Craig Counsell setting lofty expectations for this Chicago Cubs player

Seiya Suzuki may be the difference maker for the Cubs starting lineup.

Oakland Athletics v Chicago Cubs
Oakland Athletics v Chicago Cubs / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

In the closing weeks of Spring Training, the expectation is that the Chicago Cubs manager Craig Counsell will begin to construct his starting lineup.

The Cubs have a myriad of different options that they could deploy at the top of the lineup, however, it appears that Counsell is settling in on Seiya Suzuki being the team's No. 2 hitter.

Suzuki has been penciled into the 2-hole regularly for the Cubs throughout Spring Training games this season and it's more recognition of the hot steak that he was on at the end of the 2023 season. Suzuki posted a 149 wRC+ during the second half of 2023, a sign that he was blossoming into the hitter the Cubs were expecting him to be when they signed him prior to the 2022 season.

Opening the 2024 season, it would seem that comfortable with Suzuki in the spot that is often designated for the team's best hitter.

Seiya Suzuki may be the cornerstone of the Chicago Cubs starting lineup.

One of the biggest questions that the Cubs are facing this season is whether the front office did enough to address the shortcomings of the offense last season. The answer to that question may be dependent on the type of player Suzuki is moving forward. If Suzuki can become an anchor as the team's second hitter in their starting lineup, that would major development for the Cubs moving forward.

The other important decision in the Cubs' lineup will be who the No. 3 hitter will be. One of the downfalls of David Ross' tenure as the Cubs' manager may have been his insistence on Ian Happ being the No. 3 hitter. Happ's inconsistencies last season led to many fans hating the idea of him being among the first three hitters in the Cubs lineup.

While a case can be made for Happ serving as the team's leadoff hitter, he certainly shouldn't be the team's No. 3 hitter to start the season. Given his ability to make contact and put the ball in play, Nico Hoerner may be an ideal option to put behind Suzuki.

More Chicago Cubs News