The MLB spring training period is coming to an end this week, and in just a few short days, the regular season will begin.
All eyes will be on the Chicago Cubs this year, after a huge run last season and one of the best offseasons in the league. They added veteran infielder Ben Zobrist after losing Starlin Castro, arguably an improvement with the bat and the glove.
In a surprising twist, they also brought back centerfielder Dexter Fowler, who had a huge 2015 season, but was reportedly signing with the Orioles. That deal fell through, and he took a pay cut to wear cubby blue once again.
They also added 2 former Cardinals, pitcher John Lackey and outfielder Jason Heyward. These acquisitions alone addressed the 2 biggest problems last year for the Cubs, and both took pay cuts to join their former rivals.
With this new lineup full of both veterans and young talent, things are looking optimistic for the former lovable losers (That nickname doesn’t really apply anymore). They start their season with a road trip, facing off against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday, at 9:00 central time, and will be shown on ESPN2.
After that 3 game series, the Cubs will travel to Arizona to play the equally optimistic Diamondbacks in a 4 game series, before going home to Wrigley on April 11th for their home opener vs. the Reds.
They hope to improve on an impressive 97 win regular season in 2015, along with a playoff run to the NLCS, where they lost to the Mets.
As manager Joe Maddon mentioned on multiple occasions, the Cubs will have both high expectations, and a target on their back. I, like many Cubs fans, are hoping for a long awaited world series title.