Cubs' short bench might increase Marisnick's value
The Cubs decided to keep 14 pitchers and 12 position players on the roster to open the regular season. So that essentially means they have just four players on the bench to use for pinch-hitting or late substitutions.
Manager David Ross also believes days off are important for his regulars, so that could mean some decent playing time for guys like Eric Sogard and Jake Marisnick. Sogard got the start at second base Sunday, but David Bote pinch-hit when the Pirates brought a lefty out of the bullpen.
"I believe in days off," Ross said Sunday. "You've got to try to keep them fresh. I think some of the keys are trying to give guys a day off with maybe an off day the next day so they get two, especially when you're talking about ... guys who are out there every day."
Marisnick started in center field on Saturday and came in as a defensive replacement in Sunday's ninth inning. After Marisnick had a good spring, he figures to get more starts than a typical spare outfielder.
"Jake's got a skill set that I don't know that we've had in a while over a full season," Ross said. "The guy really floats around the bases and in the outfield. It's nice to watch him run.
"I see Jake in there a lot against lefties. I think we've got four really good outfielders. Jake will play primarily in center. Joc (Pederson's) played some right in his career, Happer (Ian Happ) has played some left. I can split them up like that if I give JayHey (Jason Heyward) a day off. I definitely have a lot of confidence in Jake and I think it's important to keep him in a nice rhythm and getting him some consistent at-bats."