As promised, Dale Sveum, Theo Epstein, and Jed Hoyer sat down after yesterday’s 2-0 victory over the Indians and hammered out the Cubs 25 man roster, or at least most of it.
The 2012 Chicago Cubs rotation is set.
1 – Ryan Dempster
2 – Matt Garza
3 – Jeff Samardzija
4 – Chris Volstad
5 – Paul Maholm
I really like the rotation. I think everyone already knows this, but the dark horse or wild card here is Samardzija. If he can continue to improve upon the Spring that he has had, then the Cubs could have a legit top 3. Volstad has been strong this Spring as well, if he progresses then I really don’t see a hole in this rotation, any one of these guys could be a streak stopper.
With the rotation announced, the following Cubs have been sent to Iowa.
Casey Coleman was told he was going to Iowa as well
Blake Parker was sent to Minor League camp
The bullpen remains a big question mark for the Cubs, they will determine the final spots over the next few days where performance by the bullpen candidates will be of the utmost importance as it will go along way towards making or not making the team.
Another hotly contested position battle was at catcher, and much like I predicted earlier this spring, Steve Clevenger has won the job. The 2012 (at least to start) season will feature Soto and Clevenger as the Cubs catchers. Welington Castillo has been assigned to Iowa, and Blake Lalli was moved to the minor league camp. It will be fun to see Castillo get every day playing time in Iowa, should see some nice power numbers down there.
In bench player news, Joe Mather and Blake DeWitt have both been told that they have made the team. What a tremendous spring from Mather, he absolutely came out and earned a job. I give a lot of credit to DeWitt, he could have packed it in when he was reassigned earlier this year, but he came to camp determined, and in the end he won a job. Dave Sappelt was sent to Iowa, while Matt Tolbert and Edgar Gonzalez were moved to the minor league camp.
Very exciting times right now, we will be back with a full roster breakdown once everything is official, we are almost exactly one week from the first pitch of the 2012 baseball season (for the Cubs at least). Can’t wait!
Thanks for reading,
– George Cotugno