Cubs close to finalizing 25-man roster

Cubs close to finalizing 25-man roster

MESA, Ariz. -- It's time for the Cubs to pick the final 25.

Manager Dale Sveum, general manager Jed Hoyer and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein will be among the decision makers after Wednesday's game, as the Cubs finalize their 25-man roster.

The openings to be determined include naming a backup catcher between Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger, finalizing the bullpen and settling on the rotation.

Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Paul Maholm are set as starters and Chris Volstad appears to have secured a spot. Sveum would not reveal the rest of the rotation yet. Jeff Samardzija started Wednesday against the Indians and his performance will influence the final decision.

"Performance is everything," Sveum said Wednesday. "We have decisions to make tonight and part of his performance today will have something to do with those decisions."

Samardzija was roughed up in his last outing against the Rockies, giving up seven runs on 10 hits over four innings. Sveum said Randy Wells, who will start Sunday against the Angels, and Rodrigo Lopez, who faced the Indians on Sunday, are also contenders for a spot in the rotation.

"We're just going to make our decisions tonight and see where we go with it," Sveum said. "We've got to make a decision on the long man as well and that's as much of a priority. We have 22 or 21 guys who are pretty much decided and we'll spend hopefully not more than four hours on the other four guys.

"Some people are attached to somebody and that means a lot, but sometimes you have to put your feelings aside when it comes to these decisions and what's best for the 25 guys in the organization."