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  • Marcus Stroman Throws Opening Day Gem

    Chicago Cubs right-handed pitcher Marcus Stroman had an Opening Day start to remember on Thursday, shutting out the Milwaukee Brewers for six innings and earning the win. He allowed three hits and three walks while striking out eight. Stroman is coming off an up-and-down 2022 where he made only 25 starts due to injuries, but did manage a 3.50 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He has been a fantasy asset in those two categories the past few years and is likely to do the same this season. The Stro-show was a relatively late-round selection this year and if he can keep pitching close to how he did today, that will look like a steal.

    Mar 31 · Source via Cubs Marcus Stroman
  • Cubs Select Mark Leiter Jr.

    The Cubs have announced their Opening Day roster, per Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune. Outfielder Seiya Suzuki was placed on the 10-day injured list while right-hander Kyle Hendricks and left-hander Brandon Hughes have been placed on the 15-day injured list. Right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. was added to the 40-man roster, which had already an…

    Mar 30 · MLB Trade Rumors Cubs Mark Leiter closers
  • Cody Bellinger Hitting Cleanup In Debut With Cubs

    Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger is starting in center field and is hitting cleanup on Opening Day on Thursday against right-hander Corbin Burnes and the Milwaukee Brewers. Nico Hoerner will lead off for the Cubbies, with Dansby Swanson in the two-hole and Ian Happ hitting in front of Bellinger at No. 3. Bellinger is hoping a change of scenery will get him going again at the plate. His spring numbers didn't look good, as he hit just .200 (9-for-45) with a double, triple, three home runs, eight RBI, eight runs scored and a steal in 17 Cactus League games. Bellinger was the National League MVP with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019, but too much swing and miss has caused his fantasy value to crater since then.

    Mar 30 · Source via Cubs Cody Bellinger
  • Seiya Suzuki Could Be Back In April

    Chicago Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki (oblique) was scheduled to play three innings on defense in a Minor League game on Monday. The 28-year-old is recovering from a moderate left oblique strain, but manager David Ross said the goal is to have him begin accumulating at-bats by Saturday or Sunday. Suzuki will likely start the season on the injured list but could rejoin the Cubs sometime in April. This is encouraging news overall for fantasy managers, as Suzuki had a solid first season, slashing .262/.336/.433 with 14 home runs, 46 RBI, and nine stolen bases in 446 plate appearances.

    Mar 29 · Source via Cubs Seiya Suzuki
  • Cubs Select Luis Torrens

    The Cubs announced to reporters, including Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune, that they have selected the contract of catcher Luis Torrens. They had a couple of vacancies on their 40-man roster and won’t need to make a corresponding move. Torrens, 27 in May, has been with the Mariners over the past few years. He…

    Mar 28 · MLB Trade Rumors Cubs Luis Torrens
  • Cubs, Nico Hoerner Agree To Three-Year Extension

    The Cubs are reportedly in agreement with Nico Hoerner on a contract extension. The deal guarantees the Apex Baseball client $35MM over the 2024-26 seasons and buys out one free agent year. Hoerner has emerged as one of the Cubs’ better players in recent years. A first-round pick out of Stanford in 2018, he made it…

    Mar 28 · MLB Trade Rumors Cubs Nico Hoerner
  • Tigers Acquire Zach McKinstry Monday

    The Detroit Tigers acquired utilityman Zach McKinstry Monday from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for relief pitcher Carlos Guzman. The 27-year-old is out of Minor League options, so the Tigers are expected to carry him on their Opening Day roster. Right-handed pitcher Freddy Pacheco (elbow) was recalled from Triple-A Toledo and placed on the 60-day injured list with a right elbow sprain in a corresponding move. McKinstry only slashed .199/.273/.361 in 185 plate appearances with the Dodgers and Cubs last season, but he played second, third, shortstop, and outfield. While he may serve a useful role for the Cubs, he can be avoided in fantasy leagues.

