Cubs News Update: Rotation Ranked 3rd Best in MLB, Fowler and Arrieta Injury Updates, Opening Day Roster

Seven days left, my friends. I remember sitting in Wrigley Field on October 21, 2015, as the game against the Mets was coming to an end, I looked to the guy next to me and said, “this is the beginning of something very special.” The next several years are going to be epic and it all starts in seven days. Here’s your snapshot of the latest Chicago Cubs news:

  • Dexter Fowler, who left Sunday’s game early as a precaution due to tightness in his side, says he’s fine and there’s nothing to worry about. He’ll get an extra day of rest today since he’s not in the lineup against the Angels, but hopefully we’ll see him back in there before the team ships out of Arizona after Wednesday’s game.
  • Jake Arrieta threw 46 pitches on Sunday in a bullpen session and, afterward, pitching coach Chris Bosio said, “It’s one of the best bullpen sessions he’s thrown all year, everything went well.” Joe Maddon also commented saying, “It was like it [blister] never happened. I anticipate no problems, he’s fine, there’s nothing holding him back now.” Video interview from Cubs.com here.
  • Joe Maddon has released the not-so-secret opening day starting rotation for the Cubs. As expected, Jake will take the start on opening day. Next in line is Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks and, according to FanGraphs,┬áthe Cubs roster is the third best starting pitching lineup in all of baseball this year, behind only the Mets and the Dodgers. Those guys over at FanGraphs are pretty cool, don’t you think?
  • The final roster continues to be on hold pending the outcome of the Javier Baez thumb injury. You may recall that Javy jammed his left thumb on a head-first slide into first base on March 16, 2016, in a game against the Royals. According to ESPN (article here), Javy’s injury could open the door for Munenori Kawasaki to make the opening day roster if Baez starts the season on injured reserve.
  • Here’s the projected 25-man roster for the Cubs on opening day:

Starters

C: Miguel Montero

1B: Anthony Rizzo

2B: Ben Zobrist

SS: Addison Russell

3B: Kris Bryant

LF: Kyle Schwarber

CF: Dexter Fowler

RF: Jason Heyward

Bench

Javier Baez

Tommy La Stella

David Ross

Jorge Soler

Starting Rotation

Jake Arrieta

Jon Lester

John Lackey

Jason Hammel

Kyle Hendricks

Bullpen

Trevor Cahill

Adam Warren

Neil Ramirez

Clayton Richard

Travis Wood

Justin Grimm

Pedro Strop

Hector Rondon

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