3 Cubs players who won't be on the roster by May

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3 Cubs players who won't be on the roster by May: #2 - Javier Assad

Depth is everything - and the Cubs have done a nice job assembling that on the pitching side of things. With a rotation filled by the likes of Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele, Jameson Taillon, Drew Smyly and Hayden Wesneski, WBC standout Javier Assad has been pushed into the bullpen mix for the time being.

Even with Kyle Hendricks working his way back from injury, it wouldn't shock me to see the Cubs send Assad to Iowa to get him stretched back out for added rotation depth. Keegan Thompson has the long relief role on lockdown and being able to slot Assad in for spot starts throughout the course of the year could help keep guys fresh down the stretch.

Of course, Assad's 2023 season got off to a bumpy start last weekend when, after a clean, efficient first inning of work, David Ross sent him back out for a second frame and the wheels kind of came off against the Brewers. But a strong 2022 performance, paired with added velocity this winter, makes it clear that the 25-year-old right-hander has a role to play on the team moving forward.