CHICAGO -- The Cubs opted to go with 11 pitchers and 14 position players, including outfielders Jorge Soler and Albert Almora Jr., on the postseason roster for the National League Division Series, which begins on Friday at Wrigley Field against the Giants in Chicago (9 p.m. ET/8 CT, FS1).Jason Hammel
CHICAGO -- The Cubs opted to go with 11 pitchers and 14 position players, including outfielders Jorge Soler and Albert Almora Jr., on the postseason roster for the National League Division Series, which begins on Friday at Wrigley Field against the Giants in Chicago (9 p.m. ET/8 CT, FS1).
Jason Hammel (15-10, 3.83 ERA), who was bothered by tightness in his right elbow and missed his last start, did not make the 25-man roster, nor did reliever Trevor Cahill, who contributed last postseason. The pitchers on the list include starters Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey plus relievers Carl Edwards Jr., Travis Wood, Mike Montgomery, Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm, Héctor Rondón and closer Aroldis Chapman.
The position players include catchers David Ross, Miguel Montero and rookie Willson Contreras; infielders Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, Tommy La Stella, and Javier Báez; and outfielders Almora, Soler, Jason Heyward, Dexter Fowler and Chris Coghlan.
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Almora has been used primarily as a defensive sub, but also has contributed at the plate, batting .321 in 12 games in September. The rookie got a spot over Matt Szczur, who batted .120 in 16 games in September and hit .261 as a pinch-hitter this season.
"He's a really good defender," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Almora. "And he's been swinging the bat well lately. You can't take that away from Albert, regardless of age."
Soler was a question mark because he's been bothered by discomfort on his right side, which limited him to 15 games in the final month of regular-season games. He did start in the regular season finale on Sunday, and went 0-for-2. Last year, Soler batted .474 in seven postseason games.
Right-hander Joe Smith also did not make the cut, but Maddon said he liked what the reliever had done this season. Maddon added that the decisions were more focused on whether or not to carry 11 or 12 pitchers.
"[The decisions] weren't easy," Maddon said, "but it also speaks to our depth."
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The full roster:
Carl Edwards Jr.
Tommy La Stella
Albert Almora Jr.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.