Save Christopher Morel
We all agree he needs at bats...and there are plenty in Chicago
Opening Day is coming up on Thursday (really, it is) and the Cubs are dutifully trimming their roster ever closer to the 26 that will open this season.
The biggest news this spring so far is that Hayden Wesneski, who is very likely at least the Cubs second best starting pitcher, is going to start the season on the big club and in the rotation. The decision was made easier by the complete (but not shocking) sprin implosion of career mediocrity Adrian Sampson (he allowed four more homers while you were reading this paragraph), who was Wesneski’s erstwhile competition for that spot. Sampson, like Wesneski has an option, so thankfully the Cubs won’t lose the services of such a budding young (31 years old) star.
[insert your own wanking .gif here]
Like I’ve written before, the opening day roster is an overrated piece of player personnel bookkeeping. It’s cool for the guys on the bubble who make it because they get to stand on the foul line before the opener and wave to a crowd trying to figure out how to get clapping noises to come out of their mittens, but otherwise, the early season roster mostly reflects a team’s strategy in trying to use waiver wire gymnastics to keep as many of the players they want as possible.
Most of the rest of the roster shakeout will be even less impactful that this move. Both guys are staying with the organization, but at least now, the better pitcher should get to pitch more innings.
The Cubs have a lot of candidates for the final couple of bullpen slots and unless Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins are complete morons (still more likely than not in both cases) they’ll be able to keep everybody they think they need either in Chicago to start the season or parked in Des Moines.
But there is one position on the team that makes for interesting watching this week. While Seiya Suzuki is progressing from his near fatal oblique injury1, he’s not going to be ready for the start of the season, so the Cubs need to figure out what to do with right field for a while.
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