Cubs release Dontrelle Willis and former first-round pick Hayden Simpson

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Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs have released left-hander Dontrelle Willis and right-hander Hayden Simpson.

Willis came out of retirement to attempt a comeback this spring, but he had to leave his first appearance on February 25 due to shoulder tightness and didn’t pitch in another Cactus League game. This could be the end of the road for him.

While we ask what could have been with Willis, Simpson never was able to match the hype attached to being the No. 16 overall pick in 2010. It wasn’t all his fault, as the Cubs overdrafted him because they weren’t willing to spend on higher quality talent. While a lengthy bout with mononucleosis didn’t do any favors for his development, Simpson posted an ugly 6.42 ERA over 30 starts and 26 relief appearances with Chicago’s minor league system.

Michael Brenly, the son of former Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly, was also given his release today. The 26-year-old backstop owns a .251/.306/.334 batting line over five seasons in the minors.

Here are your World Series Umpires

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The men in blue. Although it often looks black, yes? They still wear blue sometimes though so it probably doesn’t matter. Let’s just call ’em the baseball cops and not worry too much about what they’re wearing.

Here are the baseball cops for the 2019 World Series: Alan Porter, Doug Eddings, Gary Cederstrom, James Hoye,
Lance Barksdale, Sam Holbrook, and Jim Wolf.

Cederstrom is the Crew Chief and will have second base in tonight’s Game 1, after which they rotate as they always do.

Wolf will serve as the Replay Official for Games One and Two, after which he will join the on-field crew as the left field umpire for Game Three. Porter, the home plate umpire for Game One, will shift to Replay Official duties from Game Three through the conclusion of the World Series. The Replay Assistant throughout the Fall Classic will be regular season crew chief Jerry Meals.

The umpires will wear a uniform patch in memory of umpire Eric Cooper, who passed away over the weekend. The patch will say “Coop.”