Chicago Cubs bubble roster projections: Who are the last 3 in, last 3 out?
With Opening Day only a little over a week away, the 26-man roster is rapidly shaping up for the Chicago Cubs. More cuts came recently in Caleb Kilian, Jeremiah Estrada, Bailey Horn, Nick Neidert, and Eric Stout. Over the next few days, we can expect the next wave of imminent cuts that are on the way, and we will have more clarification of which players on the bubble will make the roster and which will begin the year in Triple-A Iowa. Let's get right into it, starting with the last three players we believe will make the cut.
Chicago Cubs bubble roster, last 3 in - 3. Edwin Rios
Although he is only batting .194 in Spring Training, Edwin Rios is the left-handed power hitter the Cubs are certainly considering for Opening Day. Of his six hits, three are home runs, and he's driven in 5 RBIs in his 31 ABs. We've always known that Rios is a power hitter, given his .273 ISO. For 2023, ZiPS projections have him listed for a slash of .216/.283/.435 with 17 HRs and 52 RBIs. The batting average, you hope, will be higher than that projection, but if Rios can manage the 17/52 from the bottom third of the order, it makes sense to keep him on the 26-man roster.
In 2022, Rios did manage a slash of .244/.293/.500 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs, albeit in a small sample of 86 at-bats. He should be a regular in the lineup against right-handed pitchers if he can maintain anything close to those numbers. I expect to see him in the lineup against sinker ballers, notably where he slashed .364/.417/.909, with a .400 BABIP and .545 ISO in 11 ABs in 2022.