SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- There's news this morning!
Jeff Samardzija is opening day pitcher . Followed by Wood, per Rick Renteria— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) March 14, 2014
This should surprise absolutely none of you. Despite the fact that Travis Wood had the better year in 2013, Jeff Samardzija was last year's Opening Day starter and had a good enough year to retain that spot.
Cubs' rotation for opening series in Pittsburgh: Samardzija, Wood, Jackson.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) March 14, 2014
Presumably, Hammel would then get the start in the home opener against Ryno's Phillies.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) March 14, 2014
Here's info on two more roster cuts:
#Cubs option Dallas Beeler to Triple-A Iowa, assign Marcus Hatley to Minor League camp— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 14, 2014
Again, this should not surprise you. Neither of these pitchers had any real chance of making the 25-man roster. Beeler will likely wind up in the rotation at Iowa, and Hatley, who is entering his seventh year in the organization, could be in the Iowa bullpen (where he finished 2013).
These moves leave 54 players in camp, which breaks down this way: 27 pitchers (seven non-roster invitees), five catchers (three non-roster invitees), 11 infielders (four non-roster invitees) and 11 outfielders (five non-roster invitees).
Extra players will be needed for the three split-squad days coming up Saturday, Sunday and Monday, after which I'd expect more cuts to be announced.