Cubs sign McCurry
Cubs scouts continue to find pitching. A former infielder at Oklahoma State is now the Cubs latest pitching addition. According to the Frontier League website, the North Siders have signed closer Randy McCurry, who spent the 2016 season pitching for Evansville. The right-hander was out of baseball for two years and re-emerged last year in the Frontier League as a pitcher, recording 23 saves for the Otters. Logging 34.1 innings, McCurry fanned 10.9 K/9 while posting a 2.12 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. McCurry was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 23rd round in 2013 and spent his only season of pro ball at Hillsboro, hitting .216/.269/.251 in 55 games, playing primarily at second (17) and third (37).
New faces in minor league camp
McCurry won’t be the only new face at Cubs minor league camp. Most of the players inked to minor league deals got an invite to big league camp but here are three of the “new guys”.
Daniel Moskos, LHP—The fourth overall pick out of Clemson in the 2007 draft by Pittsburgh, Moskos spent two years as a starter and went 11-10 with a 3.74 ERA over 149 AA innings in 2009. The next year, the left-hander was moved to the bullpen and excelled, converting 21 of 22 save opportunities for AA Altoona. In 2011, Moskos made his big league debut and appeared in 31 games for Pirates, sporting a 2.96 ERA over 24.1 innings. He surrendered 29 hits and walked nine while allowing a slash line of .364/.391/.447 against lefties. The White Sox claimed Moskos off waivers in July of 2012 and he spent two years in the organization before being released. The 30-year-old pitched last year in the Padres system, going 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA ( 61 IP, 22 BB, 47 K, .293 BAA, 1.52 WHIP) in 53 relief appearances with AAA El Paso. The left-hander has also pitched in the Chinese and Mexican pro leagues. He relies on a sinker and a fastball in the low 90s.
Ali Solis, C—The 29-year-old has appeared in 13 big league games in a pro carer that started in 2006 in the Padres organization. Soils made his big league debut in 2012 for the Padres, appearing in five games, and then played in eight games for the Rays and Joe Maddon in 2014. Last year, his 11th as a pro, Soils saw action in 33 games in the Red Sox organization (.192/.236/.273) between AA and AAA. The Mexico native has also played in the Pirates and Dodgers organizations. Soils spent this past winter on the Culiacan roster in the Mexican Pacific League (.214/.277/.286, 17 G). He provides the Cubs catching depth at Iowa and in an emergency, could find himself back in the majors.
Kevin Cornelius, 1B/3B—The Cubs selected the Yankees farmhand in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft at the winter meetings. New York’s 31st round pick in 2013 out of Grayson College, the 24-year-old plays first and third and smacked a career-high 13 homers in 2016 between Pulaski (Rookie League) and Tampa (High A). Cornelius sports a career slash of .296/.383/.505 in 146 minor league contests. He missed most of the 2014 season with an injury and has never played more than 60 games in a season. After finally getting out of the Gulf Coast League last season, Cornelius hit .277/.374/.493 with seven homers and 27 RBI in 43 games at High A Tampa. He provides the Cubs some corner infield depth in the minors, especially at first base, and it will be interesting to see what kind of numbers he can produce if he gets the playing time.