Mike Tauchman’s big-league career has taken him coast to coast.
Five major-league seasons with three teams has brought him to 24 major-league ballparks. One in particular, though, has eluded him. Tauchman is trying to rectify the Wrigley Field omission in the next month. For the Palatine native who grew up a Cubs fan, Tauchman’s opportunity to make the opening-day roster grew exponentially when the team lost right fielder Seiya Suzuki for the start of the season because of an oblique injury.
Tauchman, 32, homered in Saturday’s 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers, improving to 7-for-21 (.333) this spring with three extra-base hits, two RBIs, six runs scored and three stolen bases in 10 games.
Tauchman spent 2022 in the Korean Baseball Organization where he posted a .289/.366/.430 line and hit 37 doubles and 12 home runs in 144 games. At times Tauchman had to rely on himself because of the language barrier, though his team, the Hanwha Eagles, had a couple coaches who spoke English, which aided in the transition. He learned how to self-assess and make adjustments on his own without the safety net of the resources available to players in Major League Baseball. He considers his one season in South Korea to be an overall very positive experience.
Tauchman’s ability to handle all three outfield positions puts him on a front-runner path to the Cubs’ opening-day roster. Manager David Ross said Saturday that he won’t use left fielder Ian Happ in center field as the back-up option on days Cody Bellinger isn’t in the lineup. Tauchman made 129 starts in center field for Hanwha last year and started 11 games there in 2021 with the New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants.
“Everybody wants to have a great spring, but there’s obviously a bigger picture,” Tauchman told the Tribune on Saturday. “I want to come in, try to show my skill set, show everybody what you can do because you watch on TV or you hear about it, but you always want to make a good impression so I feel good with where I’m at.”
Two stalls to the right of Tauchman’s in the Cubs spring clubhouse resides lefty reliever Ryan Borucki, a Mundelein High School graduate whose quest to open the season in Chicago comes after a stress reaction in his arm prematurely ended his 2022 season with the Seattle Mariners. Borucki, 28, has struck out seven and walked …read more
Source:: The Mercury News