-Game and Core Engine Changes

Like a manager constantly seeking ways to get the most out of his lineup, we’re always tinkering under OOTP’s hood. Here’s what you can look forward to this year:

  • Recoded parts of the in-game AI, making it the most challenging ever in an OOTP game.
  • Improved in-game sound, adding better quality sound files and more variation.
  • Improved player evaluation AI, resulting in more realistic AI roster moves.
  • Recoded parts of the trading AI.
  • Recoded parts of the scouting engine.
  • Improved injury and recovery system.
  • Added WAR (Wins Above Replacement) as a statistic.
  • Added a playoff roster for more realistic team transactions.
  • Greatly enhanced the world database structure, resulting in more realistic fictional league and player creation.
  • Added a simulation module, allowing you to match up two teams from the same league for a set number of games and see the simulation results. This is great for research purposes or just for toying around. For example, how would the 1927 Yankees fare against the 2004 Red Sox?

But that’s not all – the feature list is not final yet and will include even more great additions before the game is released. Stay tuned.

The home team has taken their positions in the field and the first batter is approaching home plate. What will happen next? Find out in OOTP 12. Pre-order your copy today!

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Media Release: Cubs Recall Wellington Castillo

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

CHICAGO The Chicago Cubs recalled catcher Welington Castillo from Triple-A Iowa.  Castillo joins the Cubs for his second stint in the big leagues this season and is available for this afternoon’s game against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field.

Castillo, 23, saw action in two games during his previous stay with the Cubs from August 10-22, batting .167 (1-for-6) with a double in his pair of starts.  The double represented his first big league hit in his major league debut August 11 at San Francisco.

Overall, Castillo batted .255 (61-for-239) with 17 doubles, 13 home runs and 59 RBI in 69 games with Iowa this season, his first at the Triple-A level.  He is in his sixth season in the Cubs organization, having made the climb to the big leagues after starting the 2008 campaign at Single-A Daytona.  Castillo has been to major league spring training with the Cubs each of the last three seasons.

A native of San Isidro, Dominican Republic, Castillo originally signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent on December 8, 2004.  He was the starting catcher for the World Team at the 2008 Futures Game and was listed by Baseball America as the organization’s fifth-best prospect into the 2009 campaign.  In 423 minor league contests, Castillo is a career .264 hitter (379-for-1435) with 77 doubles, 40 home runs and 207 RBI.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Cubs Place Ramirez on the DL; Recall Chad Tracy

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

From the Cubs Media Department comes information on the DL trip for Rammy:

MILWAUKEE – The Chicago Cubs today recalled infielder Chad Tracy from Triple-A Iowa and placed infielder Aramis Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to June 8) with a left thumb contusion.

Tracy, 30, has batted .396 (36-for-91) with 21 runs, eight doubles, five home runs and 18 RBI in 26 games with Iowa since joining the team, May 6. The left-handed hitter posted a .422 batting average (27-for-64) against right-handed hurlers, and a .333 (9-for-27) mark against southpaws. He batted .421 (8-for-19) with runners in scoring position, including a .571 mark (4-for-7) with runners in scoring position and two outs.

In his last four games for the I-Cubs, Tracy went 7-for-13 (.538) with six runs, two doubles, three home runs and seven RBI, including a 4-for-4, two-homer game last night vs. New Orleans. That stretch contributed to a 1.075 OPS (.427 on-base percentage and a .648 slugging percentage) with Iowa.

Tracy signed a minor league contract with Chicago this past January and was an invitee to major league spring before breaking camp with the Cubs. He batted .273 (6-for-22) with a double and two RBI in 19 games for Chicago before he was optioned to Triple-A.

In all or part of seven big league seasons with Arizona (2004-09) and Chicago (2010), Tracy owns a .280 career batting average (660-for-2,360) with 78 homers and 320 RBI in 723 contests.

