(670 The Score) After naming right-hander Hayden Wesneski as their No. 5 starter, the Cubs also have a set plan for right-hander Javier Assad, who impressed with his performance for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic recently.
Assad will make the Cubs' roster for Opening Day while working in a bullpen role, manager David Ross told reporters at the team's spring training camp in Arizona in Monday.
The 25-year-old Assad was competing with Wesneski and right-hander Adrian Sampson for a spot in the Cubs' rotation. Sampson was recently optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
Assad made his MLB debut with the Cubs in 2022, when he was 2-2 with a 3.11 ERA in 37 2/3 innings across eight starts. He has allowed two earned runs over seven innings in Cactus League action this spring.
“He’s been really, really good, proving that last year wasn’t just a flash in the pan," Cubs general manager Carter Hawkins said on the Parkins & Spiegel Show last week. "His velocity is up. He’s commanding the ball really well. He’s throwing some great off-speed stuff and then certainly is doing it on the big stage. So at the end of the day, we’re really excited about him. It looks like he’s going to have a good chance to impact us.”
On Monday, the Cubs also assigned outfielder Mike Tauchman and left-hander Roenis Elias to minor league camp. Their roster now stands at 37.
The Cubs open the regular season Thursday, when they host the Brewers at Wrigley Field.
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