For the first time since 2020, the Chicago Cubs will play competitive baseball during the months of August and September with the intent of securing a post-season spot.
Tough decisions are ahead for players that have disappointed this season.
The first decision centered around veteran first baseman Trey Mancini. Mancini signed a two-year deal with the Cubs this past off-season but after registering a 74 wRC+ through 263 plate appearances this season, the team made the decision to designate the veteran for assignment on Tuesday.
The Cubs' decision to part ways with Mancini tipped their hand in regard to the position that recently acquired Jeimer Candelario will play with the team. Candelario started at first base for the Cubs last night while collecting four hits in his first game with the organization since 2017.
Prior to the game, Cubs manager David Ross told reporters that Candelario will primarily play first base. With that in mind, the Cubs will move Cody Bellinger back to center field where he will play exclusively with the exception being when Candelario has a day off.
The move, also, likely points to a demotion for Seiya Suzuki in right field.
Mike Tauchman got the start for the Cubs in right field last night against a right-handed starting pitcher and that likely will be the case moving forward.
Suzuki's second season with the Cubs has been a disappointment. Entering play on Wednesday, Suzuki is slashing .249/.330/.383 with 8 home runs and a 95 wRC+. The Cubs have done everything they can this season in an attempt to get Suzuki going and it hasn't translated to results.
This is not a matter of the Cubs giving up on Suzuki as he is under contract through 2026 with an AAV of $17MM. This is a matter of the Cubs needing to start their best nine players and as of this moment, Suzuki does not fall into that category.