An early 26-man roster prediction ahead of Cubs spring training

Reviewing the list of NRIs and the 40-man roster to predict who will be on the Chicago Cubs' 26-man roster on Opening Day.

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Early roster prediction - The catchers

1. Yan Gomes

Bench: Miguel Amaya

It's pretty straightforward here. Gomes is in his final year with the Cubs and will likely start the season as the Cubs' main backstop, slowly giving way to Miguel Amaya to take the reins once he departs next offseason. Gomes has been a fantastic game-caller for the Cubs after Willson Contreras departed, and his offense was also clutch for the team. Amaya has shown flashes that he's nearly ready to take over, as he, too, can be solid both offensively and defensively for the Cubs.

As for the backups, you have Jorge Alfaro, who will be utilized if one of the two starters lands on the IL. He's likely the first man up if it happens, given his big-league experience. He won't be able to be optioned against once the Cubs no longer need him on the main roster, so I don't expect him to finish the years as a member of the Cubs organization if he does make it to the majors this year.

Both Moises Ballesteros and Pablo Aliendo are promising catching talents. Aliendo may make a case for the next man up after Alfaro if he succeeds in Triple-A before any roster moves that need to be made in-season. Ballesteros was narrowly left off MLB Pipelines' top 100 list and is the more promising of the two, but likely a year or two away from the show.