Lester, Hendricks on Cubs' Wild Card roster
PITTSBURGH -- The Cubs chose to have starters Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks as backups to Jake Arrieta on their roster for tonight's game against the Pirates at PNC Park.
Arrieta (22-6, 1.77 ERA) gets the start in the National League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser (7 p.m. CT, TBS), and if the Cubs advance, Lester is expected to open the NL Division Series against the Cardinals on Friday in St. Louis.
Rather than go with another short reliever, such as Neil Ramirez or Tommy Hunter, the Cubs picked Hendricks, who was 8-7 with a 3.95 ERA in 32 starts. The other pitchers on the roster include left-handers Travis Wood and Clayton Richard and right-handers Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm, Trevor Cahill, Hector Rondon and Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, who the Cubs acquired from the Mariners on Aug. 27 after the right-hander was designated for assignment by the Mariners, has pitched 12 innings since joining the Cubs and given up one earned run on eight hits and four walks. The veteran pitched for Maddon on the Rays in 2011-12, saving 48 games in '11.
Besides regulars Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Starlin Castro, Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero and Addison Russell, the position players include catcher David Ross, catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber, outfielders Quintin Berry, Chris Coghlan, Chris Denorfia, Austin Jackson and Jorge Soler, and infielders Javier Baez and Tommy La Stella. The roster includes four rookies in Bryant, Russell, Schwarber and Soler.
Left off the playoff roster were infielder Jonathan Herrera, who is popular among his teammates but who hasn't had an at-bat since Sept. 9, and outfielder Matt Szczur.
The Cubs will announce tonight's lineup later in the day.
Tommy La Stella