The Chicago Cubs on Tuesday optioned Colin Rea to Triple-A Iowa in an effort to trim its spring training roster to 44 players.
Rea, a 29-year-old Cascade, Iowa, native, was the Pacific Coast League’s pitcher of the year after registering career-highs in victories (14-4), innings pitched (148) and strikeouts (120) in his first season in Des Moines. Rea helped the I-Cubs win the PCL’s American Northern Division championship.
Rea, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound right-hander who did not miss a start this season after coming back from 2016 elbow surgery, was second in the PCL with a 3.95 ERA.
He began his career in the San Diego Padres organization and reached the big leagues in 2015.
Chicago also optioned right-hander Adbert Alzolay and infielder Zack Short to Des Moines. Alzolay and Rea were considered contenders to earn the No. 5 spot in the Cubs’ rotation.
The Cubs also sent Miguel Amaya, the fourth-ranked prospect in the system, to Double-A Tennessee.
The Cubs also assigned infielder Carlos Asuaje, infielder Trent Giambrone, infielder Corban Joseph and outfielder Noel Cuevas to minor league camp. Each had been a non-roster invitee.
The Cubs added right-handed pitcher Michael Rucker to big league camp as a non-roster invitee.
Cubs 16, Giants 3 — At Scottsdale, Ariz.: Javier Báez and Willson Contreras each got three hits, including a home run, and Ian Happ drove in three runs. Tyler Chatwood did not allow a run over 3 2/3 innings for Chicago.
San Francisco starter Johnny Cueto gave up five runs on nine hits over 1 2/3 innings. Pablo Sandoval hit two doubles.
Phillies 5, Twins 1 — At Clearwater, Fla.: Philadelphia star Bryce Harper exited after getting hit by a pitch in his left foot in the first inning. He later said he felt fine.
Sean Poppen worked three innings in the start for Minnesota, allowing two runs on seven hits. Ehire Adrianza, Brent Rooker and Willians Astudillo each had two hits.
Red Sox 3, Cardinals 2 — At Fort Myers, Fla.: Competing for a spot in the Boston rotation, lefty Brian Johnson worked three innings, giving up two runs on three hits and three walks. Matt Barnes struck out the side in his inning of relief. Kevin Pillar singled and doubled.
Jack Flaherty struck out five over three scoreless innings, giving up three hits and two walks. Paul DeJong had two singles.
Rangers 9, White Sox 2 — At Glendale, Ariz.: Michael Kopech quickly got back up to speed for the Chicago White Sox. In his first game since having Tommy John surgery 18 months ago, Kopech threw 11 pitches — and six reached 100 mph.
Mike Minor worked 4 2/3 scoreless innings for Texas and Adolis Garcia hit a three-run homer.
Brewers 5, Royals (ss) 2 — At Surprise, Ariz.: Brandon Woodruff allowed a run on two hits and walked two over four innings, striking out five. Josh Hader worked an inning of hitless relief. Logan Morrison and Eric Sogard each had two hits.
Brad Keller got through four innings, giving up a run on five hits and a walk while striking out three. Ian Kennedy worked two perfect innings of relief. Ryan O’Hearn drove in two runs with a double and homer.