HomeSportsIntroducing the Chicago Cubs Opening-Day Roster: Who Will Claim the Remaining Opening?

Introducing the Chicago Cubs Opening-Day Roster: Who Will Claim the Remaining Opening?

In two weeks, the Chicago Cubs will line up along the third-base line for Opening Day introductions at Wrigley Field.

Although most of their opening-day roster spots are locked, barring any injuries before the team leaves for Arizona on March 28, the Cubs will soon begin to consider how to best position their team to start the year. be made.

And with that in mind, here’s a projection of the opening day roster:

starting pitchers (5)

  • RHP Marcus Stroman

  • RHP Jameson Tallon

  • LHP Justin Steele

  • LHP Drew Smiley

  • RHP Hayden Wesneski

Also in consideration: RHP Adrian Sampson, RHP Javier Assad.

Vesnensky’s results are beginning to speak for themselves. Yep, it’s spring training and his shutout performance through three Cactus League starts—no earned runs in 8⅔ innings—comes in an environment where numbers can be hard to quantify. But his stuff has been poor and at this point he should be considered the frontrunner as the No. 5 starter.

If Sampson is the standout, the Cubs should look at whether to designate him for assignment on a non-roster invitee to use their 40-man roster spot — should they need to add someone to the active roster. Is – or should – keep him as a replacement player who can be used in the rotation or bullpen if injury occurs.

Assad’s increase in speed through the offseason throwing program while maintaining his command was one of the best developments of the Cubs coming into camp. His stellar three scoreless innings in Team Mexico’s win against Team USA in the World Baseball Classic showed just how well his stuff can play even when his fastball hits 95-97 mph.

reliever (8)

Also in consideration: RHP Mark Leiter Jr., RHP Cam Sanders, RHP Jeremiah Estrada, RHP Tyler Duffy.

The Cubs face difficult decisions in building their bullpen, partly due to the number of relievers who do not have minor-league options remaining. Those limits could help Meriweather and Alzolle land on the roster.

A source told the Tribune that Leiter has an opt-out in his minor-league deal on March 30, which would allow him to go elsewhere if the Cubs don’t put him on the roster. The opt-out clause is not enough to guarantee that he will be in the bullpen on day one. With two weeks to go, injuries could pop up that decide who secures the uncertain two or three openings.

Rucker’s camp performance impressed the team. He and Vick still have minor-league options.

catchers (2)

Experienced catchers are expected to split starting duties, while Prospect Miguel Amaya May Have an Eye Sometime in the second half of the season, the Cubs attempted to evaluate his big-league potential during his final minor-league option year.

Fielder (8)

Thoughtlessness: Christopher Morrell.

Mancini and Wisdom are expected to be factors in the corner outfield options, primarily in right field. Sia Suzuki Started season on injured list, Manager David Ross will have plenty of options to mix-and-match the corner infield positions.

The 23-year-old Morrell is coming off an unexpected rookie season, making the jump from Double-A Tennessee to the Cubs. His defensive versatility and upside is attractive, but he needs everyday batters. While the Cubs were able to find enough playing time last year using him at second base, third base and center field, those opportunities just don’t exist.

He’s better off playing regularly in Triple-A Iowa, where he can focus on lowering his strikeout rate and developing more defensive stability.

outfielders (3)

Thoughtlessness: Nelson Velasquez.

Happ and Bellinger are locked into the everyday lineup, likely rotating right field until Suzuki is sidelined by his left oblique strain. Tauchman, a non-roster invitee, appears to have frozen His opening day roster status. He can play all three outfield spots and gives the Cubs another left-handed bat.

Mancini and Wisdom can also play right field. Touchman could shift to accommodate Happ or Bellinger getting a day off. The lone wrinkle: Will the Cubs be comfortable carrying only three true outfielders on a 26-man roster? If they want a fourth outfielder, Velasquez, who is already on the 40-man roster, can play all three positions.

But like Morell, Velasquez would benefit from more regular playing time. The best route for this is on Triple A.



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