When you jump to write the lineup post as fast as possible close to 162 times a year, you start to get a sense of how early they should come out before every game.
So when there was no word of the lineup by 2:23 pm for tonight’s 6:10 CT game, I started to get a little suspicious:
Given the 6:10 start time tonight (and no lineup yet), I'm beginning to wonder if we might see another roster move. Cubs bench still has just three players, bullpen at nine.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) May 18, 2018
Usually, when a lineup is later than normal, it’s because the Cubs front office is deciding on a roster move – which often requires a lot of moving parts and people (which, in turn, could unexpectedly change the calculus for Manager Joe Maddon).
And while that may or may not have been the case today, the Cubs did move to alleviate the pitching glut they built up before yesterday’s rain out:
Cubs moves: Heyward activated, Rosario optioned
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) May 18, 2018
#Cubs activating Jason Heyward from concussion DL and optioning reliever Randy Rosario back to Triple-A Iowa.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) May 18, 2018
Jason Heyward isn’t in the starting lineup tonight – which is a shame, given Homer Bailey’s splits – but I’m very glad to see him return from the concussion DL, where he landed after a colliding with the outfield wall trying to rob Dexter Fowler’s home run nearly two weeks ago. Perhaps he’ll be a late-inning defensive replacement.
With his return, and Randy Rosario’s option back to Triple-A Iowa (the poor guy didn’t throw a single pitch (and today is his birthday!)), the Cubs bench now returns to a more normal four position players, while the bullpen returns back to eight arms.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 18, 2018
Of course, the Cubs will get a 26th-man for the double-header tomorrow, so it’s entirely possible that Rosario will just hang around tonight and be right back on the roster (for a day) tomorrow.