- Javier Baez will start the season on the DL with a “left thumb contusion”
- Neil Ramirez will make the team in the bullpen
- Tommy La Stella will make the team as an infield backup
- Matt Szczur will make the team as an outfield backup
Assuming the Cubs are able to get Munenori Kawasaki to sign a new deal, they’ll be able to keep him in the organization as depth, too, which could mean the Cubs were able to keep everyone, even though it was looking like at least two of these guys were going to have to go at some point. And sure enough, as I’m typing, the Cubs were indeed able to keep all of Kawasaki, Shane Victorino, and Manny Parra on minor league deals (Mooney). That’s excellent news.
Because Baez is expected to be ready to join the big league team again soon enough, this current set up will last only so long. The Cubs have bought themselves some time on guys like Ramirez and Szczur, each of whom are out of options. But decisions, eventually, could still have to be made.
So, then, here’s your expected Opening Day roster:
Tommy La Stella