The Chicago Cubs face a tough test this week against the Atlanta Braves, even though they have very little to play for. Atlanta is the best team in baseball, and no player knows that better than Dansby Swanson, who spent the majority of his career in the ATL prior to signing on the north side of Chicago this past winter.
Swanson received a nice ovation in his first at-bat back at Truist Park, but with the game on the line, Raisel Iglesias gave him a taste of what he's missing by striking him out. Chicago still holds a half-game edge and can extend that lead tonight if everything goes according to plan.
It's Jed Hoyer's job to look ahead, though, which is why he already likely has a postseason roster in mind. With that being said, let's play devil's advocate. Who shouldn't be on the postseason roster moving forward?
Cubs who have no business being on the postseason roster: Alexander Canario
If Chicago is lucky enough to make the playoffs, one thing they have plenty of is outfield depth. The emergence of players like Cody Bellinger as an NL MVP candidate, and Ian Happ plus Seiya Suzuki make for an intriguing bunch. However, that means someone will have to be left off the roster who would otherwise make it on most teams. Sadly, I'm looking right at you, Alexander Canario.
Canario is one of the team's top prospects, and he has a bright future. But on this Cubs team, he doesn't offer all that much because the outfield is relatively healthy. On the Chicago depth chart, he ranks fifth in left field and isn't receiving much playing time. Per MLB Pipeline, he has plenty to work on, as he's a pull-happy power hitter:
"Big leaguers took note of Canario's well-above-average raw power when he played at the Giants' alternate site in 2020. He's geared to hit for power with lightning-fast bat speed, formidable strength and plenty of loft and leverage in his right-handed stroke. He's overly aggressive and pull-happy at the plate, so he will pile up strikeouts, but he did make strides with his swing decisions last season and boosted his walk rate from 7 percent in the first half to 15 percent in the second half. "
The former San Francisco Giants player should receive plenty of attention in spring training, and has an outside chance of making THAT roster. His time is not now, though, as he's the 14th-ranked prospect in Chicago's system, and well behind the likes of Pete Crow-Armstrong for playing time.