Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Cubs spring camp in Mesa one week from today, February 12, with the first pitcher/catcher workout scheduled for the next day, February 13.
This is great news for everyone, we’ll see actual baseball players on the field doing drills. Sure, it’s not games yet, but we’re getting closer to that.
And yet, we don’t know for sure who the Cubs non-roster invitees will be. This is quite late for this information to be released. Last year, the NRI list came out on January 25; in 2017, on January 27; and in 2016, on January 29.
Usually, somewhere between 20 and 25 players get non-roster invitations. Some of those players will fill out the Iowa roster; others are simply there to take up innings from regular players, who won’t play full games early on. Of the 19 non-roster guys who were invited last year, four played for the Cubs in the major leagues in 2018: Chris Gimenez, Taylor Davis, Anthony Bass and Mike Freeman, and Freeman played two innings of one game.
Here’s my best guess for some of the players who will get NRI’s this year:
Jim Adduci, Ryan Court, Phillip Evans, Trent Giambrone, Nico Hoerner
Zach Borenstein, Johnny Field, Jacob Hannemann
Christian Bergman, Matt Carasiti, George Kontos, Conor Lillis-White, Dakota Mekkes, Colin Rea, Rob Scahill, Junichi Tazawa, Jerry Vasto, Allen Webster, Mike Zagurski, Rob Zastryzny
That’s 22 players, so I think I’m in the right, uh, ballpark for this estimate.
The Cubs will likely release the non-roster list soon. I’ll post it and then we’ll see how close my guesses are.