Jason Heyward will not start today, for the fourth game in a row. Some level of concern about the wrist injury that he played through for most of April would now be understandable.
He hasn’t yet appeared off of the bench, so if a DL stint becomes necessary, the Cubs can at least backdate it quite a bit.
In any case, here’s the lineup for today (UPDATE: Cubs just changed some of the positions, as noted below):
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Tommy La Stella,
- Kris Bryant,
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist,
- Ryan Kalish, LF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Tim Federowicz, C
- Kyle Hendricks, P
Ryan Kalish makes his 2016 Cubs starting debut, which is a very nice story. And, hey, he is finally healthy, was crushing it at AAA, and you never know when a guy with his unique backstory might break out. Plus, he’s a lefty, and Joe Ross, starting for the Nats today, is extremely tough on righties (career .190 wOBA against righties, .346 against lefties!).
… still, it gets harder and harder to see these lineups without Jorge Soler, when two starters ahead of him are out (Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward) and a key backup is also out (Matt Szczur). I don’t necessarily question that today’s lineup, as opposed to one with Soler in it, gives the Cubs the best chance to win today. It probably does. I just wish Soler could be getting the developmental time he needs, while at the same time helping the Cubs win. Maybe those two things are incompatible right now.
Javier Baez sitting today may seem, at first blush, like a surprise given how good he was in Pittsburgh, but it’s worth remembering that, with Kyle Hendricks starting and a candidate to be pulled soon after he gets through the Nationals’ order twice, Baez could very easily enter the game in the 5th/6th/7th and play a crucial part. Maybe even when there’s a better pitching matchup for him.
A full Pre-Gamin’ will come your way closer to the start of the game tonight.