Jed Hoyer made it official on Thursday morning, Mike Olt and Ryan Kalish will be with the Cubs on Opening Day in Pittsburgh. With Olt and Kalish on the roster, barring a trade, the position player side of the roster is set for Opening Day.
According to the Tribune, the Cubs will start the season with a five-man rotation. The Cubs have not decided whether Carlos Villanueva or Chris Rusin will be the fifth starter. Once that decision is made, the three spots left in the bullpen will be determined. According to Bruce Miles, the Cubs will wait until after the two games at Chase Field (Friday and Saturday) before finalizing the pitching staff.
Chris Coghlan and Ryan Roberts have been informed they did not make the team. Coghlan will report to Triple-A Iowa. Roberts has an out in his contract and can either report to Triple-A Iowa or ask to be released.
Starlin Castro is expected to be ready to go on Opening Day, but if he is not able to start the Cubs could always play Darwin Barney at shortstop and Luis Valbuena could handle second base. Or Emilio Bonifacio could play second or short with Darwin Barney at the other position.
The Cubs will add John Baker, Ryan Kalish and Emilio Bonifacio to the 40-man roster. The Cubs have two spots open at this point and will gain a third when Kyuji Fujikawa is placed on the 60-day DL. The front office has not announced which DL that James McDonald will begin the season on and have not officially placed Jake Arrieta on the 15-day DL yet.
Jed Hoyer would not commit to Mike Olt being the Cubs’ everyday third baseman. Hoyer said that Rick Renteria would make that decision.
The 13 players on the Opening Day roster are as follows:
- Anthony Rizzo
- Darwin Barney
- Starlin Castro
- Mike Olt
- Luis Valbuena
- Emilio Bonifacio
- Nate Schierholtz
- Ryan Sweeney
- Ryan Kalish
- Junior Lake
- Justin Ruggiano
- Welington Castillo
- John Baker
The Cubs roster will be a work in progress throughout the season. With that said and to borrow a line from Theo Epstein, the first roster does have “cookies” on it with players that should be part of the Cubs’ future.