PHOENIX — The Cubs finalized their opening pitching staff Friday with no surprises. Lefty Travis Wood gets the lone rotation opening and is slotted fourth, his season debut Friday in Colorado. Edwin Jackson goes to the bullpen.
The Cubs don’t plan to use early off days to skip a starter. The five-man order: Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, Wood and Kyle Hendricks.
Left-hander Drake Britton was optioned to AAA Iowa Friday as the Cubs finalized the 12-man staff.
The Cubs were waiting Friday night to see how left fielder Chris Coghlan (neck) fared in pregame work before making the final calls on their last two bench spots – a decision that could go into Sunday because of roster and contract considerations.
Coghlan said before heading to the field that he was fine and expected to be ready to play Sunday.
Three remain in the mix for the two spots: infielder Jonathan Herrera (who would add a second backup infielder), outfielder Matt Szczur (who has contract options left) and outfielder Ryan Sweeney (who’s in the second year of a two-year contract and has been shopped this spring).
Outfielder Chris Denorfia (hamstring) will open on the disabled list, Maddon said, adding that Denorfia is close to full strength.