Cubs Set Opening Day Roster

Baring a trade or an addition from outside of the organization, the front office and coaching staff has finalized the Cubs first roster of the 2014 season.

With the addition of Brian Schlitter on Saturday, the Cubs finalized the seven-man bullpen. Jose Veras will close out games with Pedro Strop beginning the season as the eighth inning man. James Russell will have company in fellow lefty Wesley Wright. And Hector Rondon, Justin Grimm and Brian Schlitter will start the season as the middle-men in the pen. Once Jake Arrieta is ready to pitch, Carlos Villanueva will be shifted to the pen, but for now he will start the season in the rotation.

Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson, Jason Hammel and Travis Wood begin the season as the first four starters. The order of the staff will change as the Cubs are committed to Samardzija, Jackson and Wood staying on a five-day routine. Villanueva is not scheduled to pitch until the sixth game of the season and will be available out of the pen during the Pirates series.

Welington Castillo and John Baker begin the season as the Cubs’ backstops with Emilio Bonifacio serving as the team’s utility man. Bonifacio figures to receive a lot of playing time at multiple positions as long as he is with the team.

The infield will start out with Anthony Rizzo, Darwin Barney, Starlin Castro and Mike Olt from first to third with Luis Valbuena receiving playing time at second and third base. Bonifacio will also see time at second, short and third base. Mike Olt could also see time at first base to give Rizzo a break against southpaws.

In the outfield, the Cubs start the season with Junior Lake, Nate Schierholtz, Ryan Sweeney, Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Kalish. Emilio Bonifacio will see time in center and in left field. Lake is expected to see a lot of playing time with Ruggiano getting at bats against lefties.

The Cubs open the year on Monday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh with Jeff Samardzija taking on Francisco Liriano and the Pirates.

The Opening Day roster has different pieces than the team that faced the Pirates last year for the first game of the year.

Cubs 2014 Opening Day Roster

* 2013 Opening Day Roster

Pitchers

Starting Rotation

  • Jeff Samardzija *
  • Edwin Jackson *
  • Jason Hammel
  • Travis Wood *
  • Carlos Villanueva *

Bullpen

  • Jose Veras
  • Pedro Strop
  • James Russell *
  • Wesley Wright
  • Hector Rondon *
  • Justin Grimm
  • Brian Schlitter
Catchers
  • Welington Castillo *
  • John Baker
Infielders
  • Anthony Rizzo *
  • Darwin Barney *
  • Starlin Castro *
  • Mike Olt
  • Luis Valbuena *
  • Emilio Bonifacio
Outfielders
  • Junior Lake
  • Ryan Sweeney
  • Nate Schierholtz *
  • Justin Ruggiano
  • Ryan Kalish

The Cubs still have to add Emilio Bonifacio, John Baker and Ryan Kalish to the 40-man roster. Before those three players can be added, Kyuji Fujikawa will have to be placed on the 60-day DL. The Cubs 40-man roster will stand at 40 players once the trio is added. The Cubs will place Jake Arrieta on the 15-day and have not announced which disabled list James McDonald will start the season on.

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax