Practice is Over: Cubs Ready For Opening Day (VIDEOS)

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The big news for today is that the Chicago Cubs have finalized their Opening Day roster:

With lingering concerns over Brian Duensing‘s back spasms, the Cubs placed the reliever on the 10-day disabled list to start the season and will break camp with both outfielder Matt Szczur and infielder Tommy La Stella on their 25-man roster, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein announced Wednesday ahead of the team’s final spring game in Arizona.

This is bad news for Duensing, who should have been the second lefty out of the Cubs bullpen to complement Mike Montgomery, but obviously good news for both Szczur and La Stella.  And it is also good news for those of you who voted overwhelmingly for Szczur, even though both guys have legitimate claims to a bench spot on this roster.

Theo Epstein had this to say:

And the man on the bubble, Matt Szczur, was appreciative of the opportunity.

The Cubs will play exhibition games in the newly renovated Minute Maid Park against the Houston Astros to end the week before heading to St. Louis to open the season against the Cardinals and their new acquisition, Dexter Fowler.  There are a few cool shots of MMP after they razed Tal’s Hill and put in new center field concessions:

In the final tuneup game, many regulars rested or were pulled from the game by the fifth inning.  Kyle Schwarber homered twice, Albert Almora added his own grand slam, and the Cubs generally went into Gashouse Gorillas mode.

Unfortunately, John Lackey had a very rough fourth inning where every ball just found a hole and didn’t finish the frame.  The Cubs offense would bail him out, but of course spring training is just practice so it doesn’t matter.

Oh right, the roster!  Cubs.com doesn’t officially list Duensing as on the 10-day disabled list (down from 15, so he should be back a little sooner assuming it’s just a nagging thing).  The Cubs most likely did their homework prior to this, as we have heard that MLB is going to crack down on phantom DL stints.

Pitchers

Starters

Relievers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Should be tons of fun this year, and remember…this won’t be the same group of guys we see in October for any number of reasons.  We have another Dreamcast planned for just before Opening Day, but you can check out our previous efforts here.

 

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About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

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