Gerardo Concepcion spent all of 2016 in the bullpen, working briefly at Double-A to begin the season, but mostly at Triple-A Iowa outside of three big league appearances. Control was a problem for him in Iowa, as he issued walks at an elevated clip (5.1 BB/9), and his lack of overpowering stuff led him to a mediocre 7.5 K/9. During his three appearances with the Cubs, he flashed a low-90s fastball and curveball while mixing in the occasional changeup. The hype surrounding Concepcion's signing with the Cubs as a teenager in 2012 has faded. Indeed the organization closed the book on the now 25-year-old Concepcion, declining to tender him a contract for 2017. His future is uncertain.
Concepcion has agreed to a minor league contract with the Cubs that includes an invitation to spring training, Bruce Mills of the Daily Herald reports. The Cubs non-tendered Concepcion in December but he will remain in the organization for a sixth season. He will even get an opportunity to earn his way back onto the 40-man roster during spring training, but to say he's a long shot would be an understatement. Concepcion has struggled at the upper levels of the minor leagues and the Cubs have plenty of capable options in the bullpen.
Concepcion was non-tendered by the Cubs on Friday and is now a free agent, the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales reports. The Cubs apparently saw enough from Concepcion in 2016 to decide he was not worth the roster spot. His results were solid in a brief run in the big leagues, but his 7.29 ERA and 35:24 K:BB in 42 innings at Triple-A are a better illustration of his abilities. He will look to catch on elsewhere on a minor league deal.
Concepcion was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Monday. Concepcion will be replaced in the bullpen by 40-year-old Joel Peralta. The Cuban had a decent first stint with the Cubs, posting a 3.86 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in three appearances out of the bullpen, but will now head back to Triple-A to work on his game until he is needed again.
Concepcion is expected to be optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Monday, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The move won't become official until later in the day, but Concepcion will head back to Iowa, as the Cubs bring up veteran right-hander Joel Peralta. Concepcion has made a trio of appearances for Chicago since joining the team last weekend, and he's allowed one earned run on two hits through 2.1 total innings.
Concepcion retired all four batters he faced - including two by strikeout - in his major league debut Tuesday. Concepcion was terrible last year in the minors, but he was dominant for Double-A Tennessee this year before he was promoted to Triple-A Iowa for a decent 12-game stint. His strikeout rate has always been good, but his walk rate - even this year (14 walks in 35 minor league innings) could use some improvement.