The Chicago Cubs are spending their time and money putting together a solid defense for 2023.
With their current roster, they have several Gold Glove winners and nominees.
However, Happ and Swanson won their awards last season, while Hosmer’s last Gold Glove came in 2017.
While these three are proven on defense with their awards, Nico Hoerner is another player who’s always a defensive star but yet to win a Gold Glove.
But even without an award, he’s always a contender for the Gold Glove.
With Happ, Swanson, Hosmer, and Hoerner in the lineup, the Cubs have a solid defense to shut down opponents.
Here is how the Chicago Cubs are looking heading into the 2023 season 🐻⚾️ pic.twitter.com/lOHmjmPyyN
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) January 4, 2023
However, can their defense lead them to an NL Central title?
Pitching Will Determine How Well The Cubs Defense Plays
There are some issues with the defensive mindset in Chicago bringing the team an NL Central title.
While the team has a solid infield, they can’t do much if they don’t have ground ball pitchers.
Last season, the Cubs had plenty of groundball pitching to help their infield secure outs.
However, the Cubs finished 2022 with a team ground ball rate of 43.2%.
A repeat of these numbers won’t help the Cubs’ solid players up the middle.
They also have an issue with Hosmer joining the team, as his time in San Diego saw him making plenty of blunders on defense.
Unless the Cubs pitchers force more ground balls, and Hosmer has a better year on defense, their defense won’t win them an NL Central title.