Mike Olt and Ryan Kalish Make Cubs Opening Day Roster

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.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old." - George Burns
Share on Fancred
  • Tony_H

    I wish the Opening Day game wasn’t against a LH. But I expect them to have this Opening Day lineup.

    1. Bonifacio LF
    2. Castro SS
    3. Rizzo 1B
    4. Ruggiano RF
    5. Lake CF
    6. Olt 3B
    7. Castillo C
    8. Barney 2B

  • Tony_H

    And I expect this to be Game 2 against a RH

    1 Bonifacio 2B
    2 Kalish LF
    3 Rizzo 1B
    4 Schierholtz RF
    5 Lake CF
    6 Olt 3B
    7 Castro SS
    8 Castillo C

    Of course both lineups are based on the current 25 man roster. I still think a trade will happen before Opening Day.

    • cubtex

      Castro 7th? He is the best hitter on the team

      • Ripsnorter1

        Rizzo batting 3rd.

      • Tony_H

        I don’t think with Boni and Kalish he will bat 1/2/ They may slot him into 3rd and move everyone down if they want to get him more AB’s. But to say he is the best hitter after last year is tough.

        This is Games 1 and 2. I expect Olt to move up to 4th eventually this year.

        • cubtex

          Castro will not hit 7th with this group. I am pretty sure about that.

          • Tony_H

            Maybe the lineup is better than you think :)

          • cubtex

            we will see but he is the best hitter on the team. Who else is capable of hitting .300 with 200 hits? Nobody.

          • Tony_H

            I could see this lineup once everything settles and Castro is back to being Castro with no hammy issues.

            1. Bonifacio 2B
            2 Kalish LF
            3 Castro SS
            4 Rizzo 1B
            5 Olt 3B
            6 Schierholtz RF
            7 Lake CF
            8 Castillo C

          • cubtex

            Unless Barney is traded he will be in the lineup more often than not. I still think they need to trade Schierholtz.

          • Tony_H

            I agree and think so to. Maybe that is what I meant by everything settles. But, I think Renteria loves Bonifacio and will play him 5 times a week somewhere, if not 6 times a week.

          • cubtex

            The speed factor would definitely help since they don’t have a good middle of the order lineup

          • Tony_H

            You just can’t help yourself, even when you say something positive, the negative line follows right behind. I think this offense will be better than you think. (not sure if that is all that hard to be better than what you think they will do)

          • cubtex

            It’s the truth. Sorry if you can’t see that. Who in their right mind would think a Rizzo, Schierholtz and Olt 3,4,5 would work?

          • Tony_H

            We will see over the next 6 months how they actually do.

          • JasonPen

            I’m thinking Bonifacio gets used in a Ben Zobrist role… He’ll be an everyday player, just at a different spot daily.

          • VBCubs

            I like that one as much as the one I was thinking of

            1 Bonifacio 2B
            2 Castro SS
            3 Rizzo 1B
            4 Olt 3B
            5 Schierholtz RF
            6 Lake CF
            7 Kalish LF
            8 Castillo C

          • Tony_H

            I like it . I think if Kalish has the OBP I think he will, he needs to be at the top of the order.

          • triple

            Yes, Castro is the best hitter on the team… at least I certainly hope he returns to being our best hitter. However, with the limited action he’s gotten this spring, it may not be a bad idea to keep him in the back of the order to limit his action running the bases while he’s playing in cold weather over the first couple weeks. It’s safe to say that his first week or two will be his spring training. And besides, he may surprise us in the back of the lineup and be able to knock some more runs in if some of these guys ahead of him are actually getting on base!

          • Ripsnorter1

            How many runs do you predict for the Cubs to score in 2014?

          • Tony_H

            650-670 range

        • Tony_H

          Plus for a lineup to be used more often it is not very balanced L/R as all the LH hitters bat 1-4 and the RH’s bat 5-8.

    • Chris K.

      I agree that there should be a trade, but I don’t think its happening.

