Castellanos on waivers
I'm not saying that Castellanos could ever start for the Cubs (though I'm not sure he's not better than Sweeney), but he makes so much sense as the RH side of the CF/RF platoon, someone who could even play 2B in a pinch. I'd be shocked and frankly disappointed if the Cubs didn't claim Castellanos, should they get the opportunity. Gamel has no future on this team even if he comes back 100% from his injuries (what do you do with a LH 1B when you have Rizzo?), but Castellanos certainly could (albeit short-term)
Most of what I wrote still holds water. Since the last time he was waived, however, we traded Bogusevic for Ruggiano, effectively dealing with the platoon issues that Castellanos would have solved by his presence. Still, Castellanos is an option I think the Cubs should consider.
Alex Castellanos, who isn't related to Nick, was an OF/3B in the Dodgers system in 2012 and 2013. In a less loaded situation, he probably would have had a puncher's chance to get real playing time in LA in 2013 (in 2012, he obliterated the PCL to the tune of .328/.420/.590). I have no strong belief that Castellanos would be a worthwhile starter at any position, but he could easily be in the mix for the 5th OF position, with the added benefit of 2B/3B eligibility. Lake, Sweeney, and Schierholtz seem like locks, and Ruggiano is as good a candidate as any for the 4th OF spot. After that, you have a whole host of longshots and dreamers, like Vitters/Coghlan/Cunningham/Kalish/Wells. If the Cubs aren't going to give Vitters a chance to win that spot (and every indication is that he's not going to get a shake at it; he's played 1B exclusively this spring), then Castellanos is probably just as good a choice as any of the other 4 guys, and probably better than most. Coghlan is 4 years removed from being replacement level. Aaron Cunningham has 5 years in the majors, none of them successful. Ryan Kalish is interesting when healthy, so that's fine. Casper Wells needs to fulfill his destiny of wearing every team's uniform.
Castellanos isn't going to move the meter on 2014, or frankly any other year. If he gets passed up by the Cubs, I'm not going to cry about it. However, he's more talented, and has more upside, than essentially any other serious candidate for 5th OF. If the goal is to upgrade the talent on the roster, Castellanos has a shot to do it.
The Race for #5
Now that we've had a week of spring training, we can assess each pitcher's chances at the rotation on flimsy evidence.
James McDonald: The early frontrunner got rocked in his 1 inning of work, getting plugged for 6 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. He's still the recipient of a major-league contract so he's still the frontrunner, but you have to worry about an injury here. I'll put his odds at 5-2 (40%).
Chris Rusin: Rusin wasn't much better, allowing 4 runs in 2 innings of subpar work. He has an outside chance at getting the spot, maybe 8-1 (13%).
Carlos Villanueva: Newhouse didn't do himself any favors in his 2 innings of work, but at least he stayed away from the walks. I think the FO wants him to swing, so his chances are artificially depressed. I'm going to go 5-1 here (20%).
Kyle Hendricks: Hendricks was really spotty yesterday, and he could use the seasoning of AAA. A real longshot to make the team, in my opinion. 10-1 (10%)
Eric Jokisch: Jokisch really impressed in his start this season, but there's no way he breaks with the team. He'll form the other part of a formidable Iowa rotation. 10-1 (10%)
Jonathan Sanchez: He looks like he's just lost it. He has no control of the baseball, and probably can't even LOOGY at this point. 14-1 (7%)
The field: This is where Yoanner Negrin, Marcus Hatley, Dallas Beeler, Alberto Cabrera, and Neil Ramirez find themselves. Each of those guys is probably 50-1, so they combine for the remaining 10% or so.
Journeymen of Tomorrow
The prospects have all had some PT in Spring Training. Here's the lines:
Albert Almora: 2-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, 1.667 OPS
Jorge Soler: 0-4, SO, .000 OPS
Kris Bryant: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, 1.667 OPS
Javier Baez: 4-9, 2B, HR, RBI, SO, 1.333 OPS
Arismendy Alcantara: 0-3, .000 OPS
Dan Vogelbach: 0-1, .000 OPS
My Colt: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, SO, 1.667 OPS
Brett Jackson: 0-1, 2 BB, .667 OPS
Matt Szczur: 0-2, HBP, SO, SB, .333 OPS
Josh Vitters: 0-2, BB, 2 SO, CS, .333 OPS
Who has the most AB this spring
Javier Baez (9)