Jed Hoyer announced the good news today for two Cubs players.
Olt and Kalish make the team, per Hoyer— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) March 27, 2014
Of course, with good news for some comes bad news for others.
Which means that Chris Coghlan will start the season in Iowa and Ryan Roberts has the option of reporting to Iowa or asking for his release and becoming a free agent.
For both Kalish and Olt, these moves are a bit of redemption. Both were once highly-regarded prospects who saw their careers derailed by injuries. For Olt, it was the well-known vision problems that developed after a beaning in the Dominican Republic in November of 2012. It was that injury that turned Olt from an untouchable prospect in the Rangers system in 2012 when the Cubs dealt Ryan Dempster to Texas to someone who became just one of a package of players traded for Matt Garza in 2013.
For Kalish, his road to Fenway Park was derailed by a series of neck and shoulder surgeries that has cost him most of the past three seasons. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took a chance on the former top five prospect in the Red Sox system and it now looks like that decision has paid off.
Chris Coghlan is someone who has never repeated his Rookie of the Year campaign of 2009, but who signed with the Cubs as a free agent this offseason in hopes of becoming a fourth outfielder. He wasn't terrible this spring, but he was simply outplayed by Kalish, who is also younger and has more upside.
Ryan Roberts was signed as a free agent this offseason and was expected to compete for the third baseman job with Luis Valbuena. He did that, but the job was always going to be Olt's to win in spring training if Olt could prove his problems were behind him. Olt did that, so Roberts, an eight-year major league veteran, was no longer needed. I expect that he won't have too much trouble hooking on with a new team, since his defensive versatility makes him a good bench player. But on the Cubs, his job already belonged to Luis Valbuena.
With these moves, the opening day roster for position players is now set, barring a last-minute injury or trade.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Cubs&src=hash">#Cubs</a> position players: Castillo, Baker, Rizzo, Barney, Castro, Valbuena, Olt, Schierholtz, Sweeney, Lake, Ruggiano, Kalish, Bonifacio</p>— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) <a href="https://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat/statuses/449242582896238592">March 27, 2014</a></blockquote>
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The Cubs have not made a final decision on the pitching staff for the opening day roster yet.