Baseball is cozying up with Las Vegas, it seems. I’m not especially comfortable with it, and I doubt I’m alone. Will MLB go absurd, and have an official position regarding Lineup Legitimacy or an Injury Color Chart? That’s weird, wild, wacky, conspiratorial stuff. It isn’t what the article is about, but it serves as a leaping off point for what I am talking about. Baseball isn’t, and won’t be, football. Baseball’s roster rules are going to be like baseball, and nothing else.
Early Friday morning, Arizona Phil came out with a post that, simply put, only he can. If you haven’t already read his commentary on potential upcoming Cubs roster moves, you probably ought to. He nudges Brandon Kintzler, Xavier Cedeno, Jen-Ho Tseng, Kyle Hendricks, and the Injured List. Which gets me back to the premise. Baseball roster manipulation is a part of the game.
For many baseball fans, minutiae like “minor league options remaining,” “spending against spending limit levels,” and “when to most efficiently dispense of who” is radio static. For many, baseball is “the Chicago Cubs,” 29 teams they want to lose, and little else. Proper roster utilization can add to win totals. Although, in baseball, what looks wise initially can backfire.
For a very few of us, minutiae to the short-season levels, the draft, and how to get more bang from the buck from extended spring training are fascinating. For a far larger chunk of the bar of cheese, the primary prospects are worth considering. The players fighting for a roster spot in Tennessee? Not so much.
In the NFL and NBA, players are released. Fired. Sacked. Cut. In baseball, players are often “returned to minor league camp.” (I’m starting to sound like a George Carlin routine.) Baseball teams have, and effectively need, 300 players in a pipeline. When a player is no longer going to be on the 25-man roster, he’s not necessarily gone. He might still be around, and much of the rest of the article will be what I’m guessing happens soon.
Taylor Davis will be designated for assignment. If that happens, I doubt he gets claimed if run through waivers. That would likely happen within a week.
Jen-Ho Tseng will be designated for assignment. Among the higher-profile international free agent arms signed under the Theo Epstein tenure, Tseng shows two things. It’s hard to develop pitching. It’s rather useless to provide “floor levels” for pitching prospects. Tseng’s velocity was a long-term concern. If claimed on waivers, the Cubs get a (mild) financial payback, and he gets a chance with another organization. If he clears waivers, I expect the Cubs keep him.
Xavier Cedeno will be designated or released. He isn’t healthy yet. If he sticks around, the cost increases. If he wants to go somewhere else, best of luck. I don’t have any attachment to Cedeno, whether that should be a consideration or not.
Brian Duensing stays. I’m a bit skeptical on his spring so far. He’s gotten the outs, but they’ve seemed to be a bit in heavy contact. With Cedeno going away, my confidence in Randy Rosario and Kyle Ryan aren’t enough to think a better option is necessarily in Des Moines than Duensing.
Brandon Kintzler is on a bit of thin ice. I get the premise of sending him away. If it happens, I won’t go with a diatribe. Kintzler is experienced, and would be as likely as not to do well in Miami, if released. That Allen Webster won’t be able to easily/automatically returned to Iowa complicates matters. A release of Kintzler could seem more useful in July. Of course, if he can’t get outs in April or May, it might not take that long.
Below, feel free to assess the article from Forbes, Arizona Phil’s comments, or any expectations you have.