Predicting the 25 - KMOV.com

Predicting the 25

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(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) By David Banks (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) By David Banks

ST. LOUIS, Mo.-- Predicting the Cubs final 25 roster is nearly impossible.  Pitchers will come down with sore arms, or worse, Tommy John arms.  Hitters will inevitably pull a hammy, and head to the DL.  Kris Bryant faces Super Two.  Some players still have minor league options, and some don't.  Wellington Castillo will be traded......or maybe he won't.  Mike Olt will tear up camp.......or maybe he won't.  Regardless, let's give it our best shot to see who breaks camp in six weeks.

 

STARTING PITCHERS

 

Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, Kyle Hendricks, Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson.  We're going to go with six starters here, just in case someone gets hurt, and the reality that the Cubs are stuck with Jackson's contract.  None of these pitchers projects as a reliever, although Jackson will get stuck there unless he can beat out Wood for the fifth spot.

 

RELIEF PITCHERS

 

Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Neil Ramirez, Jason Motte, Justin Grimm, Felix Dubront. The right side of the pen looks set, with Dubront the only lefty heading north.  That could change if Dubront farces his way into the rotation ahead of Wood.  In that case, the Cubs would have to find another lefty, and it's as likely that player is currently on somebody else's team.

 

CATCHERS

 

Miguel Montero and David Ross.  It's possible, but doubtful that the Cubs could go with three catchers and carry Castillo.  The much more likely scenario is he is traded, and probably not until the end of camp, when somebody else has a problem.

 

INFIELDERS

 

Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Starlin Castro, Arismendy Alcantara, Mike Olt, Tommy LaStella.  This list might look different than most.  I'm assuming Alcantara gets the third base gig until Bryant comes up in May, with Olt getting his chance to fail one last time.  But if Bryant is killing it in Mesa, he might force the Cubs hand.  LaStella is an under the radar player they traded for, and like.  At 26, I don't think they brought him in to play at Iowa.

 

OUTFIELDERS

 

Chris Coghlan, Chris Denorfia, Dexter Fowler, Jorge Soler, Matt Szczur.  Szczur is the surprise pick here over Junior Lake.  He projects as a better defender that can play all fields, and gives the Cubs some speed off the bench.
 
About the author: Bob Cyphers has 35 years experience as a journalist in newspaper, radio and television.  Sadly, he has even more experience as a die-hard, heartbroken, beaten down Cub fan.  And although he promises that his beloved Cubs, as Ernie Banks predicted, will be "Supreme in 2015," deep down Bob understands that life, and the Cubbies, offers no guarantees. 
 

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