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Adbert Alzolay has made the Cubs Opening Day roster and will be in the rotation

And other Opening Day roster thoughts and news.`

Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Adbert Alzolay has been on the cusp of becoming a major-league starting pitcher for some time, after being in the Cubs organization since 2013.

He’s 26 years old and is kind of at the “now or never” time of his career.

He threw very well against what was essentially the Dodgers’ Opening Day lineup Thursday evening. Perhaps that’s what made manager David Ross and the front office make this decision Saturday:

That’s after Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and Zach Davies start the three-game series against the Pirate at Wrigley Field. (Incidentally, that means both Davies and Williams will, for the time being at least, miss facing their former teams, the Brewers and Pirates respectively.)


So, that would probably make the Opening Day pitching staff as follows:

Starters: Hendricks, Arrieta, Davies, Williams, Alzolay

Relievers: Craig Kimbrel, Brandon Workman, Dan Winkler, Ryan Tepera, Jason Adam, Andrew Chafin, Alec Mills and...

Well, Ross has previously indicated he might want a second lefthander in the pen. Of the 12 pitchers listed above, Chafin is the only lefty.

So that would possibly indicate that Rex Brothers, who has had a good spring, will make the team.

That would leave Dillon Maples on the outside looking in. We’ve been over Maples here many times, he’s a very polarizing figure. Everyone’s got an opinion about him, whether good or bad. I, personally, would like to see him stick around. If the Cubs decide to keep Brothers, Maples could be designated for assignment or traded, because they’d need a 40-man roster spot for Brothers.

They will need at least two other 40-man spots, for Eric Sogard, who is expected to make the team, and Matt Duffy, who the brass likes and who also is very likely to make the Opening Day roster. There is currently one 40-man spot open and the team can free up another one by placing Rowan Wick (who won’t be ready for a while) on the 60-day injured list.

This tweet hints that Maples might make the team:

Now, looking at that tweet and the other one from Bastian above (stating that Mills opens the year in the pen), it would appear that Maples is odd-man-out. But who knows? Maybe Mills gets traded before Opening Day.

Regarding P.J. Higgins, it might be that the team thinks Austin Romine might be ready by Thursday. Or, maybe they’re scanning the waiver wire for catchers. Higgins can hit, but defensively I think he leaves something to be desired. There’s a reason he’s 28 and has never played in the big leagues. I do not think Miguel Amaya will be promoted, as Jed Hoyer indicated before spring training began that they did not want Amaya to be in the major leagues to begin the season.

As always, we await developments.