Chicago Cubs projected lineup, starting rotation, bullpen & closer

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Chicago Cubs projected bullpen/closer for 2023:

1. Hayden Wesneski
2. Adrian Sampson
3. Keegan Thompson
4. Adbert Alzolay
5. Brandon Hughes
6. Jeremiah Estrada
7. Brad Boxberger (closer)
8. Michael Fulmer (closer)

First, there's a good chance we'll see a closer-by-committee role between Brad Boxberger, Brandon Hughes, and Michael Fulmer. Hughes remains the one left-handed pitcher at the big league level, whereas Boxberger has experience closing in the past. He posted 41 saves in 2015, along with 32 in 2018. Fulmer recorded 14 in 2021, and therefore it's safe to say, based on matchups and rest purposes, that these will be the three to assume the position.

This time, we're leaving Roenis Elias off the list, who gave up two runs in two innings in his only spring appearance. He certainly will be given another look, as will everybody on this list. Jeremiah Estrada has been added, who we initially thought would get a call-up at some point, but he looked fabulous in his first outing, recording one inning of work with one punchout, no runs, no hits, and no walks. The 24-year-old recorded a 3.18 ERA in 5.2 IP last season.

An honorable mention is Caleb Kilian, after firing two solid innings of work against the Diamondbacks on Monday afternoon. If he keeps looking that sharp, it makes everything more complicated, precisely what we want to see.

dark. Next. Chicago Cubs news: Grading the team's offseason additions