The Cubs are discussing the construction of the 25-man roster for the National League Division Series that begins Friday, Oct. 7. The Cubs are not expected to announce the roster until at least the day before the first game. And the last few spots will likely be determined by the Cubs opponent in the NLDS.
Deadline for the NLDS roster to be submitted is the morning of the first game.
Joe Maddon told the beat writers Monday that the Cubs have discussed using a 12-man pitching staff in the NLDS but will likely stick with 11 pitchers. Chris Bosio has said publicly that he would like 13 pitchers on the 25-man roster. By all accounts the Cubs are leaning toward 11 pitchers and 14 position players.
The Cubs postseason rosters a year ago both had 11 pitchers and 14 position players.
“It’s probably going to be 11 and 14,” Maddon said. “Probably the optimal situation to be in.”
The Tribune reported that “barring a late development,” the Cubs will like have the following 11 pitchers on the NLDS roster:
- Jon Lester
- Kyle Hendricks
- Jake Arrieta
- John Lackey
- Aroldis Chapman
- Pedro Strop
- Hector Rondon
- Justin Grimm
- Carl Edwards Jr.
- Travis Wood
- Mike Montgomery
Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks are lined up for games one and two at Wrigley Field. Jake Arrieta and John Lackey, if necessary, would pitch games three and four on the road. If the NLDS returned to Wrigley for a game five, Lester would be starting on an extra day of rest.
Based on the Tribune’s report, Mike Montgomery would be the long-man and second lefty out of the pen along with Travis Wood. Jason Hammel is considered a “long shot” even if the Cubs carry a 12th pitcher on the active roster.
With the Cubs likely going with an 11-man staff, that would leave only a couple of spots on the 25-man roster that could be impacted by the opponent.
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell, Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, Miguel Montero, David Ross, Willson Contreras and Javier Baez are locks. It is hard to see Matt Szczur not being included. Jorge Soler should also be on the roster, but if he is still dealing with right side tightness, the lingering injury could open a spot for the Cubs to carry both Chris Coghlan and Tommy La Stella and Albert Almora Jr.
Maddon also said he plans to talk to Aroldis Chapman about using him in multiple innings during the postseason. Chapman prefers only one-inning and not four- or five-out save situations.
Maddon should also find out how he feels about being used earlier that in the ninth inning or a typical save situation. The game might dictate Chapman entering the game in the eighth inning or even possibly the seventh, the Cubs have to know if that is an option.
Maddon said he would not have any problems turning to Hector Rondon or Pedro Strop late in games with the Cubs leading if Chapman is not available.
It does not appear either Joe Smith or Rob Zastryzny are in the mix for the NLDS roster. If the Cubs are able to advance, both pitchers could play a role in the NLCS especially if the Cubs are facing the Dodgers.