3 Chicago Cubs minor league players who could be on the playoff roster

The postseason is on sight for the Chicago Cubs, but there are still a few players off of their roster who could be brought aboard for a run.
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Playoff baseball is in sight for the Chicago Cubs. Following Tuesday night's win over the San Francisco Giants, the Northsiders have a nearly 90 percent chance of making it into the dance by Baseball Reference's measure. It's time to start thinking about optimizing the roster for the postseason ahead.

While there shouldn't be seismic shifts in terms of who'll be appearing in October for the Cubs, there are players off of the roster who have a case to be made for being in the dugout. Current rules state that any players in the organization and on the 40-man roster or 60-day IL before September 1 are playoff eligible, meaning they can't simply pull up anyone they want. The options available, however, are worthy of discussion and have the potential to force their way into the dance if things go right.

Let's take a look at three of the most likely options, including a couple of returning players and one prospect who could be an upgrade down the stretch.

#3: Matt Mervis

For an extra bat that would be postseason-eligible, one of the best choices at the moment would be first baseman Matt Mervis. The slugging lefty came up earlier this year after lighting up the minors and left a lot to be desired. He struck out at a 32.3 percent clip and slashed an abysmal .167/.242/.289 in his 27 games with the club. His solid barrel rate, hard hit percentage, and exit velocities were encouraging signs that he was capable of more, however.

Since being sent back down to Iowa, he's largely continued what he was doing before the call-up. He's hit .274/.393/.500 since his return on June 16 with 12 home runs to show for his efforts. In the month of August, his strikeout rate ballooned to 29.6 percent in Triple-A and his batting average has been a bit less impressive, though he's still managed a .893 OPS with eight homers in the month. He's also undergone some swing adjustments which explain why he's remained in the minors.

Mervis is possibly the longest realistic shot to make the postseason roster of the three here. He'd have to come up and prove he's worth a spot over a fringe guy on the Cubs like Miles Mastrobuoni or go scorched Earth in the minors to the point that it prompts some questions. With the talent he's displayed, however, it's not out of the realm of possibility. By the time the playoffs roll around, he could very well have made a case for himself to be on the bench in the wild-card round.