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BCB After Dark: Who’s on first?

The late-night/early-morning spot for Cubs fans asks who will get the most games at first base this year.

Matt Mervis
Matt Mervis
Dylan Heuer

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the groovin’ gettogether for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. So glad to see you again tonight. It’s cold out there, but the music and camaraderie is warm in here. There are still a few good tables available. Let us take your coat for you. The show will start shortly. Bring your own beverage.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

Last night I asked you what you thought of the Cubs’ free agent signing of first baseman/corner outfielder Trey Mancini. Sixty-two percent of you gave the signing a big “Yay!” and only four percent said “Nay!” The other 34 percent of you were a big “meh” on the whole thing.

Don’t worry if you didn’t get a chance to vote. We’ve got another Mancini-related poll tonight.

Some Cubs-related news tonight. Here are the first two international goals for Mallory Swanson. She’s had many as Mallory Pugh, but they are the first since her marriage to Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson and her name change.

Here’s the part where I talk about jazz and movies. You’re free to skip ahead to the baseball question at the end. You won’t hurt my feelings.

Most of you know that I’ve lived in California for the past twenty years, and to be really honest, it’s been wet. After three years of no rain, we’ve been getting three years worth of rain in three weeks. I don’t want to make light of it—there has been some serious damage and several deaths—but I haven’t experienced any issues other than flooded gardens and some water coming in through windows that aren’t sealed as tight as I thought they were.

So this piece by Wes Montgomery, “Here’s That Rainy Day,” has been on my mind. It has Montgomery on guitar, Stan Tracey on piano, Rick Laird on bass and Jackie Dougan on drums. It’s a television broadcast from London in 1965. It’s also a really lovely performance.

This is just a reminder that you still have until Wednesday evening to vote in the latest BCB Winter Noir Classic. This matchup is between two films with girls names—Laura (1944), directed by Otto Preminger, and Gilda (1946), directed by Charles Vidor. As I write this, the vote is close. That’s as it should be, because these are both quality films. I generally don’t vote unless there’s a tie (I’m like the vice-president in that way) and I honestly don’t know which one I’m going to vote for if it comes to that.

Welcome back to all of you who skip the jazz and noir.

First base was a black hole for the Cubs last season. Cubs first basemen hit a combined .223/.288/.339 last year and the .627 OPS was 27th out of 30 teams last year. (Who was worse? I don’t know, but Pittsburgh, Miami and Detroit are my guesses.) The combined bWAR for Cubs first basemen was 0.1. That’s not good.

Six players had time at first base last year: Alfonso Rivas, Frank Schwindel, P.J. Higgins, Patrick Wisdom, David Bote and Jared Young. Of those six, Rivas, Schwindel and Higgins, who got the most games there, are all gone. Bote and Young are still in the organization, but they’ve been dropped from the 40-man roster. Only Patrick Wisdom remains and he’s primarily a third baseman.

So the Cubs front office has cleaned house at first base this winter. They’ve signed two free agents, Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini, who are both primarily first baseman. Minor league prospect Matt Mervis also had a breakout season in the minors last year and figures to make his major league debut this season. There are other possibilities at first base, such as Cody Bellinger and Wisdom. Both are ticketed to play other positions, but both have experience at first base in previous years.

So tonight’s question is, who will play the most games at first base this year? It’s not necessarily as easy a question as asking who will have the best year. The Cubs have a DH position to think of as well, and whomever is not playing first base will likely have a lot of games as a designated hitter. Hosmer generally has the best defensive reputation (at first) of any of the candidates, but some of the fielding metrics say that reputation is out-of-date.

So who will play the most games at first for the Cubs in 2023?


Who will get the most games at first base for the Cubs in 2023?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Eric Hosmer
    (139 votes)
  • 20%
    Trey Mancini
    (58 votes)
  • 30%
    Matt Mervis
    (85 votes)
  • 0%
    Someone else (leave in comments)
    (1 vote)
283 votes total Vote Now

Thank you so very much for stopping by this evening. If you checked anything, give us your ticket and we’ll get it for you now. Check your table for any valuables. Recycle any cans and bottles. Tip your waitstaff. Get home safely. We want to see you back tomorrow for more BCB After Dark.