Opening Night Roster Taking Shape

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The Cubs have been busy so far today, mostly off the field.  The club has announced that Brian Schlitter, Junior Lake, and Zac Rosscup have all been optioned to Iowa.  The news was expected for the most part as all three guys have options left, but there was an outside chance that Lake would make the team.  What this does mean is that Matt Szczur is all but a lock for the opening night roster, as Cubs beat writers pointed out on twitter, it’s down to three guys for two spots (Szczur, Sweeney, and Herrera).  I think Szczur and Jonathan Herrera have the edge right now, Szczur can play all over the outfield with a tremendous glove, and Hererra would be only the second guy off the bench that can play the infield.  This leaves Sweeney as the odd man out, the only thing that he really brings to the table is the left handed bat, but I don’t think that is enough to keep him around.  The Cubs also made it clear today that they will be starting the season with three catchers, so Miguel Montero, David Ross, and Welington Castillo will all be in Chicago.

The bullpen is also starting to come together, but the question of what do with Edwin Jackson remains.  Jackson will not be a member of the five man staff, and will not act in some sort of piggyback role with Travis Wood, so what to do?  The Cubs have already made a huge financial commitment to Jackson so cutting him doesn’t seem to be an option, but the Cubs could admit the mistake and move on.  If I had to guess, I think that Drake Britton will be waived, and the bullpen will have Jackson as a long guy which means the Cubs will carry only one left-handed arm in the pen, Phil Coke.  Still a lot to figure out as we are now only four days from the start of the season.

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