Mar 30, 2023 - Sports

Chicago Cubs players to watch this season

Photo of a baseball manager in a dugout

Cubs manager David Ross. Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs' front office won't admit they are in a rebuild, but why rob fans of the thrill of coming out of a rebuild?

Driving the news: This offseason, the Cubs added firepower to their lineup and bolstered their starting rotation in the hope of chasing down the Cardinals and Brewers in the NL Central.

  • David Ross may actually have a sneaky-good lineup with All-Star Ian Happ, Nico Hoerner and Seiya Suzuki returning. Also, Marcus Stroman will take the mound Thursday.

New arrivals: Former Atlanta shortstop Dansby Swanson signed a multimillion-dollar deal in the offseason. Former Dodger Cody Bellinger is looking to reclaim his MVP form, and starting pitcher Jameson Taillon joins the rotation.

  • Also, journeymen Trey Mancini and Eric Hosmer.

Familiar faces gone: Two World Series heroes depart in Jason Heyward and Willson Contreras. Contreras is now playing for ... ahem, never mind.

  • Their departures leave Kyle Hendricks as the last link to the 2016 Cubs.

Pick to click: The Cubs expect big things from young starting pitcher Justin Steele.

Up-and-comers: Hayden Wesneski will start the season in the Cubs rotation.

The bottom line: The Cubs have a chance to compete in a weak division, but realistically they are a year or two away from getting back to glory.


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