Matt Szczur spent most of 2016 as a late-inning bench option for the Cubs, getting just 200 plate appearances over 107 games. He hit a respectable .259 but displayed neither speed nor power with just two steals and five home runs. Szczur did steal 50 bases between 2014-2015 with Triple-A Iowa and the Cubs didn't run much as a team last year, but it's easy to wonder if his speed is diminishing with age. The Cubs' outfield still looks awfully crowded with Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, Kyle Schwarber, Jon Jay and Albert Almora Jr. all likely ahead of Szczur in the hunt for playing time. If the 2016 playoffs are any indication of what the Cubs will look like in 2017, that would certainly be bad for Szczur, who didn't even make the playoff roster. It would likely take a slew of injuries for Szczur to see regular major league playing time, severely limiting his fantasy potential for 2017.
Szczur has made the Cubs' Opening Day roster, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The 27-year-old has been up and down between the majors and minors the past three years, but after a spring where he produced a .831 OPS, the Cubs decided to reward him with an Opening Day roster spot. Szczur's value still remains relatively low since he's behind many others in the outfield pecking order, but this certainly bodes well for his standing in the organization.
Szczur went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run in Monday's spring training win over the Rockies. Szczur is hitting .387 this spring with a 1.069 OPS as he continues to battle for a bench spot. The 27-year-old is out of options, so if the Cubs try to send him down, he will have to pass through waivers.
Szczur is 5-for-12 with two triples and four RBI in five spring training games. Szczur is battling for a final bench spot with the Cubs, and his hot start certainly is helping the cause. He batted .259/.312/.400 in 185 at-bats for the team last season. Szczur is out of options, so if the Cubs try to send him down, he will have to pass through waivers.
Whether Szczur makes the Cubs roster could depend on whether the team wants an extra outfielder or infielder, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports. The Cubs outfield is already pretty crowded, with Albert Almora Jr., Jon Jay, Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber locked in, and Ben Zobrist able to play both second base and the outfield. Szczur is out of options, so if the Cubs try to send him down, he will have to pass through waivers.
Szczur is in Sunday's lineup versus Colorado. Szczur was brought in after Chicago scratched Jorge Soler from the lineup with leg soreness. Szczur will start in left field and be batting eighth as the Cubs conclude their series against the Rockies.