5 Chicago Cubs Players To Watch In Series vs. Philadelphia Phillies

5 Cubs To Watch Over Weekend Against The Philadelphia Phillies

Chicago Cubs
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After a wacky three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Chicago Cubs will return home to take on the other team from Pennsylvania in the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend. The opening homestand will also kickoff the 100th Anniversary season of Wrigley Field, and they will be greeted by an old friend in Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. Here are five Cubs to watch for this weekend as they return home to the friendly confines.

5. Jose Veras

Jose Veras
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

5. Jose Veras

Jose Veras
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

In his Cubs debut, Jose Veras struggled and blew his first save opportunity of the 2014 season. In the process, he wound up throwing a ton of pitches, and it led to Pedro Strop actually getting the first save of the year for the Cubs. If Veras gets a chance to close out a game this weekend, how will he respond in the situation? Could another rough outing lead to a sudden closer controversy early on in the season?

4. Mike Olt

Mike Olt
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

4. Mike Olt

Mike Olt
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

During the Cubs' first win, a great sight was Mike Olt connecting for his first Major League home run in his career. It was a validating moment for the slugger who has worked hard to get back to the big-league level. He is likely to make at least one start this weekend, and early indications are showing that the wind will be blowing out at Wrigley. Might Olt quickly add another home run to the career total?

3. Emilio Bonifacio

Emilio Bonifacio
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

3. Emilio Bonifacio

Emilio Bonifacio
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

How many projected Emilio Bonifacio to be leading the league in hits and stolen bases to start the season? Bonifacio is currently 11-for-16 to start his Cubs career. He has been able to be a table-setter for the Cubs on offense, which is what they need. Will Bonifacio be able to keep up his hot hitting at home?

2. Travis Wood and Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

2. Travis Wood and Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Coming out of camp, manager Rick Renteria lined up the rotation to have Travis Wood pitch the home opener and have Jeff Samardzija follow him. Samardzija was terrific on Opening Day, and Wood threw the ball really well during Spring Training. If the duo is able to put out solid starts and lead the Cubs to two wins, it might just carry over into some momentum for the rest of the club.

1. Starlin Castro

Starlin Castro
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

1. Starlin Castro

Starlin Castro
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The heavily watched Starlin Castro did not have a good series in Pittsburgh to start the season. He went 1-for-13 at the plate and also committed a costly error at shortstop. However, those results should be taken with a grain of salt as Castro missed a good portion of Spring Training with an injury. This first week of games essentially are his spring reps. Hopefully for himself and the team, Castro will get going in front of the home crowd.

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