The Cubs today announced that the they have reduced their Spring Training roster by sending infielder Nico Hoerner and left-handed pitcher Brad Wieck down to Triple-A Iowa. Additionally, four non-roster invitees were reassigned to minor-league camp: right-handed pitchers Trevor Megill, Shelby Miller and Pedro Strop and outfielder Rafael Ortega. Finally, outfielder Cameron Maybin was granted his release.
This reduces the Cubs Spring Training roster to 31, down from 38.
The most controversial move here is the demotion of Hoerner, which Sara Sanchez wrote about earlier today. Of the rest, Miller had pitched fairly well in limited Spring Training action, but has only pitched about 120 innings total over the past four seasons as he’s struggled to come back from Tommy John surgery. Strop, a returning fan favorite, signed late in Spring Training and could probably use more time to get ready for the season.
Megill and Ortega will join those four in the minor league camp and will likely open the season with Iowa, assuming that the minor league season does get underway on schedule and assuming that they aren’t called up to the majors to fill in for injuries before then.
Maybin came over to the Cubs in a mid-season trade last year and the Cubs re-signed him to a minor-league deal back in February. However, Maybin struggled in Spring Training and the Cubs released him. The soon-to-be 34-year-old outfielder will have to decide whether or not he wants to try to catch on with another team.
The Cubs will still have to make five more cuts to get down to 26 on Opening Day.