#Cubs set Opening Day roster

Cubs manager Joe Maddon told Neil Ramirez, Matt Szczur and Tommy La Stella that they made the Opening Day roster. Javier Baez will open on the 15-day DL, although the start day will be retroactive. He has a bruised left thumb but could be ready when the Cubs open the season in Chicago April 11. The final 25 are set, barring injuries between now and Opening night. The Cubs will carry 13 pitchers and 12 position players.

13 pitchers
Arrieta
Lester
Lackey
Hammel
Hendricks
Rondon
Strop
Grimm
Cahill
Richard
Wood
Warren
Ramirez
3 catchers
Montero
Ross
Schwarber
5 infielders
Rizzo
Bryant
Russell
Zobrist
La Stella

4 outfielders
Heyward
Fowler
Soler
Szczur

18 Comments

Who goes when Baez comes off the DL? Szczur??

Either him or they bump one of the relief pitchers. It’s also a couple of weeks before they have to decide for sure and a lot can happen in that time. Remember last year, Jonathan Herrera was on the verge of being sent back to Iowa on multiple occasions, but he ended up sticking around due to injuries popping up elsewhere and other things that could not have been predicted in advance. Baseball is literally a take it a day at a time sport. Sure it helps to have an idea of what you’re doing long term, but you never know when and how your needs may change on a day to day basis.

I see this as very exciting. Management found a way to keep everybody and sign some VETS to Minor League contracts.
Baez will be on the DL and maybe activated April 9th, then possibly given a REHAB assignment. That gives Management a few weeks to work something out.
My thoughts on Kawasaki all along was, he would be a perfect SEP call up. After the hot summer months of competition, he has the perfect personality for the clubhouse during the stretch run. Of course he is at AAA in case he is needed. Love this signing.
Victorino, if he gets it together could be valuable mid season, in case of injury, or a trade is made and the Cubs lose an OF. He could also be very valuable during a stretch run with his speed and that SH bat. He just needs to get healthy and get some Minor League At Bats.
Parra looks good during ST and how valuable might the LH arm be at some point this year?
Very happy to see Szczur and Ramirez on the Roster, especially Ramirez. Management has time with Szczur with these moves.

Aloha jasper, I agree with the assessment in regard to Kawasaki and Victorino. I must admit, the way Kawasaki has been playing and La Stella’s issues, thought he might make the team now. But I also think La Stella could be good trade bait down the road (June/July) and hopefully Kawasaki is ready to go as well as what happens with Baez. I am sure nothing is set in stone. Meaning today the opening roster has 13 pitchers now but a month later it could change to 12 pitchers, depends on the needs of the team. Exciting none-the-less! Mahalo!

Nothing set in stone is a fact K.g.
Don’t forget Fowler & Hammel are FA’s after this year. Could they be traded by the deadline, if someone else is ready?
Villanueva when he comes off the DL is out of options, along with Szczur and Ramirez. Could another club see any value there?
Montero if Contreras in ready in June or July?
LaStella, Baez or Soler for a SP come July?
Who knows is exactly right!

Aloha jasper- exactly, I hate to borrow a term from the “media” but it is very true to say things are “fluid,” with this team and a 162+ game season! You are right about Hammel and Fowler both being FA’s at year’s end and Ross retires. Does it work to have Montero stick around and mentor the young Schwarber and Contreras or better to sign Ross as a catching-coach to work with with Schwarber and Contreras? That way Ross stays connected and can help the young backstops mature in their framing of games, defense and pitch calling. As well as to help his friend Lester through the transition of him retiring. I cannot see the FO trading Fowler now but stranger things have happened! What if a contending team in say the AL needs an inf-of-pitching? Never say never. Will be interesting to see how long the starting 8 on the field stay that way, meaning how many games played straight. I have a feeling Maddon is working on many different lineups as we all chat! Take care now. Mahalo!

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Who backs up at first? Zobrist?

If healthy, Rizzo should play in 150+ games this season, leaving the question of who’s the backup at first as a low priority one. As mentioned, Zobrist and Bryant have minimal experience at first, which is fine considering that Rizzo should be in there almost every day. And Baez played a little first this spring, so he can do it in a pinch as well. Remember, last year’s backup at first was Chris Coghlin, so Maddon’s not afraid to put in someone who you wouldn’t otherwise think of to play a position. And if Rizzo gets hurt and has to miss a couple of weeks, then the Cubs could either see if any of the guys I mentioned can man the position for more than a game every now and then, or dip down into the minors and call up Jesus Guzman from AAA (assuming he becomes the Iowa Cubs firstbaseman) or even Dan Vogelbach if he’s playing well down at AA.

Zobrist and Bryant played 6 innings at 1B in one game last year. Maddon would not be afraid to use either one at 1B.

Baez is officially backup 1B (once he comes off DL). Of course he’s backup for all IF positions. But yeah, in a pinch either zobrist or bryant could do it — and if it’s bryant just call up Candelario for 3B.

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Until Baez is healthy, then a pitcher will be sent down, my guess it’s Richard…Need Sczurz for PR,OF late inning D, and RH bat off bench! Hope Kawasaki gets shot at 1st injury/trade that’s coming sooner than you think.

I agree a trade could come any time.
Szczur is a good backup, but I think he may be involved in that upcoming trade.
When Baez returns, will the Cubs need two backup infielders that can play multiple positions?

I would hesitate to send down Richard because the only other lefty in the bullpen is Wood. I also wonder if you can simply send down Richard, or would you have to designate him for assignment, meaning he would have to pass through waivers and accept the assignment or else lose him to another team. Given that Rosscup is injury prone and unproven and Manny Parra is an uncertainty at this point in his career, I don’t think the Cubs would want to go down to one reliable lefty option in the organization just one week into the season. But like I said, it’s a day-to-day game, so the Cubs roster needs a week from Monday could be much different than their roster needs for this Monday.

Like you Doug, I doubt it would be Richard to be sent down, However, believe it or not, he has three options left. I still don’t think that would be in the plans for a 33 y/o, 2 Million dollar Pitcher. Unless they needed to get him ready for a Starting role.

Im. Soo excited ,cant wait. 🙂🙂

The Cubs need to release Ross!!!

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