Cubs News

A glimpse at the Cubs’ updated 2023 lineup

2 years agoTony Andracki

With the Dansby Swanson signing Saturday, the Cubs have injected a ton of talent onto the roster so far this offseason.

Swanson joins a former MVP in center fielder Cody Bellinger (2019) and a former No. 2 overall pick in pitcher Jameson Taillon plus a quality veteran reliever in Brad Boxberger as the Cubs’ offseason haul to date.

Taillon provides a top-of-the-rotation arm while Boxberger should serve in a high-leverage role in the bullpen.

Bellinger and Swanson will immediately elevate the Cubs’ defense as they have each won a Gold Glove Award — Bellinger’s came in 2019 while Swanson took home the accolade in 2022 to lead National League shortstops.

The duo will also help take the Cubs lineup to the next level.

With Swanson and Bellinger in tow, here’s a glimpse at the batting order David Ross might roll out on Opening Day:

1. Nick Madrigal/Christopher Morel/Zach McKinstry – DH
2. Dansby Swanson – SS
3. Ian Happ – LF
4. Seiya Suzuki – RF
5. Cody Bellinger – CF
6. Nico Hoerner – 2B
7. Patrick Wisdom – 3B
8. Yan Gomes – C
9. Alfonso Rivas – 1B

Swanson’s arrival pushes Hoerner to second base, where he was a Gold Glove finalist in 2020. Hoerner can also play third base and outfield if the need arises and is coming off a breakout season at the plate (10 homers, 20 stolen bases, .736 OPS).

Madrigal is a high draft pick (4th overall in 2018) and former top prospect but he has had trouble staying healthy throughout his career. He doesn’t have a prototypical DH skillset (only 2 career homers in 142 MLB games) but is a high-contact bat who can get on base and help set the tone if the Cubs utilize him in the leadoff spot.

Happ and Swanson were both All-Stars in 2022 and Suzuki has stated his goal is to get to an All-Star level. He could be primed for a big season after his rookie year was disrupted by a finger injury, a shortened Spring Training post-lockout and an overall adjustment to life in the U.S.

Bellinger has struggled at the plate since his 2019 MVP campaign but he has battled injuries that likely impacted his swing mechanics. He is said to be healthy heading into 2023.

Wisdom has led the Cubs in homers in each of the past two seasons and finished behind only Happ in RBI (66) in 2022.

The Cubs could still add pieces to the lineup that might factor into the mix at DH, first base and catcher. Right now, Gomes and P.J. Higgins representing the backstop depth while Rivas, Wisdom and Higgins serve as first base options.

Top prospect Matt Mervis could also factor into the first base/DH situation if the Cubs feel he’s ready in Spring Training. Mervis played at 3 different levels in the Cubs farm system in 2022, smacking 36 homers with 119 RBI and a .984 OPS.

The Cubs also have a variety of utility options, including Christopher Morel, Zach McKinstry and Miles Mastrobuoni.

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