By Scott Barancik, editor

Ryan Kalish has earned a spot on the Chicago Cubs’ opening-day roster.

Kalish, who turned 26 on Friday, was named the Boston Red Sox rookie of the year in 2010. A series of injuries and surgeries have largely kept him off the diamond since then. But Kalish has worked hard to recover, and in December the Cubs offered him a minor-league deal with an invitation to Spring Training.

In 16 games so far, Kalish is hitting .256 with a double, two RBIs, a team-leading six stolen bases in seven attempts, and a .347 on-base percentage. Good enough to make the club’s 25-man roster.

“He plays baseball like a football player, with tremendous energy and speed,” ESPNChicago blogger Jesse Rogers wrote Thursday.

The news was not so good this week for Boston’s Ryan Lavarnway and Toronto’s Kevin Pillar, each of whom has MLB experience.

Lavarnway, a 26-year-old catcher, played well in limited action this Spring, hitting .289 with two HRS, five RBIs, and a .357 on-base percentage. But the Red Sox, talent-rich at the catcher position, are said to be shopping him around. In 2013, the third-year player hit .299 with one HR and 14 RBIs in 82 at-bats.

An August call-up in 2013, Pillar struggled this Spring, hitting .152 with four RBIs in 33 at-bats. More concerning, the 25-year-old struck out eight times while drawing zero walks.

Earlier this week, Jewish Baseball News reported that Oakland’s Nate Freiman, Houston’s Josh Zeid, and the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson all were sent to the minors in advance of Opening Day.

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