Cubs Spring Training Update: Cody Bellinger to make his debut Wednesday

Manager Craig Counsell said Bellinger will DH and could potentially get his first defensive reps this weekend.

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After taking a little time to get his feet under him at the team's complex in Mesa, Cody Bellinger is poised to make his 2024 Cactus League debut for the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday and is expected to DH against the Angels.

Bellinger, who signed a 3-year, $80 million deal with opt-outs after each of the first two years, returned to the team he re-established himself with last season, hitting .307 with a 133 OPS+ en route to NL Comeback Player of the Year honors. Despite his bounceback campaign, the free agent market proved to be softer than he or Scott Boras anticipated, setting up his return to the Cubs.

Cubs will utilize Cody Bellinger at multiple positions again in 2024

Bellinger is expected to start playing defense this weekend. On Friday, the Cubs have split-squad matchups against the Mariners and Diamondbacks (it's likely Bellinger will be at Sloan Park against Seattle) and square off against the Rockies on Saturday at home.

We'll likely see Bellinger in center and at first again this season, with regular time as the designated hitter under first-year Cubs manager Craig Counsell, who has stated his desire to rotate guys into the DH spot to keep the roster fresh all summer long. But, all told, center field should be his primary position barring another disaster at first base similar to what we saw in 2023.

All winter long, fans clamored for a Bellinger re-signing and now that he's back, the expectation in Wrigleyville is a long-awaited return to postseason baseball. The fan-less, shortened 2020 season aside, the Cubs haven't hosted a playoff game at Wrigley since the brutal extra-inning loss to the Rockies in the 2018 Wild Card Game. Hopefully, with another strong season from the former MVP, that streak can draw to a close by season's end.