Ramirez, 31, has appeared in 47 games for the Cubs, batting .168 (30-for-179) with six doubles, five home runs and 22 RBI.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Ted Lilly Back…Down Goes Samardzija

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

From the Cubs Media Department:

The Chicago Cubs today activated left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly from the 15-day disabled list and optioned right-handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija to Triple-A Iowa.

Lilly will make his first start of the 2010 season tonight in Milwaukee.  He was placed on the disabled list on April 4 (retroactive to March 26) to continue his recovery from a left-shoulder arthroscopic debridement procedure performed November 3 by Dr. Lewis Yocum.

A 2009 All-Star, Lilly returns to the Cubs rotation after going 12-9 with a 3.10 ERA (61 ER/177.0 IP) in 27 starts a season ago.  Since joining the Cubs prior to the 2007 campaign, Lilly leads the club with 44 wins, a .629 winning percentage and 509 strikeouts in that span.  Overall, he is 44-26 with a 3.70 ERA (242 ER/588.2 IP) in 95 starts with the Cubs.

Lilly made two minor league appearances as part of his rehab process, combining to go 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA (2 ER/11.0 IP) with 13 strikeouts and two walks.  His most recent appearance took place Monday with Single-A Peoria, when he limited Burlington to one run on three hits and one walk in 7.0 innings, fanning nine.  Lilly threw 88 pitches in that final tune-up.

Samardzija is 0-1 with an 18.90 ERA (7 ER/3.1 IP) in four relief appearances with the Cubs this season.

I’m curious to see what role Samardzija will be used in down in Iowa. If you want him to be a member of the bullpen in the Majors, give him a chance to learn that role in the minors.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Pat Hughes Named 2009 Illinois Sportscaster of the Year

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

From the Cubs Media Dept:

CHICAGOChicago Cubs/WGN Radio Play-by-Play Announcer Pat Hughes has been named the 2009 Illinois Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

“I would like to thank the Cubs fans for being the greatest audience that a broadcaster could ever dream of,” said Hughes. “I would also like to thank all of those who voted for me.”

This is Hughes’ eighth Sportscaster of the Year honor – and his fifth in Illinois, having previously won the award in 1996, 1999, 2006 and 2007. He was honored as Wisconsin’s Sportscaster of the Year in 1990, 1991 and 1992.

Hughes is entering his 15th season with the Cubs and WGN, teaming with Ron Santo on the Cubs Radio Network. The 2010 season will be Pat’s 28th of broadcasting Major League Baseball.

The award will be presented the first week of May in Salisbury, N.C.

I’ve always been a big fan of Pat. I loved listening to him on the MLB Audio before I upgraded to the Extra Innings Package. I’ve interviewed him a few times and he’s always been incredibly gracious. Good for him to get recognized.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Spring Training Invites Galore

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

From the Cubs Media Dept:

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today announced the club has invited 19 non-roster players to Major League Spring Training, which begins Wednesday, February 17 when pitchers and catchers are invited to report in Mesa, Ariz.  Their first workout will take place on Thursday, February 18.  Position players report to camp Monday, February 22 with the team’s first full workout Tuesday, February 23.

Overall, 12 of the 19 invitees are homegrown players either drafted or originally signed by the Cubs.  Additionally, each of the club’s last four first-round draft picks will be in camp: outfielder Tyler Colvin (2006, now on the club’s 40-man roster), infielder Josh Vitters (2007), righthander Andrew Cashner (2008) and outfielder Brett Jackson (2009).

Seven pitchers – lefthanders J.R. Mathes and James Russell and righthanders Cashner, Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, Jeff Kennard and Vince Perkins – have been invited to major league camp, as well as catchers Robinson Chirinos, Steve Clevenger, Blake Lalli and Chris Robinson. Infielders Darwin Barney, Matt Camp, Starlin Castro, Bryan LaHair, Bobby Scales and Vitters have also been invited, along with outfielders Jackson and Brad Snyder.

Darwin Barney, 24, begins his fourth pro season after hitting .293 (136-for-464) with 24 doubles and 49 RBI in 137 games with Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa in 2009. A right-handed hitter and fielder, he was selected by Chicago in the fourth round of the 2007 Draft after helping Oregon State University to the 2006 and 2007 College World Series titles.

