Cubs invite 11 players to spring camp

Cubs invite 11 players to camp

CHICAGO -- Pitchers Sean Gallagher, Ryan O'Malley and Carmen Pignatiello, catcher Jake Fox, second baseman Eric Patterson and No. 1 draft pick Tyler Colvin are among 11 players who have been invited to the Chicago Cubs spring camp.

The team announced the additions on Tuesday. The other pitchers include Adam Harben and Randy Wells, while infielders Mike Kinkade and Casey McGehee, and outfielder Chris Walker also were invited to Mesa, Ariz.

Patterson is the younger brother of former Cubs outfielder Corey Patterson. Eric, 23, split last season between Double-A West Tenn and Triple-A Iowa. At West Tenn, he hit nine triples, third-most in the league, and his 38 steals ranked second. Patterson joined the Iowa Cubs on Aug. 19, and hit in 14 of 17 games. His 46 steals between the two clubs ranked second among Cubs Minor Leaguers. He also played in the Arizona Fall League for the second straight year.

"He's a really good baserunner and knows how to run the bases," said Pat Listach, who managed Patterson on the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL and also at West Tenn. "He has really good instincts."

Gallagher, 21, split time between Class A Daytona and West Tenn in 2006. He was 4-0 with a 2.30 ERA in 13 starts for Daytona, while striking out 80 and issuing 21 walks. He went 7-5 at West Tenn with a 2.71 ERA, and struck out 91. The right-hander has a 26-12 career record and 2.65 ERA.

Harben, 23, was acquired from the Minnesota Twins for Phil Nevin. In 29 games with the Twins' Double-A team, including 22 starts, he was 4-9 with a 3.96 ERA. He has a career 32-28 record and 3.40 ERA over five seasons.

O'Malley, 26, spent the majority of 2006 with Iowa. The left-hander appeared in 26 games (19 starts), going 7-7 with a 4.08 ERA. O'Malley's Major League debut was a memorable one, when he threw eight shutout innings in a 1-0 win Aug. 16 at Houston. He made one more start for the Cubs, but left the game early because of a strained left elbow.

O'Malley was able to throw on the side at the end of the season but ran out of time to come back and pitch in a game.

Pignatiello, 24, spent the majority of the 2006 season at West Tenn. The southpaw made 38 appearances (one start) and went 3-1 with a 2.69 ERA. He struck out 74 and walked 19. Pignatiello also appeared in eight games at Iowa, posting a 2.70 ERA. His combined 46 games were a career high.

Wells, 24, started 2006 with West Tenn before ending with Iowa. He appeared in 12 Double-A games, all of them starts, and had a 1.59 ERA, giving up 11 earned runs over 62 1/3 innings. Batters hit .199 against him. He was 5-5 in 13 games (12 starts) at Iowa with a 4.96 ERA.

Fox, 24, split 2006 between Daytona and West Tenn. He batted .313 with 16 home runs and 61 RBIs in 66 games for Daytona before he was promoted to West Tenn. The Cubs' third-round pick in 2003, Fox has a .284 batting average. Fox played in the Arizona Fall League, and played some games at first and in the outfield.

Kinkade, 33, hit .328 with four home runs and 50 RBIs in 106 games for Triple-A Albuquerque in the Florida Marlins' farm system in 2006. The infielder has a .256 career batting average in 222 Major League games with the New York Mets (1998-2000), Baltimore (2000-2001) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2002-2003).

McGehee, 24, enters his fifth season in the Cubs' organization. Last season, he set career highs with 135 games played, 497 at-bats, 139 hits and 11 home runs for Iowa.

Colvin, 21, was the Cubs' first selection, and 13th overall, in the 2006 draft after a standout career at Clemson. At Class A Boise last season, he led the Northwest League with six triples, was second with 53 RBIs, and was third with 50 runs and 128 total bases. The left-handed hitter batted .314 in 30 July games and finished the year with 11 home runs.

Walker, 26, led the Cubs' Minor League system with 50 stolen bases for West Tenn while his .292 batting average ranked eighth. His 50 steals and 11 triples led the Southern League, and his 150 hits were second and set a club record. From April 29-May 12, he batted .426 during a 14-game hitting streak.

The Cubs now have invited 16 players to big-league camp, and the team's spring roster currently stands at 56 players (40 on the Major League roster in addition to the 16 non-roster invitees). The other five include right-handed pitchers Jason Anderson, Ben Howard and John Webb, left-hander Les Walrond, and catcher Koyie Hill.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.