We’re beginning to near that hallowed date when pitchers and catchers report for duty in Mesa, AZ. The Cubs need to break camp with 12 guys on their staff cause that’s the way Lou likes it. That being said, what are your thoughts on who the Cubs should break camp with? Keep in mind that when you make your decisions, there a number of things to consider (i.e. Options remaining, Rule 5 regulations, 40 Man roster rules, etc.)

Here is a list of the current options that the Cubs have to choose from. Listed below is pitchers on the 40 man roster and non-roster pitchers who have been invited to compete for a spot in spring training. I’ve included some notes to ponder next to some of the names. Remember a few things:

  1. If you add a player that was invited to compete, but isn’t on the 40 man roster, he has to be added to the 40 man roster before opening day. That means someone on the roster must clear waivers or be released to be removed. Releasing a player means the Cubs pay the balance of his contract up front (not popular). If he’s claimed via waivers, the Cubs have no recourse, they simply lose the player.
  2. If a player is out of options, he has to make the opening day roster or clear waivers to be sent down.
  3. If you choose to not add a rule five pick to the opening day roster, he must be offered back to his original team.
  4. Your team should include 12 pitchers, because that’s the number Lou likes to carry.

40 Man Roster Guys

  • J. Ascanio
  • Neal Cotts – He must approve an option to the minors
  • Ryan Dempster*
  • Scott Eyre*
  • Sean Gallagher
  • Angel Guzman
  • Adam Harben
  • Kevin Hart
  • Rich Hill
  • Bobby Howry*
  • Tim Lahey – Rule 5 pick
  • Jon Lieber*
  • Ted Lilly*
  • Carlos Marmol
  • Jason Marquis*
  • Sean Marshall
  • Juan Mateo
  • Billy Petrick
  • Carmen Pignatiello
  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Kerry Wood*
  • Michael Wuertz – He must approve an option to the minors
  • Carlos Zambrano*

* = Out of Minor League Options

Non-Roster Invitees

  • Ed Campusano
  • Geoff Jones
  • Les Walrond
  • Esmailin Caridad
  • Jose Ceda
  • Chad Fox
  • Mike Smith
  • Shingo Takatsu

Joe’s Pitching Staff

1. Carlos Zambrano – SP
2. Ted Lilly – SP
3. Rich Hill – SP
4. John Lieber – SP
5. Sean Marshall – SP

6. Ryan Dempster – MR
7. Scott Eyre – MR
8. Kerry Wood – MR
9. Bobby Howry – MR
10. Carlos Marmol – MR
11. Jason Marquis – MR
12. Michael Wuertz – MR

There really isn’t much decision for the team to make with the pitching staff. Leaving Kevin Hart off the roster was tough, but it comes down to not having a spot available for him as of right now. I also seriously considered Jose Ceda, but his experience kept him off. Tim Lahey just doesn’t have enough to warrant keeping him. I’d send him back to Tampa Bay, because we’re not going to use him. Neal Cotts was the only tough decision for me. I think he’ll approve the move to the minors, but that’s assuming he doesn’t shine in the spring. Assuming that, I ask him to sharpen up in Iowa with the promise that he’s the first one recalled if he shows something. If he doesn’t approve the demotion, then I think you have to let him test the waiver system.

Now that we have the pitching staff done, we’ll take some time to look over the position players on Thursday. That’s when it gets a little hairy.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail