(CBS) — Major League Baseball is back, and here are five big story lines for the Chicago Cubs in 2019.
Can the Cubs make some noise after a quiet off-season? Daniel Descalso is definitely not the big free-agent signing fans were hoping for during an ice-cold winter. The cashed-strapped Cubs are betting on virtually the same roster that won 95 games in 2018, but fizzled down the stretch.
Same bat channel? The Cubs’ superheroes turned into mere mortals at the plate when it mattered the most, leading to a wild card flop in the playoffs. We’ll see if Anthony Iapoce – their third hitting coach in three seasons – can bring some consistency to the offense.
Addison, subtraction, or distraction? The ultimate fate of shortstop Addison Russell remains unknown, as he goes through camp still suspended for violating MLB’s domestic abuse policy. The Cubs continue to support Russell, but have made him no promises.
What say, Yu? Yu Darvish is committed to conducting his interviews in English this season. More Ws on the mound will speak the Cubs’ language. Darvish claims he’s physically and mentally stronger after his disappointing North Side debut. He better be.
Joe Cool, or lame duck? The unflappable Joe Maddon is promising to be a more hands-on manager as he enters the final year of his contract with no new deal on the table. Maddon’s moves will be scrutinized more than ever before. His 2019 team slogan says it all: “Own it now!”