Nelson Velázquez Optioned, 9 NRIs Assigned to Minors as Cubs Trim Spring Roster to 41

The Cubs today reduced their spring roster to 41 players on Thursday, highlighted by optioning Nelson Velázquez to Triple-A Iowa. Nine non-roster invitees were assigned to minor league camp: right-handed pitchers Nick Burdi, Manuel Rodríguez and Cam Sanders; left-handed pitcher Brendon Little; catcher Dom Nuñez; infielders Sergio Alcántara, David Bote, and Matt Mervis; and outfielder Ben DeLuzio.

No real surprises there, though there are a lot of non-roster players who’ve either been up with the Cubs previously or who had a shot at breaking camp with the big club. Mervis and Sanders stand out as players who could still impact the Cubs in a big way if they’re able to find a groove in Iowa. DeLuzio is a very capable outfielder with a little speed and he seemed like a good choice for a bench spot until Mike Tauchman stepped up.

Chicago’s spring roster of 41 players consists of 24 pitchers (including six non-roster invitees and two on the 60-day IL), three catchers (one NRI), eight infielders, four outfielders (one NRI) and two infielder/outfielders.

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