Chicago Cubs Opening Day 26-man roster prediction 2.0

This lineup packs a punch, but questions still linger regarding the strength of the starting rotation and the bullpen.

2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages
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Almost a month ago, I released my Opening Day roster prediction 1.0, and a little more than mid-way through Spring Training, it's time for another go around. Not much has changed, but there are a couple of new guys that make the cut given injuries and roster moves that have transpired. My previous prediction listed Cody Bellinger, and now that the signing is official, we can with certainty plug him into the heart of the order. Here is my Chicago Cubs Opening day roster prediction 2.0.

Chicago Cubs Opening Day roster prediction 2.0 - The Hitters

1. Nico Hoerner 2B
2. Ian Happ LF
3. Seiya Suzuki RF
4. Cody Bellinger CF
5. Dansby Swanson SS
6. Michael Busch 1B
7. Christopher Morel 3B
8. David Peralta DH
9. Yan Gomes C

Bench: Miguel Amaya, Mike Tauchman, Nick Madrigal, Patrick Wisdom

I was overly optimistic about adding in J.D. Martinez last time, but still, this lineup is very stacked. Given David Peralta's veteran leadership, I'm sliding him into the DH role, but he can also play the outfield, if necessary, for the Cubs in 2024. Peralta likely holds his spot until Pete Crow-Armstrong or Alexander Canario is ready to stay up for good. Other than that, we have a pretty straightforward bench, with an extra outfielder in Tauchman, multi-position infield utility players Nick Madrigal and Patrick Wisdom, and, of course, Miguel Amaya, who will look to take the reigns this year as the team's primary backstop.

I'm leaving Garrett Cooper and Dominic Smith off the OD roster because I believe they will only be utilized as temporary backups at the major league level if an injury occurs. If everything goes perfectly, they can be thrown in as part of a potential trade package, or at worst they be dealt with at the deadline to acquire whatever prospective assets they would be able to fetch. Still, I don't expect either to play much of a role for the team in 2024.