Iowa-RHP Armando Rivero
Signed for $3.1 million back in 2013 after defecting from Cuba, the hard-throwing Rivero finds himself back in AAA for the third straight season but his numbers are better, increasing his K/9 (12.4) while lowering his WHIP (1.20) and BAA. 185. The 28-year-old still struggles to consistently throw strikes and that’s what kept Rivero in AAA—5.1 BB/9 in 2015 and 4.9 this season. Rivero is Rule 5 eligible at the end of the season so the Cubs could add him to the 40-man before the end of the year and give him a shot in Chicago.
Tennessee-RHP Brad Markey
The Cubs 19th round pick in 2014 out of Virginia Tech, Markey has moved quickly through the system, making his AA debut in his second full season. In 15 starts, the 24-year-old is 6-4 with a 2.59 ERA in 87 innings. He sports a 1.31 WHIP with 31 BB and only 39 K. After only allowing four homers over his first 113 innings, the Southern League all-star has surrendered 11 long balls this season. Markey has been tough at Smokies Stadium, going 3-2 with a 1.56 ERA but sports a 4.11 ERA on the road.
Myrtle Beach-LHP Tommy Thorpe
The Washington state native started the year in the rotation and went 2-2 with a 3.48 ERA in four starts but made the move to the pen in mid-May. In 19 relief appearances, the 23-year-old is 2-2 with a 4.34 ERA with 26 K in 29 innings. The Cubs 8th round pick in 2014 out of the University of Oregon, Thorpe spent the entire 2015 season in South Bend, posting a 3.08 ERA in 27 games, including 12 starts.
South Bend-SS Bryant Flete
Signed as part of the Cubs 2011 IFA class, the Venezuelan native has spent five seasons at the lower levels but finds himself getting the most playing time of his career. After spending most of the 2015 season as a reserve for AA Tennessee (44 G, .195/.303/.260), the 23-year-old is batting .209/.278/.285 with a homer and 20 RBI in 70 games. Making 69 starts at short, Flete committed 17 errors, and can also play second. Flete’s playing time could be reduced with the arrival of shortstop Andruw Monasterio from Eugene.