Chicago Cubs: Will Eddie Butler be part of the Opening Day roster?

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Eddie Butler
MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Eddie Butler /

With the final spots looming, the Chicago Cubs have decided to go with Pedro Strop and Eddie Butler to round out the bullpen.

The Chicago Cubs have a few last minute decisions to make regarding the bullpen. First, Pedro Strop who didn’t make his debut until last Thursday. He’s thrown a few times since then and appears to be on his way to the Cubs roster. The other is Eddie Butler, and his destination is a little more cloudy than Strop. But it appears that Butler has made the cut, according to Sahadev Sharma. 

Butler had a so-so spring for the Cubs, going 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA in 15 innings pitched. These aren’t incredible numbers, but considering he’s out of options, that may have played in his favor. Butler may take the role of the long man, allowing Mike Montgomery to shift into more of a “starter” role, even if Joe Maddon doesn’t call him that.

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Coming off a good year

For Butler, last season was by far his best in the majors. He went 4-3 with a 3.95 ERA in 54 2/3 innings. He lowered his WHIP and H/9, while also doing a better job of keeping the ball in the park. But let’s be honest.

The Cubs are holding on to Butler as long as they can for depth at starter. He doesn’t fit the reliever role quite as well, and how Maddon is going to use him is a mystery.

The prevailing thought was that if Strop wasn’t able to go Opening Day, Butler would get the spot. Shae Simmons and Justin Hancock were also up for the role.

But it would appear the Cubs would rather not chance running Butler through waivers. So in turn, they’re going to hold on to him.

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It’s not a terrible gamble for the Cubs decide to hang on to him. You can never have enough pitching. And starting pitching is a place that the Cubs are somewhat deficient. At least at the major league ready level. So the Cubs will have to go with this and see how it ends up.

I guess that Butler ends up on the Opening Day roster, at least for the time being. If the Cubs need to make a move and he’s blocking it, that’s a chance they’ll have to take.