Cubs to put new MLB rule to the test

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs will get a chance to test a new major league rule next weekend when they play a day-night doubleheader at Cincinnati on Saturday.

Starting this season, teams are able increase their roster to 26 players to be better equipped to handle the effects of a doubleheader. The twinbill came about because the Cubs and Reds were rained out on May 1.

The Cubs conveniently will have a day off Thursday which means they won’t need an extra starter for the doubleheader. Travis Wood is expected to start Friday’s series opener at Cincinnati, while Brooks Raley could start one game of Saturday’s doubleheader on five days of rest and Jeff Samardzija could start the other on the regular four days of rest.

The Cubs will likely use their roster exemption to add a reliever. That additional bullpen piece isn’t expected to be Casey Coleman, though, after the right-hander left Saturday’s start at Iowa early because of discomfort in the back of his right shoulder.

Right-hander Rafael Dolis is a possibility to give the Cubs pitching help for the day.