Watch Chicago Cubs outfielder Ben DeLuzio smash a triple for Team Italy
The World Baseball Classic is underway and there are plenty of Chicago Cubs players to keep an eye on during the early rounds of the tournament. Cubs' outfielder Ben DeLuzio is participating in the World Baseball Classic with Team Italy and found some success on Friday morning against the Chinese Taipei national team.
The Cubs signed DeLuzio on a Minor League deal after the outfielder spent the 2022 season with the St. Louis Cardinals. For the Cubs, the value that DeLuzio provided the team was a defensive specialist that could serve as a replacement late in games as well as a speed threat. With the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate last season, DeLuzio swiped 30 bases.
Given the larger base sizes that Major League Baseball is implementing this season, there has been an expectation that DeLuzio would have an inside shot at making the team's Opening Day roster at the Major League level. DeLuzio's speed gives added value to the Cubs in 2023 as the team will need to manufacture scoring opportunities given the lack of power that they may have.
With starting right fielder Seiya Suzuki likely to begin the season on the injured list, there will be opportunities for plate appearances for a fourth outfielder like DeLuzio.