MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs reduced the size of their spring roster from 59 to 53 Monday, sending six players to minor league camp.
Infielder Logan Watkins, the organization's minor league position player of the year in 2012, was optioned to Triple-A Iowa, along with pitchers Alberto Cabrera, Trey McNutt and Brooks Raley. The Cubs' 2012 minor league pitcher of the year, Nick Struck, was assigned to minor league camp after joining major league camp as a non-roster invitee.
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Right-hander Rob Whitenack, making his first appearance in big-league camp, was optioned to Double-A Tennessee.
Manager Dale Sveum said over the weekend he expects to send more young players -- including shortstop Javier Baez and outfielder Jorge Soler -- to minor league camp as this week wears on. After the team's trip to Las Vegas this weekend, Sveum said he'll start getting his major leaguers more regular and longer work.