Chicago Cubs Lineup (2/25/24): Hoerner Leads Off, Swanson SS, Mervis 1B, Assad Starting

Cody Bellinger isn’t in the lineup this afternoon, but he is at the Cubs’ Sloan Park facilities to greet him teammates after agreeing to a new deal. His presence elevates the roster and will alter the course of some other careers, particularly between center field, first base, and DH. That will all come into focus over the next few weeks as Craig Counsell gets a feel for this shifting group.

Today’s lineup has a much more regular-season feel as more of the everyday starters are being integrated. Nico Hoerner leads off at second base for the first time this spring, then it’s Ian Happ in left and Dansby Swanson at short for his Cactus League debut. Christopher Morel cleans up at third, Yan Gomes is catching, Patrick Wisdom is the DH, Matt Mervis is at first, and Alexander Canario is in right. Pete Crow-Armstrong is in center to round things out.

Mervis is one of those guys who may be most impacted by the Bellinger deal, though he’s making his third straight start and is getting opportunities to succeed. Counsell said Morel would focus on third in the early going, which has certainly been the case so far. What really stands out to me is that this squad just looks fun.

One other interesting note here is that Michael Busch has yet to play this spring. He must be dealing with an injury or illness of some sort, but the Cubs haven’t said anything.

They’re taking on Randy Vásquez and the Padres at Sloan with a two-game snowman streak on the line, and you know everyone is hyped up about having Bellinger back. Should be a great afternoon at the ballpark.

First pitch is 2:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network with no radio call available.

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