SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The South Bend Cubs, in conjunction with the Chicago Cubs, have announced their 2016 Opening Day roster. The team is compiled of 27 players featuring 14 pitchers, three catchers, six infielders, and four outfielders. South Bend opens their season at Four Winds Field this Thursday against the West Michigan Whitecaps.


Jimmy Gonzalez enters his second season as the manager in South Bend and third in the Cubs organization. Pitching Coach David Rosario enters his 12th year in the Cubs system but first in South Bend. Hitting Coach Guillermo Martinez begins his first season with South Bend after spending last season as a coach with Double-A Tennessee. Ricardo Medina reunites with Gonzalez as the assistant coach after having coached together in Mesa during the 2014 season.


Last season, South Bend started with one of the top prospects in the Cubs farm system in Gleyber Torres. This season, Eloy Jimenez takes that honor, ranked as the 9th best prospect by Baseball America. Jimenez hit .284 with a .328 on base percentage last season with the Eugene Emeralds.


“Eloy has made huge strides as a young prospect and is ready to compete at this level,” said Manger Jimmy Gonzalez. “He is a hard worker and determined to continue doing so.”


Along with Jimenez, the outfield is projected to shine with the addition of Donnie Dewees, a second round pick from the 2015 draft, and Eddy Julio Martinez, who was ranked as the top international prospect according to


“Martinez is a very talented player with raw power and ability,” said Gonzalez. “He can run, throw and hit for power. It’s going to be exciting to see what these guys can do.”


Pitchers Carson Sands and Justin Steele highlight the pitching staff. Sands, a fourth-round pick in 2014, finished with a 3.92 ERA in 57 innings of work with the Emeralds last season. Steele was picked in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. With the Emeralds, Steele posted a 2.66 ERA in 40.2 innings of work.


“He’s [Sands] definitely a competitor,” Gonzalez said, “And the same thing with Steele. These guys are competitors and that’s what I like to see. It’s all performance based with these guys, you’re going to have your ups and downs and these guys compete, whether things are going good or bad.”

Six players will return from last year’s Single-A squad. Outfielder Daniel Spingola, infielders Andrew Ely, Bryant Flete and Matt Rose and pitchers James Norwood and Michael Wagner all played in South Bend last season.


In all, South Bend will add 18 players who were on the Emeralds roster last season including 12 pitchers and three catchers. The Emeralds (38-38) were second in the Northwest League with a 3.55 ERA and first in strikeouts.


Seven of the 14 pitchers were drafted in the first 10 rounds of the 2013, 2014 or 2015 draft, three of them being lefties. Chicago originally drafted nineteen of South Bend’s current roster.


About the South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs are a Class A minor league team affiliated with the Chicago Cubs. Over the past 28 seasons, the team has won five Midwest League titles, most recently in 2005, and has captured 12 division titles. In 2015 the team was named Ballpark Digest’s Team of the Year and received the John H. Johnson President’s Award. The team is owned and operated by Swing-Batter-Swing, LLC whose sole shareholder is Andrew T. Berlin of Chicago, Ill. More information is available at