Cubs announce Opening Day roster, put three on injured list

The Opening Day roster features 14 pitchers and 14 position players.

SHARE Cubs announce Opening Day roster, put three on injured list
Pitcher Alec Mills will start the season on the Cubs’ injured list.

Pitcher Alec Mills will start the season on the Cubs’ injured list.

Matt York/AP

Cubs outfielder Rafael Ortega made his major-league debut a decade ago. He has played for five big-league clubs in the time since. But Thursday was his first time on an Opening Day roster.

“It feels unbelievable,” Ortega said. “I feel so happy right now. I have been fighting for this for years and years.”

First baseman Alfonso Rivas got his first shot in the big leagues with the Cubs last season, playing 18 games late in the year. He, too, broke camp with the major-league squad.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “You just feel the energy, the happiness of each guy in here, excited for the season. It’s a really good, cool feeling to be a part of.”

The Cubs announced their 28-man roster Thursday morning, hours before they opened the season against the Brewers at Wrigley Field. The list included nine players making an MLB Opening Day roster for the first time in their careers, including five pitchers, star addition Seiya Suzuki and 2021 Rookie of the Year candidate Patrick Wisdom.

As the Cubs announced their roster, they also put three players on the 10-day injured list: left-hander Wade Miley (left elbow inflammation) and shortstop Andrelton Simmons (right shoulder inflammation), who were dealing with injuries in the final weeks of camp, and Alec Mills (low back strain). All three are retroactive to April 4.

“A lot of precaution here,” manager David Ross said of Mills’ injury. “Had some low back tightness a couple days before he threw [on Tuesday] after a bullpen. Felt it loosen up a little bit to make his outing and got done, and it just wasn’t very good.”

Through April, pitchers are still eligible for the 10-day IL, rather than the 15-day. Mills is expected to spend a minimum stint on the IL, so he could return as early as next Thursday.

The Cubs, who are carrying 14 position players, broke camp with all six outfielders vying for spots on the roster. In the infield, Rivas takes Simmons’ spot, providing depth at first base and even in the outfield if needed.

“To be honest, I really believe in the group that we have right now,” catcher Willson Contreras said, despite low expectations for the club. “Like I told them in the meeting, they’re here for a reason. They earned their spot, and if the front office chose them to be here, it’s because they can do something special.”

Here’s the full 28-man roster:

PITCHERS (14)

RHP Marcus Stroman,

LHP Drew Smyly

RHP Ethan Roberts

RHP Kyle Hendricks

LHP Justin Steele

RHP David Robertson

RHP Jesse Chavez

LHP Daniel Norris

RHP Rowan Wick

RHP Scott Effross

RHP Chris Martin

RHP Michael Rucker

RHP Mychal Givens

RHP Keegan Thompson

INFIELDERS (6)

2B Nick Madrigal

SS Nico Hoerner

3B Patrick Wisdom

1B Frank Schwindel

3B/2B/SS Jonathan Villar

1B/OF Alfonso Rivas

OUTFIELDERS (6)

Ian Happ

Jason Heyward

Seiya Suzuki

Michael Hermosillo

Rafael Ortega

Clint Frazier

CATCHERS (2)

Willson Contreras

Yan Gomes

The Latest
It’s a frustrating, unsatisfying time to be a baseball fan in Chicago no matter where your allegiance lies.
Before a downsized version of the Maxwell Street Market reopens at its original home near UIC’s campus, we asked Sun-Times readers to share their memories of what made the old market such a great place.
Weeks after hammering out a deal with to rein in cost overruns, Mayor Brandon Johnson on Tuesday joined the architectural team led by Skidmore Owings & Merrill in unveiling the design, inspired by the orchards that once stood where O’Hare is now.
Victoria Moreno, 35, faces counts of murder, aggravated battery and kidnapping charges after authorities said she threw Josiah Brown into the water on Sept. 19, 2022 and watched him sink without trying to help.
With trillions of red-eyed bugs here for a few weeks, furiously mating and laying the groundwork for the next generation, you have to wonder what humans are here for.