Chicago Cubs: Predicting how the postseason roster will shake out

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: A veteran-heavy starting rotation

On the hill, 11 pitchers will be broken down with four starters and starters relievers. The four starters are all locks as Cole Hamels, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana will definitely be on the roster if healthy. The relievers, however, only have four shoo-ins as we head into September: right-handers Carl Edwards Jr., Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop and current starter, but postseason-bullpen-bound lefty Mike Montgomery.

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Again, you’ll notice a big name not on that list as Brandon Morrow is currently still on the DL, but will most definitely be on the roster if “healthy.” I say “healthy” because Morrow has already stated he is just going to have to pitch through his soreness/pain for the rest of this season and will more than likely be back at some point in September.

Assuming Morrow rounds out the locks, that leaves us with two more relievers to add and we only have Monty as a lefty out of the pen, which means Joe will probably want them both to be lefties. Justin Wilson and Brian Duensing (if healthy) might be the winners in the roster musical chairs, but if they falter or can’t go in September, you’re looking at Jorge De La Rosa and Randy Rosario as your last two lefties out of the pen. All told, Wilson is clearly the front-runner here.

Or, you could end up seeing Drew Smyly, who just threw for the first time since 2016 the other night and struck out the side on 13 pitches in South Bend. This would most definitely depend on his health and whether or not he looks good against Major League hitters when he is activated in September.