It’s that magical time of year once again when the MLB regular season comes to an end and playoff baseball begins. Every team left standing has a shot at a world championship, meaning the Chicago Cubs are just one winning streak away from becoming back-to-back World Series Champions. Before the first pitch of the first game is even thrown, the Cubs must determine their playoff roster. Let’s jump in and make our best-educated predictions.
The starting rotation for the Cubs might be one of the biggest X-factors that could determine their success rate in this year’s playoffs. Loaded with talent, this group has been plagued with injuries and mishaps for the better part of 2017. They have shown a drastic uptick in play down the stretch that should bode well for Chicago. With Arrieta dealing with a hamstring injury, expect the starters for games one through three to be Lester, Hendricks and Quintana in that order.
This is a very interesting situation for Chicago. The Cubs have a lot of unproven names mixed with more proven commodities such as Davis and Strop. We’re betting on Wilson to get the call here over the likes of someone like Justin Grimm or Rob Zastryzny. However, nothing would surprise us at this point in the Chicago bullpen.
|Carl Edwards Jr.|
Last year the Chicago Cubs carried three catchers in David Ross, Miguel Montero and Contreras. While Rene Rivera has been great for the team since his arrival in August, the team simply has too many other areas with question marks to be afforded the luxury of a third catcher.
This group really is not rocket science. Each of these players is a lock for the roster barring some unforeseen circumstances. The real question here is where guys like La Stella and Zobrist will see the most playing time.
|Tommy La Stella|
Finally, we have the outfielders, a group with a strong mix of veteran leadership and young, explosive talent. Schwarber and Happ can rake with the best of them and Heyward is an elite level defender. Much like the infielders, the real question is where Joe Maddon will line everyone up at.
|Albert Almora Jr.|
Maddon will meet Wednesday with pitching coach Chris Bosio and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein to discuss the rotation. We should have answers that afternoon. The big roster reveal might take a little longer though as the Cubs don’t have to announce that until Friday morning, the day of Game 1.