Skip to main content

Chicago Cubs

NL Central

Justin Steele will make his 2023 season debut for the Cubs Saturday afternoon, starting on the mound against the Milwaukee Brewers. (Source: Chicago Cubs on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Steele will have his work cut out against a right-handed heavy Milwaukee lineup being deployed by manager Craig Counsell Saturday afternoon. The left-handed saw plenty of work against the Brewers last season, toeing the rubber six times (1-1) posting a 39K/10BB ratio in 31 innings pitched. Steele is an intriguing option for fantasy managers looking to gamble on a starter Saturday afternoon.

Dansby Swanson went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI during the Cubs' Opening Day 4-0 win over the Brewers.

Fantasy Impact: Swanson introduced himself to the Wrigley faithful by doing what he's always done and boosting fantasy managers' batting averages along the way. He batted second in the Cubs order, squeezed between Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ, a position that should also help boost his counting stats.

Category: Game Recaps

Marcus Stroman picked up the win after he pitched six scoreless innings and allowed three hits and three walks while striking out eight batters in the Cubs' 4-0 victory over the Brewers.

Fantasy Impact: Stroman kept the Milwaukee batters off balance all afternoon and was boosted by an improved defense behind him. His next start will likely be against the Reds on the road in Week 2. The matchup is a good one for him, though pitching in Cincinnati is always riskier than most other ballparks.

Category: Game Recaps

Brandon Hughes has been placed on the 15-day IL due to left knee inflammation. (Source: Chicago Cubs on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Hughes has been able to throw bullpens and while there is no set timetable for a return, he could be ready to go sooner than later. With the uncertainty in the Cubs' bullpen, Hughes could be a factor for saves as the season progresses.

Category: Injury Updates

Kyle Hendricks has been placed on the 15-day IL due to a right shoulder strain. (Source: Chicago Cubs on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Hendricks has been recovering from a shoulder strain he suffered at the end of last season. He could be facing live batters soon, but his timetable for a return is still very much in the air.

Category: Injury Updates

Seiya Suzuki has been placed on the 10-day IL due to a left oblique strain. (Source: Chicago Cubs on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This was expected after Suzuki was diagnosed with an oblique strain earlier this spring and had to be pulled from the World Baseball Classic. It's unclear how long he will be out, but he has been ramping up his workouts lately. Miles Mastrobuoni is starting in right field for the Cubs Thursday.

Category: Injury Updates

Christopher Morel is expected to open the season with Triple-A Iowa. (Source: Jordan Bastian on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Morel likely was on track to play in a utility role if he opened the season with the Cubs, but he'll instead play an everyday role to open the season in Triple-A. Patrick Wisdom should see more playing time as a result. Morel is a candidate to be called up any given day once the season starts.

Adrian Sampson has been optioned to Triple-A Iowa. (Source: Jordan Bastian on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Sampson had been in a competition for a spot in the rotation, but Hayden Wesneski has won that job. He is most likely the next in line to start games for the Cubs in case of injury, so we will probably be seeing him in the majors at some point this season.

Category: Transactions

Hayden Wesneski has been named as the fifth starter in the Cubs' rotation to start the season. (Source: Jordan Bastian on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Wesneski had been in a competition with the likes of Adrian Sampson and Javier Assad but won the job due to his excellent spring. He had a 2.12 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 22 strikeouts in 17 innings following up on a strong end to the 2022 season. The 25-year-old could be in for a breakout season in 2023.

Nico Hoerner has been scratched from Saturday's lineup due to left bicep tightness. (Source: Chicago Cubs on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This is still most likely a precaution, but Hoerner was also scratched from Thursday's lineup due to his bicep. Zach McKinstry will take his place in the Cubs' lineup Saturday.

