A look at Cubs 25-man roster

A look at Cubs 25-man roster
March 30, 2013, 7:30 pm
Share This Post

The Cubs are waiting for reinforcements, hoping Matt Garza (lat) and Scott Baker (elbow) can join the rotation before it’s too late, wondering if Ian Stewart (quad) will get healthy and finally prove he’s an everyday third baseman. They absolutely need to get off to a good start if they want to make this an interesting summer.

The Cubs will keep monitoring the waiver wire, looking to see if a better option comes along for the final bench job and/or the last spot in the bullpen. But barring any last-minute changes – and depending on how Darwin Barney’s knee responds – this will be the group when they open their 138th regular season on Monday in Pittsburgh:


No. 53 Welington Castillo
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 5-10  |  Wt: 210
Age: 25   |  Service Time: 1.009

After gaining the trust of the pitchers and coaching staff, this could be a building-block piece if he stays healthy enough to show off the rocket arm that put him in the 2008 Futures Game and on the prospects-to-watch lists.

No. 30 Dioner Navarro
Bats: S  |  Throws: R
Ht: 5-9  |  Wt: 205
Age: 29   |  Service Time: 6.091

Veteran spent the offseason working out with 2010 National League MVP/former Reds teammate Joey Votto, trying to regain the form that made him an All-Star in 2008.


No. 44 Anthony Rizzo
Bats: L  |  Throws: L
Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 240
Age: 23   |  Service Time: 0.168

A Cinderella run with Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic should have prepared him for what the Cubs project will be a breakout season: 30 homers, 100 RBI and Gold Glove-caliber defense.

No. 15 Darwin Barney
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 5-10  |  Wt: 186
Age: 27  |  Service Time: 2.053

Gold Glove second baseman reportedly needed stitches after banging his knee chasing a foul ball during Saturday’s 6-3 exhibition loss in Houston. He has turned himself into a potential core player and clubhouse leader, bringing the intangibles that come with winning a state championship in high school and back-to-back College World Series titles at Oregon State University.

No. 13 Starlin Castro
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 5-10  |  Wt: 190
Age: 23   |  Service Time: 2.150

All-Star shortstop already has 529 hits in the big leagues, which could put him on the path toward Cooperstown if he keeps producing, the defensive focus sharpens and the rebuilding plan comes together at Clark and Addison.

No. 24 Luis Valbuena
Bats: L  |  Throws: R
Ht: 5-10  |  Wt: 170
Age: 27   |  Service Time: 2.148

Claimed off waivers just before Opening Day last year, he has become one of manager Dale Sveum’s favorites, a smooth defender at third base, where the Cubs will struggle to generate enough production.  

No. 20 Brent Lillibridge
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 5-11  |  Wt: 185
Age: 29   |  Service Time: 3.115

Former White Sox utility guy is able to play all over the infield and outfield, meaning he’ll get plenty of opportunities in the National League.

No. 51 Steve Clevenger
Bats: L  |  Throws: R
Ht: 6-0  |  Wt: 195
Age: 26   |  Service Time: 1.010

Pinch-hitter/utility guy/third catcher is hoping his bubble doesn’t burst as the front office explores outside options for the final bench piece.


No. 12 Alfonso Soriano
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 6-1  |  Wt: 195
Age: 37   |  Service Time: 12.079

The most popular/respected player in the clubhouse has hit at least 20 homers in 11 straight seasons and is in no hurry to waive his no-trade rights, believing this team can exceed expectations. Another day in The Show, babe.

No. 9 David DeJesus
Bats: L  |  Throws: L
Ht: 5-11  |  Wt: 192
Age: 33   |  Service Time: 8.146

Steady veteran has been a good influence on younger players and became an on-base presence (.350) at the top of the order last season. He would probably be a better fit in right field at this point in his career but will play center, perhaps until Brett Jackson is ready.

No. 19 Nate Schierholtz
Bats: L  |  Throws: R
Ht: 6-2  |  Wt: 215
Age: 29   |  Service Time: 4.078

Turned down multi-year offers and interest from contenders to get regular playing time on the North Side. He will receive his second World Series ring from the Giants sometime this season.

