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ryan kalish red soxOutfield hopeful Ryan Kalish has been a fun story to follow all Spring, and today’s roster shuffling would seem to make it all the more likely that he (together with Mike Olt) could really make the Cubs’ Opening Day roster.

And he’s getting some love from President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, the man who was GM of the Red Sox when Kalish was one of the next big things.

Although Epstein wouldn’t spill the roster beans to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, he did tell Cafardo via text that, “[e]ither way he looks great. Brings a lot to the table and is on our long-term plans.”

Kalish turns 26 in a couple days, so the “in our long-term plans” is a very legitimate point, regardless of whether Kalish is on the 25-man roster on March 31. As an up-and-comer before multiple injuries derailed his career a few years ago, the Cubs have the luxury – if they need it – of sending Kalish to Iowa for a couple months, letting him get his feet further under him (he had a serious neck procedure done last August, and didn’t play at all in 2013).

That all said, it remains possible that Kalish will make the Opening Day roster, and play his way into the outfield rotation. On the Spring, Kalish is hitting .275/.370/.300 with six steals (1 CS). That’s fairly representative of what he has done in the past, but perhaps with a little more SLG (he doesn’t have homer power, but his speed gives him plenty of doubles power). He can play all over the outfield, and could become a table-setter.

We’ll see how the Cubs’ outfield picture shakes out. With Emilio Bonifacio on the team – and needing regular starts while rotating among many positions – it’s possible the Cubs won’t carry a traditional fourth outfielder. But if someone like Nate Schierholtz or Ryan Sweeney or Justin Ruggiano is eventually traded (or if there’s an injury), plenty of time for Kalish could open up quickly.

  • CubFanBob

    I would either put Boni 1 and Kalish 2 in the batting order followed by castro then rizzo or have Boni leading off and Kalish in the 8 hole. Kalish has the mind set / batters tools to bat eighth taking the walk every time. In the 8 hole he could be on third base by the time the pitcher is done bunting him over from 1st.

  • candyland07

    Ryan Kalish, for a player that has done so little in his professional baseball career . He has great PR, he has a lengthy Wikipedia page filled with hope?. I have a wait and see approach with this player. If he is half the player the front office thinks he is . he should do well. He is young and hopefully he will fulfill the front office expectations. The players that was slotted to have his spot on the 25 man roster do not deserve to be on the team that heads North to Chicago.

    He intrigues me- he has proven nothing but he also has not proven he dont belong either.
    let see what the kid can actually do.

    .

  • ssckelley

    Like I said earlier today this guy has grown on me, I hope he makes the team.

  • cubs2015

    Love using the Brett Gardner comparison with Kalish (easy comparison I know). Speedy, high contact, hard nosed player that puts the pressure on the defense. I would love for him to start with the Cubs but with the long layoff from injuries I can see him starting in Iowa. Just hope he won’t be there too long

  • Spoda17

    Kalish = bellyfire

    • Edwin

      I think you can take Tums for that or something.

    • ssckelley

      Thee next Campana!

  • Smitty

    As long as he doesn’t take too many at bats from like, I like rolling the dice on this guy. This is the year we need to see if lake can “play up” to his raw tools.

  • Cubbie in NC

    He is already an upgrade to McDonald and the guys they trotted out there at the end of last year.

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