Wells sent to minors, Samardzija in rotation as Cubs nearly set rosterContinue reading.
Cubs to set most of roster Wednesday
Cubs executives and field staff plan to meet after Wednesday’s game and settle on most of their Opening Day roster.
“We’ll pretty much get everything, probably 95 percent, finished,” said Sveum, who expects to have the rotation and position-player roster set, including the closely contested backup catcher opening.
“I’m not going to sit here and etch it in stone,” he said when asked about the catcher battle between Welington Castillo (who caught Matt Garza in Tuesday’s start) and Steve Clevenger. “But guys have to know, and the team has to get going, because, remember, if you let people know on Thursday, that leaves basically five days to get to play and do things the way we’re going to do them during the season.”
The Cubs still have 40 players in camp, an enormous number for a week left.
The bullpen appears to have only one opening left after veteran right-hander Shawn Camp was signed over the weekend following his release from Seattle. Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood, Rafael Dolis and James Russell also are in, along with a long man who falls from the rotation battle (likely Randy Wells).
Sveum said Wells is scheduled to pitch an inning or two Wednesday against Cleveland and then start Sunday against the Angels.
Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo, recently acquired former Brewer Frankie de la Cruz, veteran Manny Corpas and prospect Blake Parker – all right-handers – are in the mix for the last spot.
Either way, it leaves the Cubs with one lefty in the pen (Russell) and one lefty in the rotation (Paul Maholm).
Sveum said that doesn’t mean he would plan to use Russell any differently, or anticipate him having to account for a disproportionately big workload.
“There’s a good chance he could be the only left-hander in the bullpen,” he said. “You just use him to the advantage of helping you win every single night or keeping you in a ballgame, and whatever those innings [totals] or appearances end up being will be dictated by how we’re playing and how many close games we’re in.”