If I were putting together the Cubs’ Division Series roster, here’s who I’d choose. Joe Maddon, quite possibly, won’t agree with me and will make some different selections. You might as well.
Starters: Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana
Bullpen: Wade Davis, Pedro Strop, Brian Duensing, Carl Edwards Jr., Mike Montgomery, Hector Rondon, John Lackey
One of the Cubs’ five starters is going to have to sit in this series, and I think it’ll be John Lackey. You could make a case for Jon Lester sitting out this series, because his performance lately has not been good. Between the two, Lackey seems more likely to be adaptable to bullpen work.
Justin Wilson? He’s just not been good, not at all. Every once in a while he has a decent outing, but it’s not good enough for this roster, I don’t think.
Justin Grimm? Sorry, old friend... not this year. Koji Uehara, who has significant postseason and World Series experience, appears not to be healthy.
Willson Contreras, Alex Avila, Rene Rivera
This is just my opinion, remember. But in 2016, the Cubs carried three catchers on the postseason roster. Granted, that was because Lester needed David Ross as his personal catcher, and that’s not the case now. But carrying an extra catcher would give Joe Maddon the flexibility to use Avila as a pinch-hitter, or possibly even play Contreras in left field if needed.
Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist, Tommy La Stella
There shouldn’t be any doubt or question about any of these choices.
Albert Almora Jr., Jon Jay, Jason Heyward, Ian Happ, Kyle Schwarber
Again, these are all no-brainers. The only difference among position players might be carrying Leonys Martin as a defensive replacement/pinch-runner instead of having Rivera as a third catcher.
Now, it’s your turn. Also, coming up at 1 p.m. CT today, an article discussing who should be the Game 1 starter vs. the Nats.