Dale Sveum reportedly met with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer on Tuesday to go over the final roster decisions and is expected to once again on Friday morning. Sveum would like to have his Opening Day roster finalized before the team leaves Arizona on Thursday.
The Cubs are expected to announce the fifth round of roster cuts on Friday. The Cubs’ spring roster currently stands at 46 players. ESPN Chicago reported that the next round of cuts could be reliever heavy.
Dale Sveum all but announced the Cubs have only two spots left to be filled. It appears, Dave Sappelt will be on the Opening Day roster, as expected, which leaves on spot on the Cubs’ bench … Steve Clevenger and Brian Bogusevic appears to be the leading candidates for the job.
Michael Bowden and Hector Rondon will start the year in the Cubs’ pen, which leaves only one spot up for grabs and it is reportedly between Hisanori Takahashi, Chris Rusin, Casey Coleman, Cory Wade, Jaye Chapman, Blake Parker, Jensen Lewis, Drew Carpenter, Rafael Dolis and Zach Putnam for the last spot.
If the Cubs can create the spot on the 40-man roster, the safe bet would be Hisanori Takahashi … and that would allow the Cubs to keep Chris Rusin in a starting role with the I-Cubs.
According to a report from Bruce Levine, Matt Garza is pain-free and is a week or so away from throwing off a mound. Reports on Monday suggested it could be the middle of May before Garza would be ready to join the Cubs’ rotation at this point.
Scott Baker will have his elbow examined by the team doctor, Stephen Gryzlo, on Saturday in Arizona. Baker has been shut down until Dr. Gryzlo is able to determine the extent of the injury to his right elbow. Baker and the Cubs are hopeful this is just a normal set back associated with recovering from Tommy John Surgery.
Pat Hughes reported during Thursday night’s game that he spoke with Cubs’ pitching coach Chris Bosio about Jeff Samardzija following his outing in Las Vegas last Saturday. Bosio told Hughes that Jeff Samardzija is experimenting with a change-up this spring.