    Mar 28 · Source via Cubs Zach McKinstry
  • Cubs Outright Rowan Wick, Option Christopher Morel

    The Cubs announced Monday that right-hander Rowan Wick went unclaimed on waivers and has been assigned outright to Triple-A Iowa. The team also optioned infielder/outfielder Christopher Morel to Iowa. Non-roster veterans Mike Tauchman and Roenis Elias, meanwhile, have been reassigned to minor league camp. They won’t make the roster out of spring training. Manager David…

    Mar 27 · MLB Trade Rumors Cubs Christopher Morel Rowan Wick closers
  • Cubs, Nico Hoerner Agree On Three-Year Extension

    The Chicago Cubs and second baseman Nico Hoerner agreed on a three-year, $35 million contract extension on Monday night, according to sources. The deal buys out one year of free agency, but Hoerner will still hit the open market at 29 years old. Hoerner served as the team's primary shortstop in 2022, but he'll move back to the keystone this year after the Cubs added Dansby Swanson in free agency. The 25-year-old impressed the team by hitting .281/.327/.410 with a .736 OPS, career-high 10 home runs, 55 RBI, 60 runs scored and 20 stolen bases in 517 plate appearances and 135 games in 2022 in his fourth MLB season. After last season and now with eligibility at shortstop and second base, Hoerner is attractive as a middle infield option in deep-mixed fantasy leagues.

    Mar 27 · Source via Cubs Nico Hoerner
  • Tigers Acquire Zach McKinstry From Cubs

    The Cubs have informed reporters, including Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic, that they have traded infielder Zach McKinstry to the Tigers for right-hander Carlos Guzman. In order to make room on their 40-man roster for McKinstry, the Tigers have recalled Freddy Pacheco and placed him on the 60-day injured list, per Jason Beck of MLB.com.…

    Mar 27 · MLB Trade Rumors Tigers Cubs Zach McKinstry
  • Christopher Morel Optioned To Triple-A

    The Chicago Cubs optioned outfielder Christopher Morel to Triple-A Iowa on Monday. Pitcher Rowan Wick cleared waivers and was sent outright to Iowa as well. The Cubs felt that Morel would benefit from regular playing time in the minors to open the year instead of being stuck in a bench role. The 23-year-old Dominican hit .269 (14-for-52) with four doubles, four home runs, eight RBI, one stolen base and 11 runs scored in 22 Cactus League games this spring, and he'll certainly see time in the big leagues in 2023, but for now he'll begin on the farm. He had 24 strikeouts in 57 plate appearances as well, so the Cubs would like to see him work on making more contact before he's called up to the big-league roster.

    Mar 27 · Source via Cubs Christopher Morel
  • Mariners Return Rule 5 Pick Chris Clarke To Cubs

    Right-hander Chris Clarke is officially once again part of the Cubs organization, as the Mariners returned the Rule 5 Draft selection to Chicago.  (Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune was among those to report the news.) The Mariners took Clarke with the 22nd pick of last December’s R5, taking the opportunity to get a closer…

    Mar 26 · MLB Trade Rumors Mariners Cubs Chris Clarke
  • Hayden Wesneski Wins Rotation Spot

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Hayden Wesneski has been named the fifth-starter heading into Opening Day. He was competing with Adrian Sampson for the final spot in the rotation. The right-hander has been excellent this spring. He's allowed just six runs (four earned) on 13 hits with a 22/6 K/BB ratio across 12 innings. The 25-year-old looked solid during his brief time with the Cubs last season. He posted a 2.18 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 33 innings last season. Wesneski could be worth a look as a late-round option in deep leagues.

    Mar 25 · Source via Cubs Hayden Wesneski
  • Cubs Option Adrian Sampson, Name Hayden Wesneski As Fifth Starter

    The Cubs ended the competition to determine the team’s fifth starter, as manager David Ross told reporters that Hayden Wesneski would be joining the rotation.  Adrian Sampson had been one of the other contenders for the job, but the right-hander was optioned to the minor leagues earlier today. The news officially confirms what had become…

    Mar 25 · MLB Trade Rumors Cubs Adrian Sampson Hayden Wesneski
  • Brandon Hughes Hopes To Pitch Monday

    Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Brandon Hughes (knee) is hoping to get back into a Cactus League game on Monday after throwing a bullpen session on Friday. Hughes had his left knee drained up to three times this spring and also had a cortisone injection earlier this week. His knee injury was affecting his performances this spring, as evidenced by his 6.75 ERA in only four innings of work. The young reliever had meniscus surgery in 2015 and has dealt with arthritis in his knee ever since. For now, the cortisone shot has Hughes feeling "much better," but the safe bet is that he starts the season on the injured list, with either Mark Leiter Jr. or Ryan Borucki taking his place on the Opening Day roster.

