Cubs News

“It’s David’s turn”: Cubs ready to hand David Bote reigns at second base

1 year agoAndy Martinez

In one day, David Ross experienced the rollercoaster of emotions that come with being a big-league manager.

On Friday, he had to deliver the heart aching news to Nico Hoerner that he wouldn’t be breaking camp with the Cubs. On the flip side, though, he was able to deliver the news to David Bote that he would be the Cubs’ Opening Day second baseman.

“This has been a tough decision because of how great everybody has played and then it comes down to who at the end is deserving of the opportunity and that’s where it comes in,” Ross said. “It’s David’s turn. I think David’s been hearing that message for a long time that it’s somebody else’s turn. It’s not your turn. Now David gets that opportunity.

“I’m excited for David Bote. As bad as my heart hurts for Nico Hoerner, I’m also equally excited for David Bote.”

That’s because for the bulk of his career, Bote hasn’t had the chance to be an everyday player. In his 3 seasons in the big-league seasons, he’s played in 246 games, but has started in just 155 games.

This spring, Bote showed that he had a claim to the everyday second base job. Bote has slashed .316/.381/.684 with 3 home runs and 8 RBI.

“This is a little bit less about Nico and more about David Bote,” Ross said. “I mean David Bote had a great spring — every second baseman, really that we brought in camp had a great spring. I think it’s an opportunity for David that David has earned, he deserves.”

Cubs’ rotation finalized

Ross officially announced the final two spots in the Cubs rotation.

Trevor Williams will start the fourth game of the season and top prospect Adbert Alzolay will start the fifth game.

“I’m excited for Adbert,” Ross said. “He’s put in a lot of good work. It’s really showed. He really had a good performance the other night against a really deep Dodgers world championship team and a lot of all-stars and he went in and kind of rolled through that lineup. That was impressive to see and I think he’s earned this opportunity that he gets.”

Ross had previously announced the Jake Arrieta and Zach Davies would follow Opening Day starter Kyle Hendricks in the Cubs’ rotation.

Shelby Miller optioned

Shelby Miller had impressed in spring, but the Cubs opted to have him start the season at the alternate site. Miller had 12 strikeouts in 9 innings this spring and had a 1.00 ERA with a 1.33 WHIP. But Miller opted out of the 2020 season so the Cubs were cognizant of managing his workload having not pitched in a competitive game in well over a year.

He’s started 1 game this spring and has come out of the bullpen in his other 5 appearances.

“We’re gonna stretch him out, give him a little bit of length, but I think he can also come in and be a guy that can play multiple roles for us,” Ross said “It really is a Swiss army knife for our rotation or the bullpen from the pitching side. I think that’s a credit to him and all the roles he’s played in his career and the success he’s had this spring and the buy-in to our pitching guys and the success he’s had.”

Cam Maybin released

Cam Maybin was a clubhouse favorite and a strong veteran presence in the Cubs’ clubhouse, but he was granted his release Saturday. He spent the second half of the 2020 season with the Cubs and signed a non-roster invite contract with the Cubs this offseason.

“He was a depth piece, and everybody stayed fairly healthy and have had good springs. Again, he’s the odd man out,” Ross said. “It’s a tough decision, but he’s been around long enough to know and was extremely professional. We wish him the best and if he wants to continue playing baseball, he’s got a spot here at the alt site.”

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