The Cubs are not officially conceding the 2012 season, but it is definitely a year where they are seeing what they have in terms of prospects. And there will be no better time for these open tryouts (of sorts) then when rosters expand on September 1st.
The Cubs have already made a few roster moves and promoted pitching prospect Michael Bowden, but here is a list of 10 guys who the Cubs may give shots for the final month of the season.
Outfielder Tony Campana brings speed to the Cubs bench as well as a defensive replacement late in the season. He is a long shot to make the Cubs roster in 2013, but one cannot rule it out as the Cubs outfield has several holes and question marks.
Campana could turn into a great leadoff hitter, but he'll find himself in the same position he's in now if he can't swing a consistent stick.
Outfielder Dave Sappelt—who was acquired in the Sean Marshall trade last offseason—will likely get a chance as a reserve outfielder in September. He's had a decent year, but certainly nothing to write home about.
Depending on how the roster shakes out in the offseason, Sappelt will likely compete for a bench role in 2013.
Acquired from the Rangers in the Ryan Dempster deal, the Cubs may call up Chapman just to award him the opportunity while the Cubs are mathematically eliminated from contention.
Chapman has struggled since joining the Iowa Cubs, posting a 9.82 ERA in six games. He had a 3.82 ERA in 40 games with the Rangers organization, though, so it is possible he's just going through a rough transition.
All I ever hear about Casey Coleman is his mechanics are sound, his pitches are above average, and he seems poised on the mound. The one thing holding him back is he can't throw consistent strikes.
Assuming he's healthy, Coleman will likely get a chance to pitch in the rotation and show he still has something to prove. Otherwise, he may be cut.
Lefty reliever Scott Maine struggled in 21 games with the Chicago Cubs, but pitched well enough with the Iowa Cubs to keep his name coming up. He's a lefty specialist who will likely get a shot to compete with James Russell for the main role in the bullpen next year.
Russell struggled in 2011 and is now one of the Cubs' top pitchers. Maine could be on a similar track right now.
Caridad owns a 3.28 ERA in 40 games this season. He has struck out 61 batters to just 27 walks and is pitching with more efficiency as the season progresses.
His future is certainly in the bullpen, and he could find a spot with the club if he pitches well in September and then again in spring training.
Lake is holding a good average and stealing bases in Double-A, but it would surprise most fans and media if Junior Lake joins the Cubs.
Lake is expected to spend the majority of next year in Triple-A Iowa, and could see Chicago at some point in 2013 if all goes well. As for 2012, it's a long shot.
Dolis looked good for the Cubs early on, but then struggled, imploded, and wound up back in Triple-A. He has rotated between the two, but has yet to really settle down this year.
A chance in September may allow him to work out some kinks that have held him back all year long.
Catching prospect Juan Apodaca is having a nice season between Double-A and Triple-A and may be awarded a chance to catch some games when rosters expand in September.
Teams usually call up a third catcher in September to provide some relief for the main starters as well as the bullpen catchers, who will catch even more pitchers the final month of the season.
Apodaca, 26, is batting .307 in 77 games with two home runs and a .423 OBP this season. He's a long shot for the starting position, but who knows—he could turn some heads.
Batista has 21 saves and owns a 2.11 ERA in 34 games with the Smokies. He's obviously a prospect at closer, but is still a year away from being an everyday pitcher.
Giving him some time to pitch in September may help him improve and then come back even stronger in 2013.