Here it is. The unique beast that is the one-game, 25-man roster for the Wild Card Game:
Pedro Strop is officially back! That said, we still don’t know for sure just how back he is, and whether he is being included on the roster as a just-in-case move. Keep in mind, since this is the roster for just a single game, the Cubs have the flexibility to carry lots of “just-in-case” types. Kyle Hendricks, who would otherwise be expected to start Game One of the NLDS on Thursday, is one of those, too.
I’m glad to see Alec Mills get the nod in the bullpen over Carl Edward Jr., who simply cannot be trusted to throw strikes right now, much less consistently get the most important outs in the season. It’s a bummer, but it’s the reality.
Terrance Gore gets a spot, and that’s a very nice, specific weapon to have available. Otherwise, there are no surprises on the positional side for the Cubs, who will have the ability to do lots and lots of pinch-hitting.
But here’s hoping that Jon Lester – and then maybe Cole Hamels – can just cruise for seven+ innings, rendering all those positional bench bats mostly superfluous. Outside of Hamels, I think the key relief arms for the Cubs will be Jesse Chavez (if he’s still feeling fresh after two innings yesterday), Justin Wilson (yes, still him), and Jorge De La Rosa (wow, but true).