• by Michael Hurcomb | Fantasy Writer

    Cubs prospect Pierce Johnson sidelined due to back injury

    Cubs starting pitcher prospect Pierce Johnson has been assigned to extended spring training while he recovers from a back injury, according to The Chicago Tribune. General manager Jed Hoyer said Johnson tried to pitch through back pain this spring. Johnson missed a few weeks at the outset of the 2014 season due to a hamstring injury. The former top-100 prospect is 16-11 with a 2.68 ERA in 49 career outings (46 starts) in the majors.

  • by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com

    Cubs option Christian Villanueva and Rafael Lopez to AAA

    The Cubs optioned two players to Triple-A Iowa and assigned another six players to minor league camp on Monday. Infielder Christian Villanueva and catcher Rafael Lopez were optioned to Triple-A. Villanueva was hitless with four strikeouts and an RBI in eight at bats, this spring. Lopez hit .250 with two RBI. The non-roster invitees assigned to the minors were RHP Corey Black (13.50 ERA in 1.1 spring innings), RHP Pierce Johnson (one hit and three walks in four scoreless innings), RHP Armando Rivero (27.00 ERA in a third of an inning), RHP Donn Roach (12.00 ERA in three innings), LHP Hunter Cervenka (0-1, 15.43) and infielder Logan Watkins (no spring at bats).

  • by Michael Hurcomb | Fantasy Writer

    Bryant, Russell, Schwarber among Cubs' non-roster invites

    The Cubs announced Friday they handed out spring invites to 19 non-roster players, which includes some of their top prospects. Among the top prospects invited to spring training are Kris Bryant , Albert Almora, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber. The remaining invites are Mike Baxter, Adron Chambers, Jonathan Herrera, Chris Valaika, Logan Watkins, Taylor Teagarden, Daniel Bard, Corey Black, Francisley Bueno, Anthony Carter, Hunter Cervenka, Jorge De Leon, Pierce Johnson, Armando Rivero and Donn Roach.

  • by Michael Hurcomb | Fantasy Writer

    Pierce Johnson activated for season debut at Double-A

    Cubs starting pitcher prospect Pierce Johnson, who missed the start of the season due to a hamstring injury, was taken off the disabled list in the minors to make his season debut Tuesday for Double-A Tennessee.

  • by Michael Hurcomb | Fantasy Writer

    Pierce Johnson might miss a start at Double-A due to injury

    Cubs starting pitcher prospect Pierce Johnson has been sidelined the past week due to hamstring tightness, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. However, the Cubs don't consider it a serious injury. Jason McLeod, the Cubs' senior vice president for scouting and player development, said the injury might delay Johnson's season debut at Double-A Tennessee by a week. "It might be one skipped start," McLeod said, "but it shouldn't be a situation where he's left back here in Arizona." Johnson, a 2012 first-round pick, was 11-6 with a 2.74 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 23 appearances (21 starts) between two levels of Class A in 2013. He struck out 9.4 batters per nine innings.

  • by Michael Hurcomb | Fantasy Writer

    Cubs' pitching prospect on the move in minors

    Cubs starting pitcher prospect Pierce Johnson was promoted from low Class A Kane County to high Class A Daytona Thursday, according to MLB.com. The right-hander went 5-5 with a 3.10 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 13 starts for Kane County. Johnson struck out 74 batters, walked 22 and allowed four home runs in 69 2/3 innings. He also managed a .255 opponents' batting average. He's considered the Cubs' seventh-best prospect by MLB.com.