Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wroad to Wrigley Wednesday - 2015 Iowa Cubs Part 4

In that first write up for the 2015 Iowa Cubs team set, I showed off the coaches, trainers (cards 1-5) and the mascot (card #36). Two weeks ago, I had cards 6-15. Last week was cards 16-25. Today I have the final 10, #26-35.

#26 Joseph Ortiz

Joseph Ortiz was signed by the Texas Rangers as a free agent way back in 2007. He worked his way up through their system, making their Opening Day roster in 2013. He appeared in 32 games, mostly as a middle reliever. The Cubs claimed him off waivers following the 2014 season and assigned him to AAA Iowa. He made 38 relief appearances, compiling a 3-1 record with a 5.24 ERA. The Cubs released him August 2015 and he is currently a free agent.

#27 Yoervis Medina
The Cubs acquired Yoervis Medina from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for catcher Welington Castillo in May 2015. I remember thinking it was odd that Medina was included in the set because usually the team sets come out in June. Quick turnaround. Medina went 0-2 with a 6.28 ERA in Iowa. His five game stint for the big league club wasn't much better with no record and a 7.00 ERA. The Cubs designated him for assignment on August 1, but re-added him to the roster in September, though he didn't make any more appearances for the Cubs after July. The Pirates claimed him off waivers in December and then traded him to the Phillies in February of this year. He is currently assigned to their AAA club, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs but on the 7-day DL.

#28 Carlos Pimentel
Like Ortiz, Carlos Pimentel came up through the Rangers system starting in 2007. He signed a minor league contract with the Cubs following the 2013 season and spent all of the 2014 and 2015 season with the Iowa Cubs. In 2015, he earned Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year honors after going 12-6 with a 2.99 ERA. He led the league the ERA, tied for Wins an was second in strikeouts with 113. However, in November he elected free agency and signed with the San Diego Padres in December. He is currently playing for their AAA affiliate, the El Paso Chihuahuas.

#29 Armando Rivero
Finally, someone still with the Cubs! Armando Rivero was signed to a minor league contract in 2013 out of Cuba. In his Cubs career across all levels, he is 9-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 126 appearances as a middle reliever. In 2016, he is 2-0 already with a 2.08 ERA in 9 games.

#30 Chris Valaika
Chris Valaika had some MLB experience before signing with the Cubs prior to the 2014 season, having spent time with the Reds and Marlins. He made his Cubs debut after the team traded Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell to the Braves at the trade deadline. He played games at 1st, 2nd 3rd and SS. At the end of the season he was outrighted off the roster, but chose to re-sign with the team. He spent all of 2015 in Iowa and retired after the season. He is currently the hitting coach for the Cubs rookie league team.

#31 Taylor Davis
Taylor Davis signed with the Cubs in 2011. Making his way up through the chain, Davis has spent time in both Tennessee and Iowa in 2015 and 2016. He has the misfortune of playing behind Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras which has certainly played a part in stunting his progression. I know in the Iowa game I saw last year, he put on a show.

#32 Taylor Teagarden
Taylor Teagarden bounced a round a bit before landing with the Cubs, having spent time with the Rangers, Orioles, and Mets. He signed with the Cubs prior to the 2015 season and got a midseason call up to backup Miguel Montero when David Ross was sidelined for a bit. He is currently a free agent but with an 80 game PED suspension looming, it'll probably stay that way for a while.

#33 Blake Cooper
Blake Cooper was acquired from the Diamondbacks in exchange for Brett Jackson in August 2014 and finished the season with AA Tennessee Smokies. He spent all of 2015 with the Iowa Cubs, going 7-4 with 2.68 ERA in 50 relief appearances. He officially retired in February.

#34 Jonathan Mota
Jonathan Mota has been in the Cubs system since 2005 and has spent at least some time in Iowa every season since 2010. He just can't seem to crack that barrier and will probably break 1000 minor league games played this year. Mota was assigned to the AA Tennessee Smokies in February but doesn't appear on the roster and I didn't see any other transactions.

#35 John Andreoli
John Andreoli was drafted by the Cubs in 2011 and the 2015 season was his first in Iowa. He was a AA All-Star in 2014. Andreoli missed some time last season due to groin and strained oblique DL stints but still managed 33 stolen bases. He has been compared to a Matt Szczur type player though he flies under the radar considering all of the other prospects in the Cubs system.

And that wraps up the 2015 Iowa Cubs team set. I don't think I'll go as in depth with the rest of the team sets, just show the cards off with minimal comment. Here is a final look at the back of the checklist card, with a glaring omission of card #36, Cubbie Bear.

1 comment:

  1. I think there's a chance we see Rivero and Andreoli in Chicago before the season is out, provided both stay productive at Iowa, of course.

    As for Mota, he retired shortly after spring training began. Currently, he's serving as a coach for Myrtle Beach in A ball.