Chicago Cubs News: Zach McKinstry traded, Christopher Morel to AAA, and more
The Chicago Cubs 26-man roster continues to come into focus as the team approaches Opening Day on Thursday as the team had already made some roster decisions earlier on Monday and now, more moves have been completed as the team has traded utility infielder Zach McKinstry to the Detroit Tigers.
After struggling to find offensive success with the Cubs in the second half of the 2022 season, McKinstry's struggles continued in Spring Training and was reaching a point to where he was facing an uphill climb in regard to making the Major League roster. McKinstry is out of minor-league options and there wasn't a clear path to him remaining with the Cubs' organization.
Carrying three catchers has become somewhat of a norm for the Cubs under manager David Ross so it is not too much of a surprise that Luis Torrens is expected to make the Opening Day roster. With the ability to play first, second and third base, it seems likely that Torrens will serve in the same role that P.J. Higgins had with the team in 2022. Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic had noted that the Cubs did not want to risk losing Torrens' bat if he did not make the Major League team.
Utility infielder Miles Mastrobuoni has had a great Spring with the Cubs and that has allowed the team to be comfortable with Christopher Morel beginning the season with Triple-A Iowa. Morel hit under .200 in the second half of the 2022 season and having the opportunity to play everyday will be the best for his development in the long-run.
Michael Rucker had emerged as a favorite for Ross in the Cubs' bullpen during the 2022 season and it is no real surprise to see him take one of the final spots in the 2023 bullpen to begin the season.
Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Rowan Wick has cleared waivers and has been outrighted.
The outright of Wick does open a spot on the Cubs' 40-man roster. Mark Leiter Jr is expected to be a part of the bullpen to begin the season and would need to be added to the 40-man roster beforehand.