No. 21 Scott Hairston
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 6-0  |  Wt: 204
Age: 32   |  Service Time: 7.102

Third-generation big-leaguer hit 20 homers in 377 at-bats with the Mets last season. Grew up a White Sox fan in Naperville but remembers going to watch Sammy Sosa from the Wrigley Field bleachers.

No. 17 Dave Sappelt
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 5-9  |  Wt: 193
Age: 26   |  Service Time: 0.086

Nicknamed “Mighty Mite” by Dusty Baker, he was Cincinnati’s minor league player of the year and Southern League MVP in 2010.


No. 29 Jeff Samardzija
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 6-5  |  Wt: 225
Age: 28  |  Service Time: 3.028

Anything less than 200 innings would be a disappointment for the Opening Day starter, who could be next in line for a contract extension with another breakthrough season.

No. 36 Edwin Jackson
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 208
Age: 29  |  Service Time: 7.070

The $52 million man finally has a home after pitching for seven different teams. The front office drew up a four-year deal after being sold on his durability – he’s made at least 30 starts in each of the past six seasons.

No. 37 Travis Wood
Bats: R  |  Throws: L
Ht: 5-11  |  Wt: 175
Age: 26   |  Service Time: 2.004

Key piece in the Sean Marshall trade appears more comfortable after coming over from Reds and should build off his finish to last season (6-13, 4.22 ERA, 156 innings).

No. 46 Scott Feldman
Bats: L  |  Throws: R
Ht: 6-7  |  Wt: 230
Age: 30  |  Service Time: 6.091

Looking to regain the form that helped him win 17 games for the Rangers in 2009 and use his one-year platform to show he can be a legitimate starter again.

No. 33 Carlos Villanueva
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 6-2  |  Wt: 215
Age: 29   |  Service Time: 6.030

Influential voice in the Major League Baseball Players Association will get chances to start over the course of his two-year, $10 million contract and prove he’s more than just a swingman.


No. 49 Carlos Marmol
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 6-2  |  Wt: 215
Age: 30   |  Service Time: 6.084

It would be a major surprise if the $9.8 million closer isn’t traded by the July 31 deadline. The Cubs hope to create value off a short-term asset and would love to see him repeat his second half to last season (1.52 ERA).  

No. 11 Kyuji Fujikawa
Bats: L  |  Throws: R
Ht: 6-0  |  Wt: 190
Age: 32   |  Service Time: 0.000

The Japanese closer-in-waiting saved 219 games for the Hanshin Tigers and helped his country win the World Baseball Classic twice. Viewed as potential longer-term piece in this rebuilding project.

No. 54 Shawn Camp
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 6-0  |  Wt: 205
Age: 37   |  Service Time: 7.170

Tied for the major-league lead with 80 relief appearances last season with that “rubber arm.” Ideally, the Cubs won’t be looking at a middle reliever as their MVP this season. Proven in the American League East.

No. 40 James Russell
Bats: L  |  Throws: L
Ht: 6-4  |  Wt: 200
Age: 27   |  Service Time: 3.000

Free spirit grew up watching his father Jeff pitch in the big leagues. He has established himself as a nice bullpen piece (7-1, 3.25 ERA, 77 appearances last season).

No. 28 Michael Bowden
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 215
Age: 26   |  Service Time: 1.084

Waubonsie Valley High School graduate came home and may have turned a corner near the end of last season, posting a 1.33 ERA in his final 20 games after never settling into a good role within the Red Sox organization.

No. 56 Hector Rondon
Bats: R  |  Throws: R
Ht: 6-3  |  Wt: 180
Age: 25   |  Service Time: 0.000

Rule 5 pick has missed most of the last three seasons while dealing with elbow issues. A front office willing to take on medical risks hopes to see the potential that made him Cleveland’s minor league pitcher of the year in 2009.

No. 47 Hisanori Takahashi
Bats: L  |  Throws: L
Ht: 5-10  |  Wt: 180
Age: 37   |  Service Time: 3.000

Another bubble player waiting for the official word that he’s made the team (unless the Cubs find an extra bullpen arm they like more).