Chicago Cubs: If Baez isn’t healthy for Opening Day, who makes the roster?
The guys on the outside looking in
There are some non-roster invitees still in the big league camp for the Chicago Cubs who could potentially hold down Baez’s roster spot while he recovers from injury.
Peter Bourjos may end up being this year’s Leonys Martín. A good defensive outfielder and pinch runner. By not resigning Jon Jay or replacing him with a similar player the Cubs have one fewer outfielder capable of playing center field than they did last season. However, even without a Jon Jay they still have Albert Almora, Jason Heyward and Happ that can play center field.
Bourjos used to be viewed as such a great center fielder that when Mike Trout first came up to the majors, Bourjos stayed in center and Trout was moved to left field. But Bourjos has never hit exceptionally well. So he’s been bouncing around for several years.
At some point Bourjos may get called up from the minors. But not just to fill in the roster for Baez. If the Cubs wanted a defensive minded player on the bench there is a more of a need for a shortstop than an outfielder.
Everything that you can say about Bourjos you can say about Jacob Hannemann except Hannemann is younger and arguably still in the last stages of being considered a prospect (26 years old). Hannemann is a good defensive outfielder who can pinch run but doesn’t hit as well.
You might remember that last season Hannemann was claimed off of waivers by the Seattle Mariners when the Cubs needed to make room on the 40 man roster for Leonys Martín who the Cubs traded for from the Mariners. Then the Cubs claimed Hannemann off of waivers from the Mariners this offseason. So there is a strong transnational connection between these three defensive outfielders (Martín, Hannemann and Bourjos).