With Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel out the door, the Chicago Cubs have not only two rotation spots to fill but also two roster spots. And it sounds like they’ll take their timing on filling both things.
Today, the Cubs will send Carlos Villanueva to the mound for a fill-in start, while calling up Chris Rusin to support in relief. There’s one of your roster spots, but not necessarily a rotation spot.
On Tuesday, the Cubs will call up Tsuyoshi Wada (as I mentioned this morning, and confirmed by Mark Gonzales) to start one of the legs of the doubleheader that day, and presumably to stay in the rotation from there. The Cubs get a 26th man that day, though, so there would still be two available roster spots, if Rusin were optioned back down by then.
Gonzales adds that the Cubs will bring up another reliever tomorrow, which would bring the roster up to 25 (they’ll play at 24 today, apparently). If it’s someone on the 40-man, your guesses are Blake Parker and Zac Rosscup. If Rusin is still around come tomorrow, that means the Cubs will be employing 10 – yes 10(!) – relievers. Typically, teams carry 7 relievers, though the Cubs have been at 8 for some time.
That 10 number won’t last, either by virtue of Rusin sliding into the rotation or by someone like Dallas Beeler coming up to join the rotation. If Wada stays after the doubleheader, another reliever will have to go down.
That make sense? If not, the short version is: Wada will start on Tuesday, another “new” starter will start on Wednesday (probably Beeler, possibly Rusin). The Cubs will have a crap-ton of relievers this weekend, but that should be sorted out by early next week.