      • Tony_H

        I agree it is unlikely, but many teams add a waiver wire or small trade right before Opening Day. Barney and Schierholtz fit the mold for the type of player.

        • Ripsnorter1

          If the Cubs waived them, they could be picked up by someone. Esp. Schierholtz.

          • Tony_H

            They are not going to waive either one. Both players would be claimed on waivers, which if the goal was to get rid of them and not have to pay them, that would be the way. But I think both can return a decent prospect.

          • Ripsnorter1

            You and I know that Barney is the everyday 2B. I don’t get the Barney love. Can’t hit. Can’t run. .303 slugging in 2013. That’s SLUGGING. LOL

            His glove is overrated. Just ask Brandon Phillips.

          • Tony_H

            I don’t think his glove is overrated, but it is not enough to overcome that bat. I think Bonifacio and even Valbuena will slowly take away starts at 2B until they finally trade him.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I’d bench Barney and let Valbuena start. Get the taters. Get some offense. Probably improve the double play as well.

          • Tony_H

            You are not an unbiased person on this subject anymore. I have corrupted you with fantasy baseball :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Naw.

            He had the 6th worst offensive season in the history of MLB for a starting 2B in 2013. It didn’t take the world greatest PR man to convince me to bench his hide. : )

            BTW, I heard through the grapevine that ice sales to Alaskan Eskimos is way up this year. Did you start a new job selling ice to eskimos?

          • Tony_H

            LOL!

            I was talking about you wanting Valbuena to get more starts.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I got that….: )

          • Ripsnorter1

            I will say this with a sincere heart and a straight face:

            If I ever need someone to sell anything, I’d hire you. You are the Mike Trout of PR men!

          • Tony_H

            I am available for another week :)

  • Pingback: Mike Olt and Ryan Kalish Make Cubs Opening Day Roster - Cubs Chronicles

  • Tony_H

    Seeing that the roster is even 6 LH bats, 6 RH bats and 1 Switch hitter. Very balanced.

    • Ripsnorter1

      LOL

      • Tony_H

        A point was made the other day that Coghlan would make the team because they were mostly RH on the bench.

        Right now the bench is
        Bonifacio (S)
        Valbuena (L)
        Sweeney (L)
        Ruggiano (R)
        Baker (L)

      • jtrain23

        Now Rip. Tony didn’t say good…he just said balanced, lol.

        • Tony_H

          I was going to add that, but thought, NAW, everybody would understand that…..

          • jtrain23

            You would think so. Hey, maybe they will be good, at least when compared to last year. I see a few guys that have more OBP potential, which would definitely help this anemic offense. Positive thinking, guys!

        • Ripsnorter1

          I was laughing at the PR slant.

          • Tony_H

            I do charge extra for lines like that.
            Called going above and beyond the call of duty!

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            They’ll be much improved.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Do you think the Cubs will make the playoffs in 2014?

            Will the Cubs be at least .500?

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Don’t think it’s probable they make playoffs. But I detailed lat night th scenario where Olt, Coghlan and Kalish all excel. Rizzo, Castillo and Castro all improve. Starting pitching stays similar with Arietta finally getting to his potential. Vizcaino rolling triple digits and bullpen being one of the better around. If all of those things happen or some traded offs here and there with say Bonifacio having an all star season I think they coul denim playoff hunt. I do not think it is probable but it is possible. If they make playoffs I will be as shocked as most but not stunned silly. I give their chances at .500 to be 50/50.

            At very least there should be some fun individual performances by young players coming up and improving. The Olt’s and Kalish’s, Baez’s and Bryant’s. I think that will be fun.

            Cmon Rip, I believe you want to be excited as much as me. Cut the cord to your insistence on doubt and give them a chance. There is potential so jump on the bandwagon of potential!

          • Ripsnorter1

            It will likely take 88 wins to make the playoffs.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Olt? It’ll be fun to see if he can hit MLB pitching.

