Chicago Cubs News: Marcus Stroman reveals status as Opening Day starter
For the first time since 2019, the Chicago Cubs Opening Day starting pitcher will not be Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks is expected to begin the 2023 season on the injured list as he continues to progress from a shoulder injury that ended his 2022 season last July and that has paved the way for Marcus Stroman to get the honor of being the starting pitcher that opens the Cubs' season.
The expectation throughout Spring Training for the Cubs has been that Stroman would indeed be the team's Opening Day starting pitcher and with Major League Baseball wanting to create buzz for the event next Thursday, they had instructed teams to reveal their Opening Day starters by this upcoming Friday.
Stroman was the clear choice for the Cubs. While Jameson Taillon was the big free agent signing for the Cubs' pitching staff this off-season, he projects a No. 2 in the Cubs' rotation with Justin Steele likely rounding up the top 3. Steele is believed to be a breakout candidate this season but there has been some concern with his outings in Spring Training given his inability to find comfort on the mound. Drew Smyly and Hayden Wesneski are likely the final two arms that will round out the Cubs' starting rotation.
Stroman is no stranger to Opening Day starts. During his time with the Toronto Blue Jays, Stroman received the honor twice as he was the Blue Jays' Opening Day starter in 2016 and 2019.
The 2023 season is an important season for Stroman as he has the ability to opt out at the end of the season. Given the market inflation that Major League Baseball saw this past off-season, it seems likely that Stroman will be eyeing a larger payday with a successful 2023 campaign.