Matt Camp, 25, was converted from an infielder to an outfielder prior to last season. Camp spent a majority of 2009 with Triple-A Iowa, batting .282 (98-for-348) with 13 doubles, one triple, two homers and 44 RBI in 99 contests. He opened the season with Double-A Tennessee, owning a .298 (14-for-47) average in 14 games before his promotion. This marks the left-handed hitter’s fifth season in the Cubs organization after being selected by Chicago in the 13th round of 2006 Draft.

Andrew Cashner, 23, was selected by the Cubs in the first round (19th overall) of the 2008 Draft. The righthander went 3-4 with a 2.60 ERA (29 ER/100.1 IP) between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee last year, surrendering just one home run in 100.1 innings of work. In five June contests in 2009, the TCU product owned a monthly-best 0.93 ERA (2 ER/19.1 IP) with 14 strikeouts, holding the opponent scoreless in four of those five contests. Cashner is ranked by Baseball America as the Cubs’ Number Four prospect entering 2010

Starlin Castro, 19, was signed by the Cubs prior to the 2007 season and begins his fourth year in the organization. He batted a combined .299 (140-for-469) with three homers and 49 RBI in 127 games between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. The right-handed hitter was named to the 2009 All-Star Futures Game for the World Team, going 1-for-1 with a run scored in the World’s 7-5 victory over the USA. He hit .376 (38-for-101) with 10 RBI in 26 games with the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. Castro is ranked by Baseball America as the Cubs’ top prospect entering 2010.

Robinson Chirinos, 25, who begins his 10th season in the Cubs organization, was converted from an infielder to a catcher prior to the 2009 campaign. Chirinos set numerous career highs in his first season as a catcher, batting .294 (77-for-262) with 11 homers and 52 RBI in 81 games between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. The right-handed batter and fielder was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Cubs July 2, 2000 at the age of 16.

Steve Clevenger, 23, batted .290 (89-for-307) between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa last season, collecting 16 doubles and 36 RBI in 94 games. The left-handed batter has hit .286 or better in each of his first four pro campaigns since he was selected by the Cubs in the seventh round of the 2006 Draft.

Casey Coleman, 22, went 14-6 with a 3.68 ERA (61 ER/149.0 IP) in 27 starts with Double-A Tennessee en route to the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors in 2009. The righthander surrendered two or fewer walks in 18 of his starts last season, while tossing 6.0 or more innings 13 times. He is entering his third pro season after being selected by the Cubs in the 15th round of the 2008 Draft.

Thomas Diamond, 26, joined the Cubs September 4, 2009 when he was claimed off waivers from Texas. The righty combined to go 2-3 with one save and a 4.20 ERA (26 ER/55.2 IP) in 38 games (one start) between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Oklahoma City. In 117 career minor league games (77 starts) in the Rangers’ system, Diamond is 31-17 with two saves and a 4.01 ERA (194 ER/435.0 IP), striking out 487 batters while walking just 241. He was selected by Texas in the first round (10th overall) of the 2004 draft.

Brett Jackson, 21, compiled a .318 batting average (67-for-211) with six doubles, three triples, eight homers and 36 RBI in 53 games between Rookie-League Mesa, Single-A Boise and Single-A Peoria in 2009. Selected by the Cubs in the first round (31st overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Jackson batted .303 (146-for-481) with 91 runs scored, 25 doubles, 11 triples, 12 home runs and 85 RBI in 152 career games with the University of California-Berkeley. Jackson is ranked by Baseball America as the Cubs’ Number Two prospect entering 2010.

Jeff Kennard, 28, spent the 2009 season with Triple-A Louisville in the Reds’ system, going 3-1 with two saves and a 2.83 ERA (17 ER/54.0 IP) in 40 games before signing a minor league deal with Chicago this offseason. Kennard has appeared in 338 minor league games, all but one in relief, within the Yankees (2001-07), Angels (2007-08) and Reds (2009) organizations. The righty attended Rend Lake Community College in Ina, Illinois.

