Cubs March Madness: 4 lingering, massive questions Chicago must answer

Despite a ton of optimism from the fanbase, this Cubs team is far from a perfect product.

2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages
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4 - Have the Cubs found their first base answer in Michael Busch?

With the fleeting exception of the 2021 second-half Frank Schwindel experience, first base has been a disaster since the team traded Anthony Rizzo to the Yankees. The hope is that newcomer Michael Busch, last year's Pacific Coast League Player of the Year at Triple-A, can be the answer not just in 2024, but for years to come.

Chicago traded highly-regarded left-handed pitching prospect Jackson Ferris to the Dodgers in the Busch deal, only raising expectations with fans given Ferris' upside. But Hoyer and the Cubs view Busch as a player who's ready to impact the big league club right away. The fact he comes with long-term, cost-controlled certainty only makes him more valuable.

If Busch can pair with Cody Bellinger as two potent left-handed bats in this Cubs lineup, the team could outpace its offensive performance from 2023, when they scored more runs than any NL club outside of the Braves and Dodgers. He's hit at every stop along the way. Now, for the first time, he'll have the chance to get regular at-bats at the big league level. What will he do with it?

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