The Chicago Cubs swept the Los Angeles Angels in two games, earlier this week. Today, they’ll make their way back into the National League, to take on the Diamondbacks in a four game set.
With no DH, the Cubs lineup was bound to be different, so let’s see what Maddon has in store for the D-backs:
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Miguel Montero, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- John Lackey, P
With a righty on the mound for Arizona, it should come as no surprise to see Ben Zobrist back in the three hole, with Kris Bryant shifting down to fifth. Also, as expected, Schwarber continues to start in left field against righties, with Jorge Soler sitting on the bench.
We might see Soler on the bench a bit more than we’re happy with, early in the season, but he’ll get his reps before the season ends. For now, it’ll take a tough lefty on the mound, a Dexter Fowler or Jason Heyward day off, a Jason Hammel start (with Schwarber behind the plate) or some other unexpected injury or ineffectiveness to get him in as a starter – especially considering the fact that Joe Maddon values Schwarber’s defense ahead of Soler’s. But even on the bench, I wouldn’t bet against Soler getting into games late as a pinch hitter; in that capacity, he can be quite valuable.
The Cubs have won two in a row, if they win one more, that’s called a winning streak. Wouldn’t that be nice?