Cubs option reliever Ramirez, release Wada

Cubs option reliever Ramirez, release Wada

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs optioned right-handed pitcher Neil Ramirez to Triple-A Iowa, and lefty Tsuyoshi Wada was granted his unconditional release on Sunday, to reduce the spring camp roster to 35.

Wada was a non-roster invitee whom the Cubs were considering for the fifth spot in the rotation. The left-hander gave up seven runs on 10 hits and five walks over 5 2/3 innings in three games, including one start.

The Cubs' spring camp roster now consists of 16 pitchers, four catchers, eight infielders and seven outfielders.

Jose Veras, Pedro Strop, James Russell, Wesley Wright and Carlos Villanueva are set for the bullpen, unless the Cubs decided to use Villanueva as the fifth starter at the beginning of the season. Other relievers still in the mix include Justin Grimm, Hector Rondon and Alberto Cabrera, who is out of options.

"I don't know if being out of options is the defining factor of somebody's thinking," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said about putting together the 25-man roster. "I think their performances dictate that."

The next roster cuts are expected after Tuesday's day-night split-squad games.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for 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.