Chicago Cubs News: Matt Mervis among latest Spring Training Cuts
While the Chicago Cubs have yet to finalize their Opening Day roster, the team's latest round of Spring Training cuts provided some clarity.
Of the cuts that were announced by the Cubs on Thursday, there were four players in particular that were vying for a spot on the Major League roster to begin the season.
After hitting 36 home runs across three levels of the Cubs' minor league system last season, first base prospect Matt Mervis was eyeing a potential role with the Major League team to begin the season. The addition of veterans Trey Mancini and Eric Hosmer made it unlikely that Mervis would begin the season with the Cubs and the move on Thursday all but confirms he will begin the season with Triple-A Iowa.
Given the injury to right fielder Seiya Suzuki, both Nelson Velazquez and Ben DeLuzio were believed to be in consideration for making the Major League roster out of Spring Training. Even with the injury to Suzuki, neither Velazquez nor DeLuzio was in a position to receive consistent playing time at the Major League level. In the case of Velazquez, he is in need of consistent playing time and he will be able to have that with the Iowa Cubs. The moves on Thursday also reiterate the expectation that Mike Tauchman will be the Cubs' fourth outfielder to begin the season.
David Bote was among the hottest hitters of Spring Training for the Cubs but after being outrighted from the 40-man roster at the beginning of the off-season, Bote was facing an uphill climb to make the Major League roster. While Bote shouldn't be viewed as any player of consequence for the Cubs in 2023, there is a legitimate argument to be made that he should have the spot that Zach McKinstry currently occupies. McKinstry is out of minor-league options and is hitting below .100 this Spring. If those struggles transfer to the regular season, he may not be long for the Major League roster.