It's Opening Day, Cubs fans, and it will be Jed Hoyer's first as the new president of baseball operations.
It's the first time fans will get to see the team Hoyer put together after making cuts, signings and finalizing his decision on the 26-man roster.
The Cubs were searching for a starting second baseman during spring training and David Bote ended up winning the job, beating Eric Sogard, Ildemaro Vargas and Nico Hoerner.
"Ultimately, all of our second basemen played great this spring," said Hoyer on 670 The Score. "It was sort of unanimous that David Bote had won the job and frankly deserves it. He's been here for four years. He played great. I think he can really provide an impact offensively for us."
Hoerner had a better spring offensively than Bote, but the Cubs decided to go with Bote's experience and endurance instead.
"Well, I mean first of all he (Hoerner) played great," Hoyer said. "I thought he added a lot of muscle."
Hoerner highly impressed this spring, hitting .364 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 44 at-bats, while Bote hit .311 with three home runs and eight RBIs.
"I thought he (Hoerner) did a lot of really good work this winter on his swing, and he was elevating balls into left field, which is something that he didn't last year," Hoyer said. "I mean, there's a lot of positives."
Bote and Hoerner were in the same competition in last year's spring training, along with Jason Kipnis and Daniel Descalso. The starting job became a mix of Kipnis and Hoerner, with Bote primarily serving as a utility player.
Hoerner was the starting second baseman on Opening Day in 2020, which was played in July due to the pandemic-shortened season.
Bote will start at second base on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field, but Hoyer believes Hoerner's future with the team is bright and wants him to get more work down in Triple-A.
"We were honest," Hoyer said. "We said we see you (Hoerner) as a starting player in the big leagues for a long time and that we don't want you up here right now on the bench kind of operating as a 26th man on the roster. We need him getting at-bats 'cause when he does come up here, we want to play him. We don't want him in that kind of role.
"Certainly, he has a bright future with us."
Bote made a name for himself during his first stint with the Cubs in 2018 by hitting a walk-off grand slam to beat the Washington Nationals. The Cubs won 4-3 in front of a roaring crowd at Wrigley Field.