How would you fill out the Cubs roster? With the signing of Reed Johnson on Tuesday, Lou Piniella figures to have three spots remaining….two on the bench and one in the bullpen. According to several reports on Tuesday night, the final two back-up spots are between Ronny Cedeno, Alex Cintron, Matt Murton and Mike Fontenot while Carmen Pignatiello or Sean Marshall should fill the vacancy left in the pen by Scott Eyre.
Based on the players performances this spring and how they could help the Cubs win games this season, which of the three players would you take to Chicago on Saturday from Las Vegas….if you were Jim and Lou. Or would you try to make a trade or two? For the long-time readers of the CCO, this is nothing new. But it is not as easy as it seems. You must think like the GM and a manager of a team trying to post a 90+ win season. Remember a team is only as good as the 25th man on the roster. And with the fact Lou has a tendency to play all of his players on a regular basis, the strength of his bench will have a large impact on how many wins the Cubs put up this season.
So with that being said, there are a couple of things to keep in mind….
- Ronny Cedeno is out of options, so if he is not on your bench, do you trade him or try to pass him through waivers? If you trade him, where and for whom?
- Matt Murton has two options left. Do you send him to Iowa, trade him, or put him on your bench and use him to give Alfonso Soriano regular days off?
- Alex Cintron has outperformed his minor league contract and would give you a solid back up at 2nd, short and 3rd….plus he is a switch hitter.
- Mike Fontenot has been very impressive at the plate this spring, but might limit you defensively….plus he has an option left.
- Carmen Pignatiello has been lights out this spring and is a reliever. Pignatiello has three options left.
- Sean Marshall has been a starter and should remain one. If he is converted to a reliever that could hurt your depth in the starting pitching department. As much as this writer likes Sean Marshall, he has two options left.
And finally, would you step up your efforts and try to pry Brian Roberts from Andy MacPhail? With Jim Hendry signing his right-handed bat that can play all three outfield spots on Tuesday, Roberts should be the only loose end to tie up from the winter.
So fill out your Cubs roster, which of the six players would you keep? Which ones would you trade? Which ones would you send down to Iowa?
And, as always, have fun. Isn’t that what baseball is supposed to be in the first place?