Cubs Roster Moves: Bote to Paternity List, Rosario Recalled, Russell to Iowa, Lester Nearing Return

As the Cubs get ready to start their series with the Dodgers at Wrigley Field Tuesday night, we’ve got some roster housekeeping to take care of.

The most obvious was David Bote being placed on the paternity list after his wife gave birth to their third child, a son named Sullivan. Bote hopped on a plane right after hitting a walk-off single Sunday afternoon and plans to return to the team Wednesday. Randy Rosario is back up in the bullpen to take his place on the roster.

Jon Lester is nearing a return to the rotation, and we could see him back as early as this week. Nothing official has been announced, but Thursday’s starter is still TBD and the timing sets up perfectly with Lester’s simulated game on Saturday morning.

In other news, Addison Russell will report to Iowa Wednesday to being his rehab assignment. Russell has been in Mesa at extended spring training and is eligible to play in the minors a week prior to the end of his 40-game suspension for violating the MLB’s joint domestic violence policy.

The Cubs have continued to refer to Russell’s return as “conditional,” which refers to his actions both on and off the field. But it may also depend on how current members of the roster are performing. Because Russell still has three minor-league options remaining, the Cubs can activate him onto the 40-man roster and then keep him in Iowa when his suspension expires.

All these moving pieces will obviously have repercussions, as there will be more roster movement when Bote, Lester, and Russell return to the 25-man. How the Cubs proceed with that, particularly in the latter case, will be something to keep an eye on over the next few days.

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