The Cubs’ active roster – currently at 29, thanks to September roster expansion – could get bigger before tonight’s game, with an injured pitcher on the way back, and some minor leaguers now available for a call-up.
Cubs reliever Hector Rondon has been rehabbing a triceps injury on and off since the beginning of August, but, after successful bullpen sessions in the past week, he is expected to be activated from the disabled list today (Cubs.com). You’re likely to see him eased back into low-stress situations for a bit just to make sure there’s no risk of overexertion before the playoffs approach, and the Cubs will need him at his very best.
You’ll recall that Pedro Strop (knee surgery for torn meniscus) was making incredible strides in his return, and could have been back this week, too, if not for a strained groin that set him back. It’ll probably be another couple weeks for Strop.
But other players beyond Rondon could be joining the Cubs today, as AAA Iowa’s season has come to a close. That could mean 40-man players like Munenori Kawasaki, Albert Almora Jr., Jeimer Candelario, Gerardo Concepcion, Pierce Johnson, Spencer Patton, and Giovanni Soto.
I’d be very surprised if Kawasaki, Almora, and Patton were not called up today. My guess could go either way on the others, based on the availability of innings for actual play, based on the length of the season for younger players, and based on there being any chance at all they could work their way onto a playoff roster.
Some non-40-man players could be added, too, if space is cleared on the 40-man roster (catcher Tim Federowicz, pitcher Armando Rivero, pitcher Jose Rosario, pitcher Josh Collmenter – those are possibilities).
We’ll see what happens.