Baseball Diamond News

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Cubs invite 12 more players

Sorry this is late, been busy and the snow here in Chicago had me shoveling instead of writing.

The list of non-roster invitees includes pitchers Jimmy Anderson, Eddie Oropesa, Raul Valdez and Jermaine Van Buren; catchers Casey Kopitzke and Jose Reyes; infielder Danny Klassen; and outfielders Peter Bergeron, Angel Echevarria, Adam Greenberg, Calvin Murray and Rene Reyes. This does not include the 3 guys I have talked about earlier.

Jimmy Anderson slimmed down last season and made a brief appearance for the Cubs last year and did not do much for them. His past history shows that he is not much of a pitcher and I don't think he has much chance to make the team, but might be helping out Iowa this year.
Eddie Oropesa was awful last year and with Ohman, Randolph and Remlinger he is just in camp to take up a few innings in the beginning of spring and that's about it.
Raul Valdez is a guy I don't know much about. If I am correct the Cubs signed him from Cuba from all indications I have read. Hopefully he works out better than most of the Cubans that have come over.
Jermaine Van Buren has been in the minor leagues since 1998 and spent 2003 in the Independent league. Last year the Cubs took a flyer on him and he did well in their system, but I wouldn't expect much out of him this season. He is still young and he did a great job in AA, but I think another year in high minors wouldn't hurt the man.
Casey Kopitzke was drafted by Cubs in the 27th round in 1999. Since then he has done exactly what you would expect from a 27th round pick. Nothing. Last season in AAA his OPS was a miserable .524, which would be almost bearable for a pitcher.
Jose Reyes was signed out of the Domican in 2002 and he also had an OPS of just .579. The one thing Reyes has going for him is that he is only 20 years old and has many years to mature. The Cubs more than likely are inviting him to camp to get some experience and motivation for future improvement.
Danny Klassen has been a journeyman throughout his career and the only value he has is that he can play multiple positions. The problem is he plays none of them too well nor can he hit worth a lick.
Peter Bergeron is a guy that intrigues me. He was a top prospect a few years back for Montreal, but never fulfilled his promise. Last season he battled injuries and it showed. If Dubois or Kelton fails to make the team and Hollandsworth is handed the job in LF, I think Bergeron would make a nice 5th outfielder if he can show he can hit in camp. If he struggles in camp than he might be a Tom Goodwin Lite and that is not a good thing.
Angel Echeverria used to play for the Cubs in 2002 and then went over to Japan and played for Nippon. While I had him on my IBL team because he kills lefties in small doses, I don't think he would be able to help the Cubs much this year. Though if he worked on his defense and Dubois and Kelton both stink up the field, he could platoon with Hollandsworth out in LF, but with the way Baker manages, platooning is not much of a possibility.
Adam Greenberg was drafted in 2002 and has been very steady in the minor leagues. He has done nothing spectacular down there, but has been steady enough to get invited to spring training. He also went to the Arizona fall league and put up steady numbers, but once again nothing spectacular.
Calvin Murray is a Baker guy who even with Baker's favoritism didn't make the team last season. This doesn't bode well for him and once again I think he is only in spring training to be an extra body.
Rene Reyes is an OF from who came up with the Rockies. He has some power, but it has never translated into anything productive in the major leagues. His only shot I think is as a midseason call up during an injury. Besides that I think he will be headed to Iowa with many other of the invitees.


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