3/28 Villanueva named 5th starter

Carlos Villanueva was tabbed as the Cubs’ fifth starter, and Chris Rusin is headed to Iowa. Cubs manager Rick Renteria announced the final rotation spot Friday at Chase Field before the game against the Diamondbacks.

As for the rest of the bullpen, that’s still being decided. They had 16 pitchers on the spring camp roster, including the five starters and three who will open on the disabled list (Jake Arrieta, Kyuji Fujikawa and James McDonald). Jose Veras, James Russell, Pedro Strop, and Wesley Wright are set. It also appears that Hector Rondon and Justin Grimm are in, too. On the bubble: Alberto Cabrera, who has struggled recently.

One option the Cubs are considering is adding someone who was assigned to the Minor League camp earlier. The pitchers at Chase Field Friday night include Neil Ramirez, Brian Schlitter, Zac Rosscup, Armando Rivero and Jonathan Sanchez. One of them could be an option.

The Cubs currently have 38 players on the 40-man roster. They could put Fujikawa on the 60-day DL, which would open another spot on the 40-man. They need to find room on the 40-man roster for at least three players, Ryan Kalish, John Baker and Emilio Bonifacio.

— Carrie Muskat


I think this is a mistake. I think to earn the job, Villanueva needed to outperform Rusin, and I don’t think he did that.

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