SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — In advance of heading for Las Vegas for the weekend, the Cubs made two further roster cuts Friday afternoon:
#Cubs option Zagunis and Maples to Iowa— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 16, 2018
Dillon Maples has talent and strikes out a lot of hitters (11 in 5⅓ innings this spring). But he also walks too many men (six walks this spring), so he’s heading back to Triple-A to work on control. I’m sure he’ll be back up sometime this summer — but he won’t be the guy taking Justin Grimm’s spot in the pen, not now, at least.
Mark Zagunis strikes me as a Quad-A player. In 97 games at Iowa last year he hit .267/.404/.455 with 13 home runs. That’s good, but apart from the OBP, nothing really stands out. In seven games with the Cubs last year, he went 0-for-14 with four walks, so he managed a .222 OBP out of a zero BA, which is something, at least.
This spring Zagunis’ numbers match up fairly well with that Iowa line: .276/.382/.345. He was 8-for-29 with two doubles, four walks and seven runs scored. He also struck out 12 times, which isn’t good. He struck out in 28.1 percent of his AB at Iowa last year.
Zagunis has talent, but probably not enough to crack the Cubs’ 25-man roster unless there’s an emergency. Maybe he’s trade bait, not by himself, but perhaps in a package later in the summer.
The Cubs’ spring roster now stands at 37, as follows: 18 pitchers (three non-roster invitees), five catchers (three non-roster invitees), 10 infielders (three non-roster invitees) and four outfielders (one non-roster invitee).