The Cubs announced their 50-man Summer Camp roster on Sunday night.
We’re just days from the first Cubs workouts as Major League Baseball works toward its long-anticipated return in late July. On Sunday, we got our first taste of non-negotiation related baseball news in some time, with several teams announcing their 2020 Summer Camp rosters.
Teams can include up to 60 players on their roster – but the Cubs announced just 50, leaving off some names that were pretty widely expected to be on there, including Zack Short, Hernan Perez, Tyson Miller, Justin Steele, Cory Abbott and Manny Rodriguez. Now, given those 10 empty spots are there, we could see all of these guys added to the mix – but for now, they’re on the outside looking in.
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Before we delve into the big league roster, let’s take a look at the South Bend mix. In terms of prospects, this list is headlined by left-hander Brailyn Marquez, outfielder Brennen Davis and catcher Miguel Amaya. Now, I doubt we see any of those three at Wrigley Field this summer, but it’ll be interesting to keep tabs on that trio in the weeks and months to come.
There’s a lot to keep in mind as the July 1 report date approaches. By the time Opening Day hits on July 23-24, the big league roster will need to be trimmed down to 30 with further reductions coming shortly thereafter. After two weeks, rosters drop to 28 – and two weeks after that, they’re trimmed to 26 with the potential to add a 27th on doubleheader days.
Now, we’ll see how things pare down as camp progresses at Wrigley Field in July. I fully anticipate the team opening the regular season carrying three catchers, especially given the implementation of the DH in the NL. You could definitely see Willson Contreras and/or Victor Caratini getting some reps in the role to keep them fresh. Josh Phegley looks like the likeliest candidate to serve as the third catcher in my mind, but we’ll see how it shakes out.
Looking at the position player mix, there’s a lot to like. I know the Cubs finished third and missed the postseason in 2019, but I still really like this group and what they’re capable of. For me, it’ll all come down to pitching – which really isn’t anything new for this club.
The rotation will likely feature the same guys we saw for much of last season: Yu Darvish, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood. We could, at least in theory, see David Ross utilizing a six-man rotation given the fairly brief ramp-up period pitchers will have to get ready for the season.
Sunday’s news wasn’t anything earth-shattering. We all know that. But, man, it felt good to be able to sink our teeth into some actual Cubs-related news after a lengthy stretch void of anything besides the battle between the league and the MLBPA. More to come soon.