Mar 29, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria (16) watches game action from the dugout against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Cubs 2014 Season Preview: Cubs Finalize 25-Man Roster


In anticipation for their season-opening game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, the Chicago Cubs finalized their 25-man roster on Sunday.

In a slew of moves on Sunday, the Cubs have set there 25-man roster.

Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa is not ready to return after undergoing Tommy John surgery last season. Fujikawa was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday. Fujikawa was supposed to be a prominent reliever for the Cubs during the 2013 season. However, after an unproductive start in 2013, Fujikawa was shelved after it was discovered that he needed Tommy John surgery. With relievers Pedro Strop, James Russell and Jose Veras at the tail-end of the Cubs bullpen, Fujikawa likely will not be as an important piece to the Cubs bullpen as he was at the start of 2013.

Along with Fujikawa, prospective fifth starter Jake Arrieta was also placed on the 15-day disabled list. Arrieta was believed to be on the inside track of making the Cubs starting rotation before issues with his shoulder arose. Arrieta has been dealing with Shoulder inflammation throughout Spring Training and is not yet ready to pitch in a Major League game. Carlos Villanueva is currently tabbed as the Cubs fifth starter, though, Villanueva may just be holding the spot until Arrieta is healthy.

In order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the Cubs placed veteran pitcher James McDonald on the 60-day disabled list. McDonald was signed by the Cubs in the off-season as an insurance policy for the starting rotation. McDonald will not be eligible to come off of the disabled list until late May. Though, McDonald likely will be ticketed for Iowa once healthy.

Catcher John Baker, utility man Emilio Bonifacio, outfielder Ryan Kalish, and relief pitcher Brian Schlitter were all added to the 40-man roster on Sunday. Baker will be the primary backup to Cubs’ catcher Welington Castillo. Bonifacio will likely push Darwin Barney for playing time at the second base position and the same can be said about Kalish in right field with Nate Schierholtz. Schlitter will serve as a middle reliever in the Cubs bullpen.

At last, here is a look at the Cubs 25-man roster,

Catcher

  1. Welington Castillo
  2. John Baker

First Baseman 

  1. Anthony Rizzo

Second Basemen

  1. Darwin Barney
  2. Emilio Bonifacio

Third Base

  1. Mike Olt
  2. Luis Valbuena

Shortstop

  1. Starlin Castro

Outfield

  1. Junior Lake
  2. Ryan Sweeney
  3. Nate Schierholtz
  4. Ryan Kalish
  5. Justin Ruggiano

Pitching Staff

  1. Jeff Samardzija
  2. Edwin Jackson
  3. Jason Hammel
  4. Travis Wood
  5. Carlos Villanueva
  6. Hector Rondon
  7. Justin Grimm
  8. Wesley Wright
  9. Pedro Strop
  10. James Russell
  11. Brian Schlitter
  12. Jose Veras

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