‘Win-Now spearhead’ Swanson-Bellinger, hitless side by side in Cubs debut

The joys and sorrows of the new faces who joined the Chicago Cubs of the Major League Baseball (MLB) were mixed. 

The Cubs won 10-8 in the 2023 MLB exhibition game against the San Francisco Giants held at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona, on the 26th (Korean time). In the attack at the end of the 5th inning, which was losing 2-5, he scored 7 runs in a ‘big inning’. With two runners on, Jared Young hit two RBIs on time, then ran away to 9-5 with hits, four balls and a home run. 

There was also regret. The players who gathered their expectations were silent. This is the story of Dansby Swanson and Cody Bellinger, who were recruited in the free agent (FA) market. Swanson made a big deal of 7 years and a total of 177 million dollars, and Bellinger, who was the National League MVP in the 2019 season, was recruited for 1 year and 17.5 million dollars. Bellinger has been going through a long slump since winning MVP. 

Swanson was hitless in two at-bats against San Francisco that day. He started as the second hitter and shortstop, and at the end of the first inning, he hit Tristan Beck with one out and first base, and in the second at-bat of the third inning, Sam Long withdrew with a floating ball to center fielder. Bellizer, who started as the fourth hitter and center fielder, also struck out a fly ball to left field by Beck from second out and first base at the end of the first inning and struck out by Long in the third inning.  

The Cubs started rebuilding their team after winning the 2016 World Series. Most of the key players such as Anthony Rizzo and Hayer Baez have been sold. However, his grades plummeted, and he entered the Stove League as a ‘buyer’. Swanson, a symbolic player of the Atlanta Braves, was caught in a market flooded with big fish shortstops such as Carlos Correa, Xander Bogatz, and Trey Turner. Bellinger was also evaluated as a player who could help the team’s strength if he recovered his MVP-level skills. 

The Cubs raised expectations as Nico Horner and Patrick Wisdom, who were reborn as starters from prospects, grew rapidly last season. Ian Happ, who has been steadily receiving opportunities since the 2017 season, is also a hitter who can expect 20 homers. In this situation, Swanson was recruited. It is a ‘win-now’ will. Horner gave up his primary position shortstop to Swanson and switched to second base. 메이저놀이터

The Cubs played the opening game of the exhibition game with a full batting line. First of all, there was no ‘celebration’ from Swanson and Bellinger. Of course, there were also consolations. There was less interest than the signing of the two players, but Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini, the main infielders who also joined as free agents, hit side by side. The two players are also competing for the designated hitter and first baseman positions. 

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