New year, new MLB season. The 2021 Chicago Cubs MLB season is right around the corner, which means it is time to look at the projected 2021 Cubs lineup. Of course, this is based on no unforeseen trades, such as the Yu Darvish trade.
2021 Chicago Cubs: Projected Infield Lineup
The Cubs infield does not have too many question marks at this point. Barring a trade involving the Cubs young stud catcher Willson Contreras, he will be the man behind the plate. The Cubs will seemingly rush catching prospect Miguel Amaya to the majors to back up Contreras.
As for the corners, fans should expect Bryzzo to start the season on either side. It is pretty clear on the north side that first base belongs to Anthony Rizzo as long as he is in Chicago, or at least for the time being. The same cannot be said for third baseman Kris Bryant. He may be a third baseman by trade but with the departure of Kyle Schwaber in left, Bryant may see more time in left field than usual. There is also a slim chance Bryant gets moved before the start of the season, which in turn would make David Bote the man at the hot corner.
The middle infield gets a bit foggy at this point. Shortstop is manned by Gold Glove winner Javier Baez, that one is set in stone, but who gets second base? Bryant’s situation will play a big role in who the every day second baseman is. It could either be David Bote or Nico Hoerner. While running on the assumption that Bryant will be a Cub coming opening day, we would slot Bote in as the everyday second baseman.
Projected 2021 Chicago Cubs Lineup: Infield
First base: Anthony Rizzo
Second base: David Bote
Shortstop: Javier Baez
Third base: Kris Bryant
2021 Chicago Cubs: Projected Outfield
The Cubs only have one question mark come opening day in the outfield, that would be the man on the left side. The right side is locked up by five-time Gold Glove winner Jason Heyward. While center belongs to 2020 standout Ian Happ.
With Heyward in right and Happ in centerfield. The question is who will take over in left? The Cubs have a couple of options for leftfield they could move Bote to left as opposed to second or have the likes of Phillip Ervin and Ian Miller battle it out for the empty spot. After a couple less than appealing years out of Ervin, expect Miller to come out on top and start the season in leftfield.
Projected 2021 Chicago Cubs Lineup: Outfield
Rightfield: Jason Heyward
Centerfield : Ian Happ
LeftField: Ian Miller
2021 Chicago Cubs: Projected Batting Order
Since 2016, the Cubs have had an identity crisis in the leadoff spot, but come 2020 the Cubs may have finally found their answer.
- Ian Happ .246/.347/.457
- Anthony Rizzo .263/.368/.457
- Kris Bryant .258/.356/.461
- Javier Baez .259/.304/.478
- Willson Contreras .249/.342/.436
- David Bote .239/.334/.416
- Jason Heyward .251/.342/.411
- Ian Miller .239/.313/.411
*Slash based on baseball reference 2021 projected stats*
2021 Chicago Cubs: Projected Starting Rotation
The Cubs starting pitching rotation took quite the hit this offseason with the departures of Yu Darvish, Jon Lester, and Jose Quintana. Leaving the Cubs with just Kyle Hendricks and Alec Mills being the only returning starting pitchers. Leaving three spots in the Cubs rotation up for grabs, make that two spots as newly acquired Zach Davies will surely receive one.
With two spots left to fill the Cubs have three options. The first option is Cubs’ top prospect Brailyn Marquez. The young Dominican southpaw comes with an overpowering fastball, a fastball that reaches triple digits.
The Second option is young right-hander Adbert Alzolay. Alzolay has 33.2 IP under his belt posting a 4.54 ERA. He is still young with room to improve his numbers over time. The final two options are right-handers Colin Rea and Tyson Miller. Rea has totaled almost 150 IP, with an ERA of 4.79, while Miller has accumulated 5 IP.
Projected 2021 Chicago Cubs Lineup: Starting Rotation
Ace: Kyle Hendricks
2. Zach Davies
3. Alec Mills
4. Brailyn Marquez
5. Adbert Alzolay
2021 Chicago Cubs: Projected Bullpen
The Cubs have many aspects of their bullpens, but mainly their closer role. As of now, Craig Kimbrel is the Cubs closer, but rest assured, he’s in grave danger of losing said closer role if he cannot show signs of improvement. The other, say six bullpen spots are still somewhat open, except for Rowan Wick, Brad Wieck, and Dan Winker’s spots. Thus leaving three open spots out of spring training.
Projected 2021 Chicago Cubs Lineup: Bullpen
Closer: Craig Kimbrel
Set up: Rowan Wick
The Rest: Brad Wieck, Dan Winkler, Kyle Ryan, Duane Underwood Jr., and Robert Stock
The 2021 Cubs can still compete in the weak NL Central. This Projected 2021 Cubs Lineup may not jump off the page, but fans should not lose hope just yet, hopefully, we are in store for a long and competitive 2021 MLB season. A little food for thought, these are just projections, many things can change in the next couple of months of free agency.
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