Chicago Cubs: Roster still holds some mystery to it

(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

As Spring Training kicks off, the Chicago Cubs roster is nearly set. While the roster battles are few, there are a couple of critical roles that have yet to be defined.

When Joe Madden himself claims that “save for one or two spots” (from Chicago Tribune, February 22) there are no significant position battles for the Cubs this spring, there isn’t much room for debate around the North Siders’ roster situation.

A team that has found themselves in the NL Championship Series for three years running shouldn’t have much roster upheaval to worry about, so any contention to the contrary would be disingenuous at best and woefully uninformed at worst.

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A quick peek

As Cubbies Crib’s own Nicholas Blazek recently discussed, there are some position battles that need to be settled for 2018. Beyond these battles for playing time, you can be sure that the spring will unearth some key, unexpected role players.

Let’s take a look at some of the down-roster position battles that could very well be affected by spring performances.

Present and accounted for

Currently, there are nine position players locked in to make the opening day Cubs roster. Ian Happ and Ben Zobrist join Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, and the starting infield from 2017.

On the mound, there are eleven arms that are all but guaranteed to make the team. This includes LHP Brian Duensing and reluctant swingman Mike Montgomery.

What remains are 42 players in camp fighting to occupy five roster spots (2 pitchers, 3 position players). Each of these five Cubs roster battles are worth paying attention to. It takes a full team to win a title, and role players are critical to that mission.