            Castro? I have an interest in seeing whether or not he’s been ruined forever by Team Theo’s efforts to remake him after their image.

            Rizzo? I have an interest in seeing if he can overcome his sophomore slump and be a genuine everyday 1B.

            Kalish? Let’s see if he can hit ML pitching and run the bases as a “Boardrider Scoring Machine!”

            Lake? Yeah. Let’s see if he is real.

            Ruggiano? Can he have a career year in 2014? Inquiring minds want to know.

            Barney? Cannot get the least bit excited about this one.

            Schierholtz? He’s going to fall off of the table and hit .222.

            Sweeney? Please explain to me again why he is on our team.

            That’s how I see the lineup for 2014. Not quite playoffs ready.

          • Tony_H

            No one is talking playoffs but you.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Boardride just said it is possible in his post above. He also said I should get on the bandwagon of potential.
            So I just gave him my viewpoint of potential.

          • Tony_H

            Potential to be a much more fun season. Playoffs!! I will channel my inner Jim Mora. Playoffs! You talking about Playoffs, you kidding me Playoffs, I’m just hoping we can win a game.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7fjDS0jKiE

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            you mentioned playoffs it’s Rip. As if unless they go there is nothing to be excited about. And no I not expect it, but if a lot of things go or way is it out of the realm of possibility? Absolutely not. I out the odds at 10%. But I out odds of 500 at 50/50.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I think Schierholtz will be better than last year. And yes, Lake and Rizzo and others will be fun. Not to mention Coghlan, Bryant, Baez, Vizcaino and others coming up.

            Did trying to improve Castro’s OBP hurt him? Sure, I’ll yield that. But he had gone downhil the ear before on his own and he had off the field and other problems. Can’t just blame te coaches because they tried to help him improve after his sophomore slump.

          • JasonPen

            I think Barney will get off to a fast start and get traded just in time for Baez’s clock to be favorable…

          • JasonPen

            I think they hover just below .500 until its time to unload just before the deadline. With our division, a near .500 team will be way back in 4th place in late June.

  • Tony_H

    I had mentioned this before, but I think Renteria is going to channel his inner Joe Maddon with lineup construction this year. No one can out do Joe at his own game, but I bet we see many different lineups this year.

    Only Castro and Rizzo should get over 150 starts.

    • jtrain23

      I think Junior Lake will get a lot of at bats this year as well. He will definitely have full time at bats, at least in the first half of the year. He is getting every chance to prove what he is or isn’t this year.

      • Tony_H

        I agree. Lake, Olt, Kalish could all get close if they keep performing. But just one day off EOW puts you below 150 games. That is why I didn’t include him, as I think all 3, even if the everyday starters, will sit against the elite pitchers when the matchup is R/R and L/L.

        • jtrain23

          Yeah. I would pleased to see those guys in the 120-130 start window which would probably put them at around 450-500 plate appearances.

          That would shield their weaknesses while still giving a pretty good sample size of what they can really accomplish.

  • Tony_H

    Ryan Roberts chose FA over going to Iowa.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    According to Patrick Mooney and Jon Heyman, Ryan Roberts has opted out of his Cubs’ contract.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Start the youth movement. Congrats to Olt and Kalish. Two pieces potentially of the ” core,” have arrived.

    • Tony_H

      Check out what I posted on the Talking Live for today.

  • Ripken Boy

    Opening Day Line-up should be:
    Bonofacio: 2b
    Castro: SS
    Rizzo: 1B
    Olt: 3B
    Scherholz: RF
    Lake: CF
    Sweeney: LF
    Castillo: C

    • Tony_H

      They are facing Liriano. No way Schierholtz and Sweeney are both in the lineup and likely neither.

  • Pingback: Awesome Articles For Cubs Fans For March 27, 2014 | Chicago Cubs Dugout Online | Chicago Cubs Blog

  • Pingback: Cubs Release Ryan Roberts, Reassign Chris Coghlan to Minor League Camp - Chicago Cubs Online