Wait? What? Part 1?

I know this is going to sound strange, but there was so much news and information out there this week that I decided that I needed two posts to get it all out there and discuss it. I will be back Sunday morning with more news and notes from the last week.

Let’s begin! 

The Cubs had 30 of their top prospects out in Mesa this week and it was good to see a lot of familiar faces including Jack Patterson and Ben Hecht getting some work in. Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic wrote a cool article about the goals of the camp and just exactly what the Cubs were trying to do.

In addition, the Cubs also did a little bit of moving the deck chairs as they now have a new Director of Player Development. His name is Jared Banner and he was seen hanging out with Jed Hoyer quite a bit this week. Banner spent two years with the Mets as their Director of Player Development and before that he was with the Red Sox for 11 years in a variety of positions. You can see his LinkedIn profile here.

Matt Dorey, the former Director, was kicked upstairs along with Bobby Basham. So, it looks like the Cubs have some new guys running the show along with Justin Stone and Craig Breslow. As well, the Cubs have a new scout in tow.

The Cubs also have a new minor league infield instructor in Ryan Serena, formerly of Rogue Baseball in Colorado.  

MILB managing and coaching assignments should be next. I thought they might be dropped on Friday, but we’re almost close enough to spring training that we should know who is going to be where pretty quickly.

Cubs Minor League Transactions

The Iowa Cubs bullpen is starting to look a little crowded. The Chicago Cubs signed two more relievers tp minor league contracts this week. Both are interesting arms

Matt Dermody is a 31-year-old lefty who has basically been with the Cubs the last two seasons. He did appear in Chicago for one game in 2020 but missed all of 2021. He originally came up with the Blue Jays and debuted in 2017 as he got in 23 games with a 4.43 ERA as he struck out 15 in 22.1 innings. After debuting, Dermody missed most of 2018 before returning in 2019 to unspectacular results. In 2020, he was with the Cubs and signed with the Cubs for 2021 but did not pitch at all in the states. Instead, he pitched for the Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. He had a 5.13 ERA in 11 games.

This is your basic low-risk/high-reward signing that could pay off if Dermody is healthy. It also buys the Cubs a little time to get some of their young lefty relievers a little bit more seasoning in Double and Triple-A. I wonder if he doesn’t make the big league club if he will actually go to Iowa.

The second pitcher the Cubs signed this week was Eric Yardley, formerly of the Brewers and the Padres. Yardley debuted with San Diego in 2019 and was very good for Milwaukee in 2020 as he put up a 1.53 ERA. 2021 was not a good year for Yardley as he had an ERA over six.

The 31-year-old submariner would be an interesting guy to mix and match with certain hitters in the fifth or sixth innings. Yardley is not likely a high leverage guy. If he returns to his form in 2019 and 2020, this could be a steal.

MiLB Suspension

One of the big surprises of the week happened late Friday afternoon when Major League Baseball announced that four players were suspended in the Dominican Republic for using a masking agent. One of those was none other than LHP Carlos Garcia who we profiled all week and a half ago as a possible guy to watch for this upcoming year. His suspension is going to last 60 games. That would eat up most of the season as he was slated to be in the Arizona league or they only play 78 games. If he would’ve made it to Myrtle Beach, he would still have another 80 games left to get some work in. The roster the Cubs are going to place him on is going to determine the length of his actual season for this year.

Getting After It Video of the Week

Infielder Delvin Zinn got some licks in BP this week. This is a very important year for Delvin. The two time Cub draftee should be at Double-A to start the year while playing a mixture of second, shortstop, and third base.