By the end of the day, the Cubs’ 25 man roster should be known. After meeting with general manager Jim Hendry and pitching coach Mark Riggins yesterday morning, manager Mike Quade is expected to make the last of batch of cuts this morning to get the roster down to 25.
Friday provided a lot of clarity to the Cubs 25 man roster as the pitching staff came into picture. To begin with the starting rotation, Quade as expected named Randy Wells as the fourth starter. The decision on the fifth starter is expected today and the battle is between Andrew Cashner and Carlos Silva.
Quade also announced yesterday that James Russell, Jeff Samardzija, and Cashner will be on the 25 man roster. However, Quade did not say whether Cashner will be the fifth starter or a reliever.
As for who will be the fifth starter, multiple reports came out yesterday suggesting that Andrew Cashner would be named the fifth starter over Carlos Silva and -now retired- Braden Looper. Both reports hinted to the idea that the Cubs are willing to absorb a lot of money to make Silva go away, or they will let him sit in the bullpen.
As of now, however, Carlos Silva is expected to make the 25 man roster. The Cubs have one last spot open in their bullpen and Silva appears to be the leading candidate for that spot, but both Casey Coleman and Marcus Mateo remain in the mix. Though, I would imagine that the Cubs would much rather have Coleman work on being a starting pitching at Triple A-Iowa instead of sitting in the bullpen. Marcus Mateo has looked very impressive this spring, but may fall victim to a numbers game considering Silva makes $11.5 million this season.
At this point, the Chicago Cubs need to rid themselves of Carlos Silva by any way possible. If the Cubs are truly intending to open the season with the best possible team, then that is a team that does not have Carlos Silva on it. Whether it be in his competition for a spot in the rotation or a spot in the bullpen, Silva has been outmatched by all the other candidates. There is no point to have Silva sit in the bullpen while collecting his $11.5 million this season without providing a major contribution to the team. It would be a waste of a roster spot that could be easily taken up by Mateo, or another rookie pitcher–Chris Carpenter, or Jay Jackson–that is bound for the majors this season.
Unlike the pitching staff, the position players are set. Wellington Castillo and Max Ramirez will probably be cut today, thus anointing Koyie Hill as the backup catcher.
Barring any last minute changes the following players will probably be cut today: Casey Coleman, Marcus Mateo, Max Ramirez, Wellington Castillo, and Jeff Stevens. With those five likely being optioned today and Braden Looper retiring, the Cubs’ 25 man roster will be set.