Cubs front office is finally getting serious about this roster

Chicago Cubs v Minnesota Twins
Chicago Cubs v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

The days of watching Eric Hosmer and Nick Madrigal beating worm burners into the ground every time they step into the batter's box are, at long last, a thing of the past. The Cubs front office made a series of long overdue roster moves in the last week or so that shows they're finally facing the music and making the tough calls needed to put this team in a spot to succeed.

Among those moves were the optioning of infielder Nick Madrigal and right-hander Hayden Wesneski to Triple-A Iowa and designating veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer for assignment (and subsequently releasing him on Friday morning).

Cubs have been making some long overdue roster moves of late

Wesneski, who won the final spot in the starting rotation out of spring training, was wildly inconsistent for Chicago - and got torched by left-handed hitters (1.028 OPS). He's working on ironing out the kinks with Iowa and, hopefully, he'll wind up playing a role for the Cubs again this season, whether that be out of the rotation or the bullpen.

Hosmer's roster spot was constantly defended by the front office and manager David Ross because of his veteran presence in the clubhouse. But the Cubs finally got to the point where his complete lack of offensive production was too glaring to ignore, handing the first base job to Matt Mervis.

With the emergence of utilityman Christopher Morel and a need for most positional flexibility, the Cubs sent Madrigal down to Triple-A on Thursday to clear a roster spot for Kyle Hendricks and opting to keep Miles Mastrobuoni on the roster instead. With Cody Bellinger still sidelined, having a guy who can play on the infield or in the outfield gives Ross added flexibility on his bench.

"We’re trying to set up the right processes every single day to go out and make good decisions and put players in the right spot to succeed. We have really good players and putting them in the spots to succeed is my job. So I try to do the best I can with a lot of help from my great coaching staff. I love our front office. They do a lot to support me and help me continue to grow in this job

David Ross, via The Athletic

There's no question Madrigal, a former first-round pick, has failed to live up to the hype since coming to the Cubs in the Craig Kimbrel trade with the White Sox. Chicago tried to find ways to get him regular at-bats, but even when he was in the lineup, he never added much with the bat. Hopefully he can tap back into what made him such a highly-regarded prospect at one point because what we've seen from him hasn't made me think he's worth a 26-man roster spot.

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The Cubs dug themselves a hole in the last month-plus and it's a climb to get back to where they need to be approaching the All-Star Break, especially if they want to avoid being sellers for a third consecutive summer. But these roster moves are an encouraging sign and at least give the team a more finished roster to try to make a run with.