Cubs' Nico Hoerner, Shelby Miller, Pedro Strop among latest camp cuts

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Tim Stebbins
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Hoerner, Miller, Strop among Cubs' latest camp cuts originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Optioning Nico Hoerner isn't the only big move the Cubs made in their latest round of spring training cuts.

Saturday, the Cubs sent both Hoerner and reliever Brad Wieck to Triple-A Iowa, as well as sending four non-roster players to minor league camp in pitchers Shelby Miller, Pedro Strop and Trevor Megill, and outfielder Rafael Ortega.

Veteran outfielder Cameron Maybin has been granted his release.

A developmental stint in the minor leagues always loomed as a possibility for Hoerner, who skipped Triple-A entirely after an emergency promotion in September 2019. With the logjam at second base (Eric Sogard, David Bote, Ildemaro Vargas), a Hoerner option offers the Cubs roster flexibility.

Miller was perhaps the most impressive player in camp this spring, allowing a lone earned run in nine innings with 12 strikeouts. The Cubs have gushed about him and the versatility he brings to the pitching staff.

"He's had a phenomenal spring and really pitched well for us and opened a lot of eyes around here," manager David Ross said last week. "What we thought he could be is exactly what he's turning into."

Strop, a longtime Cub back on a minor-league deal, has only made three appearances this spring following a violation of COVID-19 protocols earlier this month.

Releasing Maybin leaves four outfielders on the Cubs' roster and just one backup in Jake Marisnick, though Kris Bryant has outfield experience.

With the minor-league season delayed until May, those cut today will likely train at the Cubs' alternate site. 

The spring roster stands at 31 and must be trimmed to 26 by Thursday.

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