Spring sunlight is once again shining on the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field – happy Opening Day to all who celebrate! Thursday marks MLB’s first day of regular season action, and the Chicago Cubs will begin the year on their home field against the Milwaukee Brewers at the usual hour of 1:20 PM local time.
Corbin Burnes (1x Cy Young, 2x All-Star)
Marcus Stroman (1x All-Star, 1x Gold Glove)
Key Dates to Watch (or Avoid) for 2023
March 30 (vs. Brewers): 2023 Opening Day and home opener
May 6 (vs. Marlins): Fergie Jenkins Statue Bobblehead Day
May 8-10 (vs. Cardinals): First series against St. Louis
Willson Contreras will return to Wrigley Field for the first time as a member of the Redbirds. The chatter will be insufferable if Elon Musk hasn’t killed Twitter by then.
May 27 (vs. Reds): Billy Williams Statue Bobblehead Day
June 2-4 (at Padres): Beginning of 10-game West Coast road trip
July 10-13: All-Star Break
The 2023 All-Star Game is scheduled for July 11 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. Who will represent the Northsiders at the Midsummer Classic?
July 25-26 (at White Sox): First series against White Sox
August 11-13 (at Blue Jays): Cross-border Cubs!
August 21-23 (at Tigers):
The Cubs visit Javier Báez and the Tigers in Detroit. I don’t understand why this wasn’t scheduled immediately before or after the Toronto series.
September 9 (vs. Diamondbacks): Harry Caray Statue Bobblehead Day
October 1 (at Brewers): Final game of the 2023 regular season
My Questions for the 2023 Season
- The Northsiders confirmed Nico Hoerner would be part of their plans after negotiating a three-year contract extension earlier this week. Will they also extend 2022 All-Star and Gold Glove winner Ian Happ?
Second baseman Nico Hoerner and the Chicago Cubs are in agreement on a three-year, $35 million contract extension, sources tell ESPN. Deal buys out one year of free agency, but Hoerner still will hit the market at 29. Final two arbitration years priced ~$15M and FA year at ~$20M.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 28, 2023
- Marcus Stroman has spent part of the winter championing disgraced NBA star Kyrie Irving. Irving was suspended from the Brooklyn Nets in November and lost his endorsement deal with Nike after promoting an antisemitic film on Twitter. Will any Cubs beat writers question Stroman about his support for Irving?
- The Cubs took a flier on a struggling Cody Bellinger, hoping for a bounce-back season. Even replacement-level production from the 2019 MVP would be useful for a team that had previously entertained starting middle infielder Hoerner in center field. Can Bellinger improve on his 78 OPS+ posted in 2022?
- After a strong defensive showing in 2022, Hoerner was outshined by Dansby Swanson in the eyes of the Gold Glove voters. Swanson will take over at shortstop after signing a big contract with the Northsiders. Can Hoerner win a Gold Glove at second base?
- The Cubs failed to make any major upgrades at the corner infield positions over the winter after missing out on Xander Bogaerts. How will this impact their offense?
Follow the Opening Day action by watching on Marquee Sports Network, MLB.tv (blackouts permitting) or by listening on 670 The Score/MLB app. Game time will be 2:20 PM ET.
Featured Image: CHICAGO – MAY 29. Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, is shown here on May 29, 2016. Fans are celebrating their 7-2 win against the Philadelphia Phillies by Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock.com.