It’s been unofficial for about a week now, but today, the Cubs made it official: Spring hero Welington Castillo will open the season at AAA Iowa, where he can start regularly. Max Ramirez remains in camp, presumably because the Cubs want to wait as long as possible before having to make a decision about him. He’s out of options, and would be subjected to waivers (and almost certainly claimed) if the Cubs tried to send him down.

But unless there’s a huge upset, Koyie Hill will remain the team’s backup catcher.

UPDATE: As noted in the comments by intrepid reader TWC, Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Cubs have already placed Max Ramirez on waivers (in the hopes that, if he is not claimed, they can send him to AAA Iowa). It’s very hard to see a catching-starved team like the Astros, for example, not claiming Ramirez, but I believe I’ve heard of an unspoken code among GMs not to claim guys who have been battling injuries and are being sent down for that reason. Does Ramirez count? He’s had ongoing wrist issues, but the Cubs themselves picked him up off of waivers just a couple months ago.




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