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Cubs reduce spring roster to 31 players

With three days until Opening Day, that means there are just three players here who won’t be with the team when the season starts.

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs reassigned five players to Triple-A Iowa Monday afternoon, all non-roster invitees: Right-handed pitchers Jonathan Holder and Robert Gsellman, left-handed pitchers Steven Brault and Stephen Gonsalves and infielder Ildemaro Vargas.

Brault hasn’t pitched this spring and could start the year on Iowa’s injured list.

That leaves 31 players in camp. Thursday for the opener against the Brewers, there will be 28 players on the active roster. That’ll be reduced to 26 on May 2.

Here are the 31 currently active players. So now you can guess which three won’t make it. (I’ll make my picks at the bottom of this article.)

Pitchers (16)

Jesse Chavez, Scott Effross, Mychal Givens, Kyle Hendricks, Chris Martin, Wade Miley, Alec Mills, Daniel Norris, Ethan Roberts, David Robertson, Michael Rucker, Drew Smyly, Justin Steele, Marcus Stroman, Keegan Thompson, Rowan Wick

Catchers (2)

Willson Contreras, Yan Gomes

Infielders (7)

Nico Hoerner, Nick Madrigal, Alfonso Rivas, Frank Schwindel, Andrelton Simmons, Jonathan Villar, Patrick Wisdom

Outfielders (6)

Clint Frazier, Ian Happ, Michael Hermosillo, Jason Heyward, Rafael Ortega, Seiya Suzuki

My feeling is that the Cubs should keep 14 pitchers and 14 position players. But, David Ross and the front office might go with 15 pitchers. If so, Wade Miley probably starts the year on the IL and everyone else listed sticks around. If 14, either Michael Rucker or Ethan Roberts gets optioned.

Beyond that, I’d think Andrelton Simmons also starts the year on the IL and that would leave 14 position players. Beyond that, Alfonso Rivas can be optioned if they want to go with only 13 position players.

That’s how I see it. Your turn!