Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Today’s Cubs lineup is a bit jarring, as it features a pitcher batting 9th for the first time all year, it features the return of long-gone and possibly-mythical second baseman Tommy La Stella, and it features Starlin Castro back at shortstop:

It was already going to be a tough slog against Corey Kluber today, and the bottom half of the lineup doesn’t look too promising. Addison Russell is day-to-day with a groin issue, Jorge Soler is out with an oblique injury, and David Ross catches when Jon Lester’s on the mound.

That said, we still don’t quite know what Tommy La Stella can or cannot be. It’s entirely plausible that he’s adequate (Jorge Soler has a 93 wRC+ on the year, for what that’s worth). Starlin Castro physically has it within his body to be an average or better offensive player, so maybe something is sparked in him (I’m not betting on it this year, but, I’m just saying, it’s conceivable). Ross and Lester … well, hopefully Ross makes Kluber throw some pitches, and Lester takes advantage of the R/L match-up.

And, hey: the top five in the lineup are still hot as all get-out.

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