CHICAGO — Opening Day is here. It might be a little later than originally scheduled due to the Major League Baseball lockout, but a recent trend will continue for the Cubs on Thursday.
For a third-consecutive season, the team will open up their regular season at Wrigley Field as they welcome in the Brewers for the first of a four-game series along with the first of 162 contests from now through October.
Right on cue, the weather is going to be more wintry than spring for the contest, with temperatures hovering in the mid-40s with a chance of rain predicted after the 1:20 p.m. start time. That’s pretty normal for the Cubs, who are traditionally met with some tricky weather to open up the home schedule. Visit the weather section of WGN to view the latest forecast.
At least there are no questions about capacity limits like there were the past two Opening Days, with no fans being allowed in back in 2020 with just a limited amount last year against the Pirates. But when it comes to the team on the field, there will be plenty of unknowns.
The lineup was announced Thursday morning on Twitter.
Gone is the core of the 2016 World Series championship team that was traded away at the deadline, and on the field is a group with some new players trying to establish a new era of the franchise. There are a few players still behind from the previous group, including the starting battery of pitcher Kyle Hendricks and catcher Willson Contreras, but for the most part, there are a lot of new faces.
Seiya Suzuki will make his MLB debut in the outfield after a decorated career in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. Nick Madrigal, who was acquired in the deal with the White Sox that sent Craig Kimbrel to the south side, starts a new chapter of his career at second base. Outfielder Clint Frazier will look to start anew after five seasons with the Yankees.
On Saturday, newly acquired pitcher Marcus Stroman will make his debut for the Cubs after a few months of winning over fans both in person and on social media.
Leading it all is third-year manager David Ross, but in many ways, it could be viewed as his first normal season at the helm of the club. The 2020 campaign was shortened to 60 games due to the pandemic with the 2021 season featuring continued COVID-19 restrictions along with the mid-season teardown of the roster.
All of these questions will start to get answered at 1:20 PM on Thursday at Wrigley Field as another season dawns on the north side. Answers won’t be delivered on a lot of them soon, but at least baseball is back in 2022, even if it’s a few days late.