Chicago Cubs decide on fourth outfielder for Opening Day roster

The Summer of Mike Tauchman will continue in 2024.

Sep 27, 2023; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Mike Tauchman (40) reacts after
Sep 27, 2023; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Mike Tauchman (40) reacts after / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

While Major League Baseball teams are still about two weeks away from beginning to trim down their roster in anticipation of Opening Day, Cubs manager Craig Counsell has already addressed the fourth outfielder's spot on the roster.

Counsell confirmed on Sunday that veteran Mike Tauchman will join the Opening Day roster.

The news should not come as too much of a surprise, considering the success that Tauchman had last season. Tauchman proved to be a league-average offensive player last season with a 100 OPS+ in 401 plate appearances but was thrust into the starting lineup regularly when the team shifted Cody Bellinger to first base.

With Pete Crow-Armstrong likely to open the season in Triple-A, Bellinger seems destined to open the 2024 season in center field as the Cubs are moving forward with Michael Busch as the primary first baseman.

The way that the Cubs' roster is constructed, Tauchman is in line to be the fourth outfielder. That is a natural role for Tauchman, as his limitations as an everyday player were exposed toward the end of last season toward the end of last season.

There was some speculation that Tauchman's spot on the 26-man roster may be in question after the minor-league signing of David Peralta. Peralta has yet to appear in a Spring Training game for the Cubs this season, and it's possible that he was just brought into camp for depth purposes.

Regardless, the Cubs have a plethora of outfielders that could make their way to the Major League roster at some point this season.

Given the impact that Tauchman had in the clubhouse, that is likely one of the leading reasons why he is not battling for a roster spot during Spring Training. Having said that, if Tauchman's offense regresses, it's likely that the Cubs would move on during the season.

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