Chicago Cubs projected lineup, starting rotation, bullpen & closer

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Chicago Cubs projected starting rotation for 2023:

1. Marcus Stroman
2. Jameson Taillon
3. Justin Steele
4. Drew Smyly
5. Javier Assad

Whichever one makes it to the rotation, the other two will be utilized as long relief options out of the bullpen. Assad, however, does still have three minor-league options remaining. Therefore, he could still be sent to Iowa if he falls off this spring, but everything looks good for him so far. Justin Steele was recently scratched from his start with general arm fatigue, but there's no reason to believe he will miss time. Jordan Bastian has since stated that Steele thinks he will make his next start.

The first four are locks for a spot in the rotation unless something drastic happens. With Kyle Hendricks set to start on the IL, we know the Cubs' competition for the 5th starter spot will be one of the more exciting stories throughout spring training. Adrian Sampson, unfortunately, got hit hard in his spring debut, allowing four earned runs on three hits and a walk. All three of those hits were home runs. On the other hand, Assad faced a potent Dodgers lineup Saturday afternoon and fired two scoreless frames. Wesneski has yet to pitch.