Chicago Cubs: Projecting the team’s Opening Day starting lineup

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Barring a late offseason trade, which is still very much in the realm of possibility, here’s how the Cubs could line up on Opening Day in Milwaukee.

The day my wife and I took down our holiday decorations, I replaced the coasters on the coffee table that featured snowmen with ones that showcase big plays from the Cubs‘ 2016 World Series run.

When we looked at houses recently, the one thing on my ‘must-have’ list? A basement I could transform into a living monument to my Cubs fandom. So yeah, I’m ready for baseball to be back. Would I be more excited had the front office made any effort to improve the roster? Obviously. But in spring, hope is eternal and you never know what will come to be.

This year’s camp in Arizona will feel different. For the first time in a half-decade, Joe Maddon won’t be at Sloan Park, putting the Cubs players through drills. Instead, he’ll be 15 minutes across town in Tempe, running camp with the Los Angeles Angels. Former Chicago catcher David Ross will be running the show in Mesa, looking to set the tone for his club – one that faces pretty lackluster expectations given the offseason.

But once Spring Training wraps up and the team heads to Milwaukee to take on the rival Brewers on Opening Day on March 26, it’s go-time and Chicago will have to be ready to show the rest of the National League they’re not to be counted out – regardless of how the offseason transpired.