Cubs release INF Munenori Kawasaki … Return LHP Caleb Smith to Yankees … Assign INF Jemile Weeks and INF Chris Dominguez to minor league camp
The Cubs inched closer to finalizing the Opening Day roster Tuesday. The Cubs cut the Spring Training roster by four players, leaving only one competition as the exhibition season comes to an end.
The Cubs released INF Munenori Kawasaki, returned LHP Caleb Smith to the Yankees and assigned INF Jemile Weeks and INF Chris Dominguez to minor league camp. The Cubs’ spring roster officially stands at 27 players.
The Cubs released Kawasaki prior to Tuesday’s game with the Giants. The Cubs would like to re-sign Kawasaki to a minor league contract but wanted to give him the opportunity to land with another team.
As expected, the Cubs returned Rule 5 Draft pick Caleb Smith to the Yankees. The Brewers selected Smith in the Rule 5 Draft last December in a pre-arranged deal with the Cubs. Shortly after the draft, the Cubs acquired Smith from the Brewers for cash considerations.
Smith struggled this spring and was returned to the Yankees on Tuesday. Smith has already been assigned to minor league camp in the Yankees organization.
Veteran catcher Carlos Corporan remains on the Spring Training roster. Corporan will be reassigned to minor league camp shortly after the two game series is complete in Houston.
The Cubs have one more decision to make … keep Tommy La Stella on the active roster or option him to Triple-A Iowa in favor of OF Matt Szczur.
Cubs Spring Training Roster
- Jon Lester
- Jake Arrieta
- John Lackey
- Brett Anderson
- Kyle Hendricks
- Mike Montgomery
- Brian Duensing
- Carl Edwards Jr.
- Justin Grimm
- Hector Rondon
- Pedro Strop
- Koji Uehara
- Wade Davis
- Willson Contreras
- Miguel Montero
- Carlos Corporan
- Anthony Rizzo
- Kris Bryant
- Addison Russell
- Ben Zobrist
- Javier Baez
- Tommy La Stella
- Kyle Schwarber
- Jason Heyward
- Albert Almora Jr.
- Jon Jay
- Matt Szczur
The Cubs will begin the season with a 13-man pitching staff … five starters and eight relievers.
- Opening Day Rotation: Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, Brett Anderson, Kyle Hendricks
- Opening Day Bullpen: Mike Montgomery, Brian Duensing, Carl Edwards Jr., Justin Grimm, Hector Rondon, Koji Uehara, Pedro Strop, Wade Davis
- Catchers: Willson Contreras, Miguel Montero
- Infielders: Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Ben Zobrist, Javier Baez
- Outfielders: Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, Jon Jay, Albert Almora Jr.
The Cubs wrap up the Cactus League schedule on Wednesday with the last practice game in Arizona against the A’s. The Cubs have two games in Houston with the Astros on Thursday and Friday. Saturday is an off day. Joe Maddon’s team opens defense of the World Series Championship on Sunday night in St. Louis.