Chicago Cubs still undecided on final NLDS roster

The Chicago Cubs have not made their final roster decisions for the NLDS.

The big question is whether veteran starting pitcher John Lackey will make the roster as a long reliever or emergency starter. Lackey pitched an inning of relief in the regular-season finale.

“We're not prepared to talk about the roster yet,” team president Theo Epstein said. “We're looking at him certainly as a viable option out of the pen, but we're not prepared to announce the roster yet.”

Right-hander Jake Arrieta, scheduled to pitch a Game 4 (if necessary) of the NLDS, threw a bullpen session Wednesday as the Cubs worked out at Wrigley Field in preparation for their trip to Washington and Friday's Game 1.

Jose Quintana pitched a simulated game, and the Cubs also got work for some of their top relievers.

It appears a go for Arrieta, who has battled back from a hamstring injury he suffered on Labor Day.

“Jake had a great day today, but I think you're always looking for as much depth as possible,” Epstein said. “That's on both sides of the ball. You've got to try to figure out how to squeeze it all on the roster.”

Arrieta will throw another bullpen session in the next few days. The Cubs will work out late Thursday afternoon at Nationals Park. The Nats will work out late in the morning.

Feeling good about things:

Theo Epstein likes his team's demeanor entering the National League division series against the Washington Nationals.

“Good, confident,” Epstein said of the team's pulse. “I think our guys are excited to go play in the postseason. There's no anxiety, no nervousness in a negative way.

“I think it's pure excitement. I think once you've tasted success in the postseason, it makes you really, really eager to get back there and do it again. Our guys are really roaring to go.

“We're feeling really good about where we are and excited to go play October baseball.”

All in the family:

The Cubs on Wednesday claimed right-handed pitcher Luke Farrell off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds. To make room on the 40-man roster, they designated pitcher Felix Pena for assignment.

Farrell was 0-0 with a 2.61 ERA in nine games with the Reds this year. He also has been in the Kansas City and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations. His father, John Farrell, manages the Boston Red Sox. Luke Farrell's brother, Shane, is a scout for the Cubs.

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