Who will win Cubs' final bullpen spots?

PHOENIX - Piece by piece, the Cubs have put together their opening-day roster the last couple of days.

Position players were set Thursday. The starting rotation took shape Friday. All that's left now is to finalize the bullpen.

"We're still winding it down," said manager Rick Renteria.

The Cubs are using these final two exhibition games against the Arizona Diamondbacks to nail down the final spot in the bullpen.

These six are in: closer Jose Veras, left-handed setup men James Russell and Wesley Wright, right-handed setup man Pedro Strop and right-handers Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon.

Right-hander Alberto Cabrera has struggled of late, and he's out of minor-league options, meaning the Cubs would have to put him on waivers to send him to the minor leagues.

If they go that route, it would open the door for a reliever such as Blake Parker or Zac Rosscup to be brought back.

Castro says he's ready:

Shortstop Starlin Castro got a "recovery day" Friday and did not play against the Diamondbacks. He played nine innings of a minor-league game Thursday as he finishes his recovery from a right-hamstring injury.

Castro says he'll play Saturday and be ready to go on Opening Day. He has played in just two spring-training games.

"It was good and normal, all the stuff I did," he said. "I feel good. I don't have any complaints."

Finely tuned start:

Edwin Jackson tuned up well for next Wednesday's start at Pittsburgh. Against the Diamondbacks on Friday night, Jackson worked 4 scoreless innings, giving up 1 hit and no walks while striking out two. He was efficient, throwing 34 strikes among his 47 pitches.

Jackson retired the first 10 Diamondbacks he faced and wound up with a 4.00 ERA for the spring, which is not a bad figure for pitching in Arizona.

Rough for Rusin:

This past Wednesday's rough outing for lefty Chris Rusin may have been the determining factor in his being sent to Class AAA Iowa. Rusin gave up 4 home runs, allowing 9 runs in 2⅔ innings.

However, the wind was howling out, and those were the only homers he allowed all spring. Rick Renteria said he preferred to look at Rusin's spring in total.

"Actually, he had a great spring," Renteria said. "He's thrown very well. He had a rough outing his last one, but he threw well. He put himself in a good position for us to see what he does. He should be proud of how he went about his business."

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