Bellinger set to make spring debut Wednesday

March 4th, 2024

PEORIA, Ariz. -- ’s anticipated return to the Cubs’ lineup card arrives this week.

Manager Craig Counsell announced Monday that the 2019 NL MVP will step in as designated hitter on Wednesday when the Cubs host the Angels at Sloan Park in Mesa at 3:05 p.m. ET/2:05 CT. The game will be broadcast on Marquee Sports Network and MLB.TV. Counsell also expects Bellinger to play in the field either Friday or Saturday.

The Cubs re-signed Bellinger to a three-year, $80 million contract after his renaissance at the plate in 2023. In his first year with the Cubs, Bellinger batted almost a full 100 points better than in his previous season with the Dodgers. He slashed .307/.356/.525 in 130 games with Chicago.

Cubs players weren’t shy about expressing their hope that the center fielder would be brought back into the fold, and it’s been the same buzz now that he’s officially set to open his second season on the North Side after a six-year run with the Dodgers that included him being named Rookie of the Year, a two-time All-Star and a Gold Glover.

“We’ve all been here busting our tails and we deserve to feel confident in what we’re doing,” No. 16 overall prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong said. “There’s just good energy all around right now, especially since our boy has been back.”