There was a flurry of activity in the last couple hours (and there could/will still be more movement, at least on the 40-man roster), including the addition of another infielder (Luis Valbuena), but the Cubs now have the 25-man roster with which they’ll open the season. Probably.

The Cubs have elected to go with just 11 pitchers to start the year, in large part because of the off-day on Friday. Given that extra rest, the Cubs think they can without a long-man in the pen, so Rodrigo Lopez will start the year at AAA and will recalled soon, according to Jed Hoyer.

Those 11 pitchers are Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, Chris Volstad, and Paul Maholm in the rotation, and Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood, James Russell, Shawn Camp, Lendy Castillo, and Rafael Dolis in the bullpen. That means Manny Corpas, together with Lopez, did not make the cut. Castillo is a Rule 5 pick, and will have to remain on the Cubs’ 25-man roster for this season if the Cubs are to keep him (or, at least 90 days, if he heads to the disabled list). Corpas was effective this Spring, but the Cubs apparently preferred to keep Camp and Castillo, which is tough to argue, all things considered.

With 11 pitchers, that means the Cubs will be able to carry 14 position players (so Valbuena’s addition won’t bump anyone off the roster, at least not until Lopez is recalled): Geovany Soto, Bryan LaHair, Darwin Barney, Ian Stewart, Starlin Castro, Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, David DeJesus, Jeff Baker, Steve Clevenger, Blake DeWitt, Reed Johnson, Joe Mather, and Luis Valbuena.

In a twist, Tony Campana actually came to Chicago with the Cubs, apparently on the chance that Bryan LaHair has to open the year on the disabled list with his back issues (Dale Sveum calls LaHair 50/50 for Opening Day). If LaHair is DL’d, Campana will be on the roster, while a combination of Baker, DeWitt, and Mather fill in at first base.

  • Packman711

    “With 14 pitchers, that means the Cubs will be able to carry 14 position players”

    You mean 11 pitchers…?

    Edit: Nevermind. That whole “14 pitchers” thing never happened. Move along.

    • Brett

      You’re too fast. I was already editing.

      • LonginCheehuhczyk

        Theo is a jerk who treats players like livestock, evil

        • Shawon O’Meter

          Yeah, well, that’s like your opinion, man. And Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women.

  • MichiganGoat

    Interesting, a move coming seems to on the horizon.

  • bt

    I heart the 11 pitcher roster in April.

  • CubsFanBob

    is it official Luis Valbuena is on the 25 man roster ?

    • Brett

      Without any options, he’d have to be. I believe Jed confirmed it a little bit ago.

  • ty

    As Az Phil reports LaHair has not taken the opportunity to get 6-8 bats at Fitch in games. Looks like D.L. although I have not even seen him near clubhouse where rehab trainers would be with him bigtime. So maybe rest is the RX and stay with club. Strange!

  • Puma0821

    So this means the Iowa roster is set? Does anyone know who the backup catcher is?

    • Brett

      Would it be Blake Lalli?

      • Luke

        He’s not on the Tennessee roster, so unless I’ve missed a transaction somewhere he’d be the logical candidate.

      • Cedlandrum

        nods, he’s the guy.

  • MaxM1908

    IS anyone excited about Valbuena? I’m looking at his stats (Minor and Major) and I guess I’m not seeing the appeal yet. Do any of you stat/scouting guys have an argument for why this was a good move? I’m almost thinking the combination of Castro/Barney/DeWitt is preferable to Castro/Barney/Valbuena. It looks like this may be setting up a DeWitt move, but would anyone prefer Valbuena over DeWitt?

    • hardtop

      no, to your question.

      im pretty disappointed in this move.  not this move as a singular event,  but as part of the whole.  at this point it feels like they are throwing tons of shit at the wall to see if just one minute dingleberry sticks.


  • die hard

    Sandberg dodged another bullet by not being picked to lead this group…The only difference between this team and last years is manager…so comparing apples to apples lets see if Sveum can do better….hope for the best and expect the worst

    • ty

      By June Sveum is going to have pet names for his players just like Quade–not for fan consumption though.

    • josh

      “The only difference between this team and last years is manager”…..sean marshall? aramis? fukodome? z?

      • die hard

        are you saying Cubs may be worse than last year?

  • djriz

    Could it be Valbuena was signed in case a certain starting shortstop’s legal troubles cause him to miss some games? it is, after all, the first time Castro has been in Chicago since his original police interview.

    Are we asking for trouble with a 6 man bullpen? Especially these six? Woods has pitched 1.2 innings in the last two weeks, and as reported earlier by Brett, Castillo is not ready. Marmol is not an innings eater and Dolis is a rookie! If the wind is blowing out, you better be wearing batting helmets on Sheffield! this could be UGLY.

    • Spencer

      these are all excellent points.

  • Iceman

    If they are adding Camp and Dewitt it seems to me that they still need one more roster move to clear another spot on the 40 man roster. I guess it could be Mateo to the 60 day DL but have not seen anything about that.

  • npnovak

    why are people being so pessimistic about Valbuena? we don’t have to be “excited” about every acquisition. the Cubs had virtually no middle infield depth. God forbid anything happened to Castro, we’d have been beyond screwed…actually we’re screwed either way, but now we’re slightly less screwed.

  • TH

    There is more than enough negativity here. I absolutely love Brett’s blog and the comments on here but we have not even hit opening day. Take this for what it’s worth in regards to spring training (you don’t need to tell me it’s “just spring” – have a little faith that we will above average:

    Team Average: 11th
    Runs: 188; 4th
    Hits: 347; 2nd
    Doubles: 89; 1st
    Triples: 14; Tied for 1st
    HR: 39;Tied for 3rd
    RBI: 175; 4th

    This can go on for a while, the point is, we are good and I truly believe we will be. Not saying playoff bound, but better than expected. Pitching, on paper, we blow (from spring training) , but I think, once again, we will be above average.

    Give it a week or a month before we rip them apart.

  • Ryan

    I like the claim simply because it gives the cubs a true backup ss. Im not a fan of having your backup at a position be a starter at another one which is what the cubs were at without this claim. Im going to be interested to see what happens when the cubs go to a 12 man pitching staff will there be a trade or a release or Castillo sent back to Philly?

  • Can’t think of a cool name

    Gotta feel for LaHair. Finally gets his shot and comes out of the gate hurt.

  • MichiganGoat

    Everyone can breath @WGNTV: .@directtv customers turn on your tv to wgn. Its over. #directv

    • cubchymyst

      I really hope the cubs find a way to stay on WGN when their current TV contract is up. I think part of the reason the Cubs are so popular is because you can watch them anywhere in the country on WGN multiple times a year.

      • Rick Vaughn

        I agree. Growing up in Alaska in the ’90s, I had access to the Braves on TBS and the Cubs on WGN. I imagine that in areas that don’t really have a local team, most people tend to jump on either of those to bandwagons. Now it’s just the Cubs since TBS lost the Braves. I know there are more options now (I’ve been an subscriber for I think twelve years now) but most kids probably aren’t able to take advantage of that. I’m sure there are many young people, the future fan base, that will grow up loving the Cubs simply because they’re the only team they can see on TV regularly.

        The Cubs no doubt know this and keep it in consideration. But maybe having their own network makes more financial sense for them than the potential fan base created by being the only team on TV across the country. I’m sure they’ve crunched the numbers.

        For me though, I’m much more likely to watch a game on TV than using valuable bandwidth streaming a Cubs game on the net.

    • ty

      thank you goat for leading the mediation team!

  • Ryan

    I agree I really hope the Cubs stay on WGN