    Mar 25 · Source via Cubs Brandon Hughes closers
  • Jameson Taillon Becoming More Of A Strikeout Artist?

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jameson Taillon has faced 52 batters in four Cactus League starts this spring and hasn't walked a single hitter. It doesn't come as much of a surprise for Taillon, but he also struck out nine hitters on Tuesday while using his new sweeping slider effectively. "It's definitely going to provide a pitch that will allow him to get more swing and miss against a righty," catcher Tucker Barnhart said. "Whether it leads to more strikeouts, I don't know. But whenever you can add another element to your arsenal it's beneficial." Taillon recently thinks he's locked in his new slider. His career-high strikeout rate of 23.2% was set in 2021 and dipped to 20.7 in 2022. The 31-year-old could be a real nice value pick if his new pitch gets him to a new career-high in K rate.

    Mar 25 · Source via Cubs Jameson Taillon
  • Drew Smyly Fine-Tuning His Mechanics

    Chicago Cubs left-hander Drew Smyly is feeling great this spring and changed how he attacked hitters in his last two Cactus League outings to prepare for the regular season, but pitching coach Tommy Hottovy also pointed out that Smyly's arm was dropping in his delivery. He said the difference in his mechanics were minimal. The 33-year-old southpaw used his curveball 42.9% of the time in 2022, more than any starter in baseball. He threw his sinker at 92.6 mph last year and was already hitting 93-94 mph late this spring. When Smyly's elbow is higher, he's able to get on top of the ball better, which in turn leads to better spin on his breaking ball and more carry on his heater. Durability is always an issue for Smyly, but he can provide some decent rotation depth in deeper leagues.

    Mar 25 · Source via Cubs Drew Smyly
  • Cubs Not Concerned With Justin Steele's Velocity

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Justin Steele looked off in his last Cactus League outing and talked about how he felt like he was pitching "underwater" when he walked five batters and his velocity was down. However, the Cubs aren't worried with Opening Day coming up quickly. "Pushing him too much now to sacrifice something down the road is not the best path. He's on a good path. I think we're going to see a steady increase in velocity as the year goes on," pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said. Unlike other pitches, Steele's success isn't tied to velocity, and he relies more on movement and location of his pitches. The 27-year-old left-hander will get one more tune-up on Sunday in Cactus League action. He took a step forward last year and is expected to be the team's No. 2 starter in 2023 behind Marcus Stroman.

    Mar 25 · Source via Cubs Justin Steele
  • Phillies Acquire Esteban Quiroz From Cubs

    The Philadelphia Phillies acquired infielder Esteban Quiroz from the Chicago Cubs on Thursday in exchange for cash considerations. Quiroz will be assigned to minor-league camp to close out spring training. The 31-year-old will provide the Phillies with more infield depth in 2023. He made his major-league debut with the Cubs last year and hit .275 (11-for-40) with three RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base in just 14 games. Quiroz has spent most of his playing career in Mexico and owns a .270/.398/.518 slash line with a .915 OPS, 43 home runs, 168 RBI, 161 runs scored and nine stolen bases in four minor-league seasons.

    Mar 23 · Source via Cubs Esteban Quiroz
  • Nico Hoerner Scratched With Biceps Tightness

    Chicago Cubs middle infielder Nico Hoerner (biceps) was scratched from Thursday's Cactus League game as a precaution with left biceps tightness. In his place, Miles Mastrobuoni will start at second base and bat ninth in the lineup for the Cubbies against Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Ryne Nelson. As long as Hoerner is able to return to game action shortly, he should be ready for Opening Day next week. The 25-year-old will move to the keystone in 2023 after the addition of shortstop Dansby Swanson. He boosted his fantasy appeal last year by hitting .281/.327/.410 with 10 home runs, 55 RBI and 20 stolen bases. Hoerner is mostly valuable for his speed in deep-mixed fantasy leagues.

    Mar 23 · Source via Cubs Nico Hoerner
  • Brandon Hughes Hoping To Avoid Injured List Stint

    Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Brandon Hughes (knee) is dealing with a left knee issue and hasn't pitched since March 16, but the team is hoping he can get back on the mound this weekend. The hope is that Hughes will avoid an injured list stint to begin the 2023 season, but he's been dealing with the injury for most of camp and it's likely why he's looked off this spring. In just four innings pitched in the Cactus League, the 27-year-old left-hander has allowed three earned runs on five hits while walking three and striking out two. Even if Hughes is able to return to the mound this weekend in a game setting, he could be forced to open the year on the injured list.

    Mar 23 · Source via Cubs Brandon Hughes closers
  • Cubs Reassign Matt Marvis, Kevin Alcantara Thursday

    The Chicago Cubs reassigned first baseman Matt Mervis, outfielder Kevin Alcantara, infielder David Bote, pitcher Nick Burdi, outfielder Ben DeLuzio, pitcher Brendon Little, catcher Dom Nunez, pitcher Manuel Rodriguez and pitcher Cam Sanders to minor-league camp on Thursday. The team also optioned outfielder Nelson Velazquez to Triple-A Iowa. Per MLB Pipeline, Alcantara is the team's No. 2 prospect this year, with Mervis checking in at No. 7. Alcantara, 20, looked really good in Single-A in 2022 and has intriguing power/speed capabilities, but he's likely a couple years from his potential big-league debut. Mervis clubbed 36 home runs at three different minor-league levels and is the team's first baseman of the future.

    Mar 23 · Source via Cubs Yankees Kevin Alcantara Cam Sanders prospects
  • Seiya Suzuki Takes BP, Runs Bases Wednesday

    Chicago Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki (oblique) is making progress as he works his way back from an oblique injury suffered in February. Suzuki was originally thought to be out through the end of the month of April with the injury but he now has a chance to return to the field sooner. Suzuki has ramped up baseball activities of late as he took batting practice and ran the bases on Wednesday. While he is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, Suzuki could be in the fold early in the season. Suzuki hit .262 with 14 homers, 54 runs, and 46 RBI in 111 games for the Cubs in 2022.

    Mar 22 · Source via Cubs Seiya Suzuki
  • Marcus Stroman To Start Opening Day

    Chicago Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman announced on his Twitter account on Wednesday that he will be the team's Opening Day starter in 2023. Stroman will be on the mound at home next Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers to kick off the Cubs' 148th season. In 2022, Stroman posted a 6-7 record, 3.50 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 119 strikeouts over 25 starts in what was his first season in Chicago. Stroman should serve as a solid fantasy starting pitcher heading into 2023.

    Mar 22 · Source via Cubs Marcus Stroman
  • Kyle Hendricks Has Three Bullpen Sessions Lined Up

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks (shoulder) will throw three additional bullpens before progressing to live batting practice. Hendricks threw a 30-pitch session on March 17 and said he now feels like he's in Spring Training mode instead of rehab mode. He isn't someone to target in your drafts right now and will probably only be a deep-league option when he returns.

    Mar 22 · Source via Cubs Kyle Hendricks
  • Seiya Suzuki Continues Making Progress

    Chicago Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki (oblique) continues taking positive steps forward as he works his way back from injury. The 28-year-old suffered an oblique strain in late-February and is still working his way back to full health. He started out by taking non-contact swings, but is ready for the next step. Now, Suzuki will begin taking some front-flip throws in the cage on Sunday. The expectation is that Suzuki is going to begin the season on the injured list. However, he could be ready to play as early as mid-April. This injury could drop Suzuki on draft boards, which makes him a sneaky addition in the late rounds of drafts.

    Mar 19 · Source via Cubs Seiya Suzuki
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