Chicago Cubs News: Pitchers and catchers report, Projections, and more

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Today is like the the first day of school for Major League Baseball teams as pitchers and catchers officially report to Spring Training. Many of the Cubs' pitchers and catchers have already been spotted at the team's facility in Arizona but today is always a special day as it marks the official return of baseball.

Many of the Cubs' position players have reported to Spring Training already as well.

There certainly was not the same gravitas last Spring when the likes of Frank Schwindel and Rafael Ortega were reporting. As the Cubs return to baseball activities this week, there is no question that there is a renewed sense of optimism surrounding the team.

The Cubs have restored respectability to their Major League team this offseason. Whether or not that means the team will make the postseason in 2023 remains to be seen but there is no doubt that the team should, at the very least, be competitive.

Regarding the recent Chicago Cubs projections

Over the course of the past week, FanGraphs and PECOTA have released their projected records for each Major League Baseball team and neither is kind to the Cubs. Each formula has the Cubs finishing in third place in the National League Central division with a win total of around 77. These projections should be taken with a grain of salt, especially in regard to the Cubs. The blueprint that the Cubs are following is not one that these types of projection systems value.

The Cubs are confident that their ability to play defense and prevent runs will allow them to outperform their projections. Couple that with a potential breakout season from right fielder Seiya Suzuki and a return to form for either Cody Bellinger or Trey Mancini and there is reason to believe in the team's direction for 2023.

Willson Contreras to the St. Louis Cardinals may have been in the works prior to the signing

There really is no reason to fault Contreras. The Cubs had made it clear long before the 2022 season that the team did not value Contreras at the catching position. Given the lack of embrace that the Cubs had for Contreras, it should be no surprise that he jumped at the opportunity to sign with a team in the Cardinals that was not shy about their interest.

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