Bryan LaHair, 27, spent his entire career in Seattle’s organization before signing with the Cubs this offseason, making his major league debut in 2008. In 2009, Bryan batted .289 (132-for-457) in 121 games with Triple-A Tacoma, while setting a career high with 26 home runs. In 45 major league games, the left-handed hitter is 34-for-136 (.250) with four doubles, three home runs and 10 RBI. LaHair owns a .287 batting average (789-for-2746) with 194 doubles, seven triples, 96 home runs and 461 RBI in 716 career minor league games.

Blake Lalli, 26, was named to the Southern League post-season All-Star team after finishing 2009 with a .314 batting average (117-for-373), five home runs and 52 RBI in a career-high 118 games for Double-A Tennessee.  Signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in May of 2006, Lalli boasts a .304 batting average (339-for-1115), 79 doubles, 20 homers and 159 RBI in 332 career minor league contests.

J.R. Mathes, 28, earned Pitcher of the Year honors for Triple-A Iowa, going 12-8 with a 3.62 ERA (52 ER/129.1 IP) in 26 games (21 starts) last season. The lefty ranked ninth in the Pacific Coast League in ERA.  This marks his seventh season with the club after being selected by the Cubs in the 16th round of the 2004 Draft. He is 56-37 with a 4.20 ERA (361 ER/773.0 IP) in 146 career minor league games (129 starts).

Vince Perkins, 28, owns a 33-33 mark with six saves and a 3.69 ERA (238 ER/581.0 IP) in 182 career minor league appearances (89 starts) spanning eight seasons. The righthander combined to go 7-2 with five saves and a 3.02 ERA (29 ER/86.1 IP) in 53 games between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa in 2009. Perkins, who was signed by the Cubs as a minor league free agent prior to the 2009 season, was a member of Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009 and has spent time with the Blue Jays (2001-06), Brewers (2006-07), White Sox (2007-08) and Cubs organizations.

Chris Robinson, 25, earned Iowa’s Most Valuable Player honors after hitting .326 (101-for-310) with 37 runs scored, 22 doubles, three triples, two homers and 48 RBI in 91 games for the I-Cubs last season. The 2009 Pacific Coast League All-Star attended the University of Illinois, played for Team Canada in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006 and was acquired by the Cubs from the Detroit Tigers August 20, 2006 for INF Neifi Perez.

James Russell, 24, was selected by the Cubs in the 14th round of the 2007 Draft. The southpaw combined to go 5-6 with a 4.03 ERA (46 ER/102.2 IP) in 37 games (12 starts) with Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa in 2009. He is 11-16 with a 4.63 ERA (123 ER/239.0 IP) in 66 career minor league games (40 starts) and his father, Jeff Russell, pitched for five teams during a 14-year major league career.

Bobby Scales, 32, made his major league debut with Chicago in 2009 following 11 seasons and more than 1,000 career minor league contests. He appeared in 51 games for the Cubs last season and hit .500 (7-for-14) with two homers and five RBI as a pinch-hitter. A switch-hitter and right-handed fielder, he begins his 12th pro season after he was originally selected by San Diego in the 14th round of the 1999 Draft.

Brad Snyder, 27, batted .278 (66-for-237) with 16 doubles, three triples, 14 homers and 44 RBI with Triple-A Iowa in his first season in the Cubs organization, but was limited to just 69 games due to a sprained left wrist. The left-handed hitter and fielder began his career with Cleveland after he was selected in the first round (18th overall) of the 2003 Draft out of Ball State University.

Josh Vitters, 20, begins his fourth pro season after combining to hit .284 (130-for-458) with 19 doubles, 18 homers and 68 RBI in a career-high 120 games between Single-A Peoria and Single-A Daytona in 2009. The 2009 Midwest League mid-season All-Star was selected by Chicago in the first round (third overall) of the 2007 Draft and is ranked by Baseball America as the Cubs’ Number Three prospect entering 2010

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us: