Chicago Cubs: If Baez isn’t healthy for Opening Day, who makes the roster?

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

Already going to be “full-up” at pitcher

Sometimes when a position player is injured the team will use that roster spot as an opportunity to put an extra pitcher on the roster. The Cubs are not going to do that in this situation. The Cubs are already projected to carry 13 pitchers and only 12 hitters on the Opening Day 25 man roster. In essence, they already were planning on carrying an extra pitcher on the roster.

If they used Baez’s DL stint as an opportunity to delay losing Eddie Butler (who is out of minor league options), that would leave the Cubs with just three hitters on the bench. One of those would be a backup catcher. Even with all the position flexibility that players such as Zobrist, Ian Happ and Kris Bryant offer that is just too few hitters to have a viable bench.

No, if the Cubs are going to hang onto Butler or begin the season with an extra lefty in the bullpen such as Dario Álvarez or Randy Rosario, it is going to take an injury on the pitching staff to allow that to happen. And if there is an injury to someone on the pitching staff (such as Pedro Strop’s slow recovery from a sore calf) we may see the opposite. The Cubs may fill an injured pitcher’s roster spot by calling up an extra position player.