Category: Injury Updates

Nelson Velasquez has been optioned to Triple-A Iowa. (Source: Chicago Cubs on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This comes as a bit of a surprise as Velasquez had a chance to be the Opening Day right fielder for the Cubs with the injury to Seiya Suzuki. Velasquez played for team Puerto Rico in the WBC and only had 20 at-bats for the Cubs this Spring, so the Cubs may be wanting to get him some more work before playing in a real game. He slashed .205/.286/.373 in 2022.

Category: Transactions

Patrick Wisdom was scratched from Tuesday's lineup due to left groin tightness. (Source: Meghan Montemurro on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Wisdom reportedly felt the tightness a little during morning work but it's not better or worse than Monday. The Cubs are remaining cautious with him early in spring training. There should be a further update provided on Wisdom at some point.

Category: Injury Updates

Javier Assad is in the mix for the fifth spot in the Cubs' rotation to start the season. (Source: Jordan Bastian on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Manager David Ross named Assad along with Hayden Wesneski and Adrian Sampson as guys in consideration for the rotation. Assad had a 3.11 ERA, 4.49 FIP and 7.17 K/9 in 8 starts for the Cubs in 2022.

Adbert Alzolay is being viewed as part of the Cubs' bullpen in 2023. (Source: Jordan Bastian on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Alzolay was limited to just 13 innings last season but has seen great success in the bullpen in his career. He has a .194 batting average against and 55 strikeouts in 18 games as a reliever. Given the current question marks for saves in Chicago, he could emerge as a potential closing option.

Keegan Thompson is currently not seen as part of the Cubs' starting rotation. He will primarily pitch out of the bullpen. (Source: Jordan Bastian on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This may seem like negative news at first, but Thompson was fantastic as a reliever in 2022. In 36.2 innings in the bullpen, he allowed 6 earned runs and had a 42/14 K/BB ratio. He may see a spot start here and there and should still be able to pitch with longevity, but he will ultimately focus on being a reliever going forward.

Edwin Rios has agreed to a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs. Ethan Roberts was placed on the 60-day IL in a corresponding move. (Source: Maddie Lee on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The 28-year-old slashed .244/.293/.500 in 92 plate appearances in 2022. He will likely serve as a bench corner infielder and DH for the Cubs.

Category: Transactions

Chicago Cubs infielder Nick Madrigal has been getting reps at third base early in the spring. (Source: Jordan Bastian on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Madrigal has had a tough time staying healthy in his young career as he has played in just 113 games over the last two seasons. He's played strictly second base in his 142 big-league games, hitting .289 with two homers, six steals, and a tiny 9.2% K% in that time. With Nico Hoerner and Dansby Swanson the everyday middle-infield combination, third base is likely Madrigal's best option for playing time despite competition from Christopher Morel and Patrick Wisdom.

The Chicago Cubs have invited top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong to MLB spring training. (Source:

Fantasy Impact: The Cubs are looking to give their top prospect and the 28th-ranked MLB Pipeline prospect a glimpse into the big leagues after a strong performance at High-A last season. Crow-Armstrong hit .287 with nine home runs and 19 stolen bases across 63 games after raking at the A-ball level through 38 games. Still just 20, Crow-Armstrong has plenty of minor-league seasoning left on his plate but his athleticism and defense are fine complements to his bat and should have him in the big leagues well before his peers.

Drew Smyly has signed a two-year, $19 million contract with the Chicago Cubs with a mutual option for a third year. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Smyly pitched with the Cubs in 2022 and posted a 3.47 ERA across 106.1 innings. Smyly's presence likely pushes Hayden Wesneski back to Triple-A.

Category: Transactions

Jason Heyward has officially been granted his unconditional release by the Cubs. (Source: Chicago Cubs on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The Cubs announced their intention to release Heyward toward the end of last season and have now made it official. They still owe Heyward $22 million for next season, but the Cubs opt to let him explore other options while they use the roster spot for younger players. This could free up room in the outfield for players like top prospects Brennan Davis, Alexander Canario, or Pete Crow-Armstrong in 2023.

Category: Transactions