Cubs set roster; still fine-tuning Opening Day lineup
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ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Cubs officially set their 25-man roster for the season a day before the opener Sunday, with no surprises.
But Monday’s opening lineup has not been settled, manager Joe Maddon said – and, in fact, might wind up including a surprise.
“I’ve still got one more thing left. Of course, I can’t do it today,” he said, “but it still may be a little bit different tomorrow.”
It’s expected to look a lot like Sunday’s final exhibition lineup, but possibly with the Nos. 3 and 5 hitters switched.
“It could be that, or it could be somebody else, involved, too,” said Maddon, apparently musing over the possibility raised Friday, that he could use lefty-hitting Tommy La Stella as the DH – or even at third base, with Kris Bryant moving to left field, and Kyle Schwarber as the DH.
Right-hander Garrett Richards starts for the Angels against the Cubs in Monday’s opener.
Maddon did the Bryant-in-left, La Stella-at-third version with the same pitcher, Jake Arrieta, on the mound in the Cubs’ wild-card playoff victory over Pittsburgh last fall.
Sunday’s lineup vs. RH Matt Schoemaker:
CF Dexter Fowler
RF Jason Heyward
3B Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
2B Ben Zobrist
LF Kyle Schwarber
DH Jorge Soler
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
(RHP Kyle Hendricks)
The Cubs’ Opening Day roster:
Starting pitchers (5): RH Jake Arrieta, LH Jon Lester, RH John Lackey, RH Jason Hammel, RH Kyle Hendricks.
Relief pitchers (8): RH Hector Rondon, RH Pedro Strop, RH Justin Grimm, RH Neil Ramirez, RH Trevor Cahill, RH Adam Warren, LH Travis Wood, LH Clayton Richard.
Catchers (3): Miguel Montero, David Ross, C/LF Kyle Schwarber
Infielders (5): 1B Anthony Rizzo, 2B Ben Zobrist, 3B Kris Bryant, SS Addison Russell, 2B/3B Tommy La Stella.
Outfielders (4): LF/RF Jorge Soler, CF Dexter Fowler, RF Jason Heyward, OF Matt Szczur.
Note: IF/OF Javy Baez (thumb) is on the 15-day DL and expected to join the roster when the Cubs return to Wrigley Field for the April 11 home opener.