Chicago Cubs Roster Projections 2.0: Who makes the Opening Day roster?
With just about a month left until the MLB season officially kicks off, one of the main questions that every fan base has is who will make up the official roster for their team. When it comes to the Chicago Cubs, there are a lot of questions as to who will actually make the 26-man roster come Opening Day.
With the Cubs having an extremely busy winter, a couple of 26-man spots have officially gone to other players. Meaning some players that we would normally expect to be on the 26-man, might actually end up starting the year in the minor leagues.
Today, I will break down position by position what I feel as if the Cubs will end up doing with their 26-man roster and who will ultimately be left off.
Infielders and Designated Hitter:
I think the infield is the position the most in question for the Cubs. While the Cubs are locked down in the middle infield, a lot of questions arise about who will take over the corner infield spots. While we have a pretty good idea of who will probably be at first and third opening day, it does not mean they are by any means a lock to keep that position.
Here are the seven players that I predict will make the opening day roster for the Cubs for the infield and designated hitter. Nico Hoerner, Dansby Swanson, Eric Hosmer, Trey Mancini, Patrick Wisdom, Nick Madrigal, Edwin Rios, and Zach McKinstry.
For Nick Madrigal, I think this third base change is legitimately something the Cubs want to have. The Cubs' worst position heading into the new year is third base and with Madrigal's spot being taken by Hoerner, it does make a little sense to try and force him over in that corner.
It also gives the Cubs the flexibility to mix and match if needed. If Hoerner ever needs a day off, Madrigal could fill in. It also gives a shot to legitimately compete for that third base role.
The Edwin Rios signing might be the most intriguing of the Cubs off-season. Rios has the power and potential to be a really good player, he just has not been able to live up to expectations in his young career thus far. I think the fact that Rios signed a major league deal shows that the Cubs will give him chances early on to prove himself.
I predict that Zach McKinstry will get the last spot for the infielders for the Cubs. McKinstry was acquired from the Dodgers' last trade deadline for Chris Martin. He had a small sample size with the Cubs but is another one of those players from the Dodgers that ultimately did not pan out like they would have liked.
I think the Cubs want to give McKinstry another chance because of the fact that he does not have minor-league options remaining.
I also think McKinstry could be their utility guy. He is a left-handed bat which the Cubs need and he can play just about any position in the field.