Javy Baez to open season on DL as Cubs settle on 25-man roster

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The Cubs’ Javy Baez will start the season on the DL. (AP)

MESA, Ariz. — Joe Maddon settled on his 25-man roster Tuesday, saying the Cubs will place utilityman Javy Baez on the disabled list with a bruised left thumb.

They’ll start the season with only four bench hitters, including infielder Tommy La Stella and outfielder Matt Szczur. Right-handed reliever Neil Ramirez — who, like Szczur, is out of minor-league options — will be the team’s 13th pitcher.

Baez hasn’t played in a game since March 20; he jammed his thumb sliding into first base March 16.

“That’s the kinda stuff that, if you permit it to linger, it can,” Maddon said.

Baez, whose DL stint will be retroactive to March 25, could return as soon as the Cubs’ first homestand, April 11.

“He hasn’t had at-bats,” Maddon said. “He needs at-bats. He needs to play. We’re gonna get him in the outfield this way. We’re not comfortable that it is 100 percent well. So let’s just make it 100 percent well, then bring him back up.”

The Cubs’ roster will look like this in Monday’s opener:

Starting pitchers: RHP Jake Arrieta, LHP Jon Lester, RHP John Lackey, RHP Jason Hammel, RHP Kyle Hendricks.

Bullpen: RHP Hector Rondon, RHP Pedro Strop, RHP Justin Grimm, RHP Adam Warren, RHP Trevor Cahill, LHP Travis Wood, LHP Clayton Richard, Ramirez.

Catchers: Miguel Montero, David Ross, Kyle Schwarber (also LF).

Infielders: 1B Anthony Rizzo, 2B Ben Zobrist, 3B Kris Bryant, SS Addison Russell, 2B/3B La Stella

Outfielders: Jason Heyward, Dexter Fowler, Jorge Soler, Szczur

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley

Email:pfinley@suntimes.com

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