The clock is winding down on 2022.  Today, we find ourselves three months from the 2023 Opening Day game against the Brewers. Jed Hoyer’s vision for the roster is taking shape.  Cubs Convention is in two weeks. Pitchers and catchers will be reporting to Arizona not long after that.  But before we flip the calendar over to 2023, I have some New Year’s Wishes for the Chicago Cubs.

For Kyle Hendricks:  The Professor is now the lone remaining player leftover from the World Series roster.  2022 did not go as he had planned as he found himself injured and out for most of the season.  For him, I wish a healthy 2023 season and a return to leading this pitching staff both on and off the field.

For the starting rotation: The Cubs starting pitching was some of the best in baseball late in the 2022 season.  For them, I wish that they are able to pick up where they left off. For the youngsters in the rotation, I hope that they are able to take a step forward and continue on a path to establishing the most dominant pitching staff in the NL Central.

For Dansby Swanson: I wish a smooth trasition to his new home at Wrigley Field. I also hope that he is able to build upon his 2022 season. It’s no secret that the strikeout number is quite high and something that needs to be improved upon. Hopefully he can find a way to balance his plate displince and not sacrifice other aspects of his offense.

For Matt Mervis: “Mash” looks to be rewarded with his 2022 breakout minor league season with a spot on the MLB roster and in the starting lineup at first base for the Cubs.  I wish an outstanding rookie season for Mervis and a season where he is launching baseballs out of Wrigley FIeld left and right.

For Brennen Davis: One of the top prospects in the Cubs system, Davis was penciled in to be roaming the outfield at somepoint during the 2022 season.  That did not go as planned, however. Brennen found himself the IL for most of the season and the trip to Wrigley never became a realization.  For him, I wish a healthy 2023 season where he is able to find himself on the big league roster before the end of the year.  It seems like we have been waiting forever for him and it will be great to finally see what he can do against the best of the best.

For David Ross: For the manager, I wish a 2023 season where he makes all of the right decisions and is never criticized by Cubs fans or the media.  (I’m just joking. I know he isn’t perfect and will be facing constant criticism.  It comes with the job.)

For Third Base: I wish for the Cubs to be able to find someway to imrpove at this position.  This could mean a potential trade for Rafael Devers.  It could also mean the Cubs are able to sneak in and sign Carlos Correa to a short-term contract like I discussed in my previous entry (I’m keeping that pipedream until the ink finally dries on whatever contract Correa ends up signing) Really, it could mean that Christopher Morel and Patrick Wisdom are able to improve upon their defense at the hot corner and find a way to lockdown the position for their own.

For the readers: I wish a happy and healthy 2023 to all of you.  I wish patience upon all of you as this team continues to come together. They will be frustrating at times and an absolute enjoy to watch at others.  They won’t be the same as the Cubs were in the recent “glory days” but they will also hopefully be better than what we have watched the last couple of seasons.  The Cubs are headed in the right direction. Keep hanging in there!

Featured Image: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

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