Cubs add four players to 40-man roster


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Mark Rebilas - USA Today Sports

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today selected the contracts of left-handed pitcher Jack Leathersich from Triple-A Iowa, catcher Victor Caratini and outfielder Jacob Hannemann from Double-A Tennessee and right-handed pitcher Duane Underwood from Single-A Myrtle Beach.

Caratini, 23, was named a mid-season and post-season Southern League All Star in 2016 after batting .291 (120-for-412) with 25 doubles, six homers and 47 RBI in 115 games with Tennessee, his first ever stop at Double-A. He posted a .375 on-base percentage and a .405 slugging percentage, good for a .780 OPS.

The switch-hitter was acquired by the Cubs from Atlanta in the deal that sent Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell to the Braves on July 31, 2014. The six-foot-one, 215-pounder was selected by the Braves in the second round of the 2013 Draft (65th overall) out of Miami Dade College.

A native of Coamo, Puerto Rico, Caratini is a career .277 hitter (383-for-1,381) with 101 doubles, 16 homers and 180 RBI in 386 minor league games covering the last four seasons.

Hannemann, 25, batted .247 (72-for-291) with 14 doubles, four triples, 10 homers, 30 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 74 games with Tennessee last year, his first full season at the Double-A level. He posted a .326 on-base percentage, 79 points higher than his batting average, and a .426 slugging percentage, good for a .752 OPS.

The left-handed batter and thrower has primarily played center field in his minor league career, seeing action in 275 games there in his first four seasons. Hannemann has also played 42 games in left field and 18 games in right field.

Hannemann was originally selected by the Cubs in the third round of the 2013 Draft out of Brigham Young University. He is a career .249 hitter (334-for-1,344) with 66 doubles, 20 triples, 25 homers, 133 RBI and 91 stolen bases in 343 games covering four minor league campaigns.

Leathersich, 26, was claimed by the Cubs off waivers from the New York Mets on November 19, 2015 as he continued his recovery from Tommy John surgery in July of 2015. The lefty returned to the mound in June and went 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA (1 ER/8.0 IP) in 10 outings in rookie ball before joining Tennessee on July 22. Leathersich posted no record and a 3.48 ERA (4 ER/10.1 IP) in 11 relief outings in Double-A before finishing the season with five relief appearances with Iowa, allowing no hits and no earned runs in five innings.

The six-foot, 205-pound Leathersich made his major league debut with the Mets in 2015 and went 0-1 with a 2.31 ERA (3 ER/11.2 IP) in 17 relief appearances that year. He struck out 14 in 11.2 innings and tossed scoreless ball in 14 of his 17 outings before requiring surgery at the end of July prior to being claimed by the Cubs.

Leathersich was originally selected by the Mets in the fifth round of the 2011 Draft out of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. He is 10-9 with seven saves and a 3.38 ERA (88 ER/234.0 IP) in 186 appearances, all but one as a reliever, covering six seasons in the Mets and Cubs minor league systems.

Underwood, 22, was originally selected by the Cubs in the second round of the 2012 Draft and has gone 15-18 with a 3.40 ERA (119 ER/315.0 IP) in 75 minor league appearances, all but four as a starter. He entered the 2016 campaign ranked by Baseball America as the No. 4 prospect in the Cubs minor league system, while MLB.com ranked Underwood 78th on its list of Top 100 prospects in the game. He was a 2016 non-roster invitee to big league spring training.

The six-foot-two, 210-pound righthander earned mid-season Carolina League All-Star honors in 2015 when he went 6-3 with a 2.58 ERA (21 ER/73.1 IP) in 14 starts. He was slowed by injuries in 2016 but reached the Double-A level for the first time. Underwood combined to go 0-6 with a 4.32 ERA (35 ER/73.0 IP) in 18 starts with four different teams in the Cubs system this year. He also made a pair of starts for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League.

Underwood is a native of Raleigh, N.C.



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