TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Cubs have nine games remaining starting Friday and nine pitchers fighting for one opening in the bullpen.
Carlos Marmol, Kyuji Fujikawa, James Russell and Shawn Camp are set, plus the Cubs like what they've seen from right-hander Hector Rondon, a Rule 5 Draft pick. Michael Bowden, who is on the 40-man roster and does not have options left, has had a strong Spring Training and appears to have secured a spot.
"He's had a good spring, he has a track record, he pitched very well the last two or three months he was up last year," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Bowden, who compiled a 2.95 ERA in 30 relief appearances last season with the Cubs. "He's basically the one guy in the bullpen who can go multiple innings, and that's a huge asset to have."
Which leaves Jaye Chapman, Rafael Dolis, Jensen Lewis, Blake Parker, Hisanori Takahashi, Casey Coleman, Drew Carpenter, Zach Putnam and Cory Wade remaining. Dolis is the only one on the list who is on the 40-man roster, and the right-hander does have an option remaining. Takahashi is the only lefty in the mix.
Sveum met Tuesday with general manager Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, to discuss the final roster, and they will meet again Friday.
"Realistically, there's one relief spot open," Sveum said.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.