The Chicago Cubs return to Wrigley Field after an off-day on Thursday, and after absolutely nothing of note happened on Wednesday.
Today, they’ll take on the Pittsburgh Pirates once again, after sweeping them a little over a week ago. Jason Hammel takes the mound and the lineup is one we’ve seen many times before.
Chicago Cubs Lineup v. Pirates (Francisco Liriano):
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Jorge Soler, LF
- Addison Russell, SS
- David Ross, C
- Jason Hammel, P
In the Series Preview, I guessed – incorrectly – that Javy Baez might draw two consecutive starts today and tomorrow, as Jorge Soler rebounds from a tough day on Wednesday and Tommy La Stella sits with two lefties on the mound. I was wrong. Jorge Soler grabs another start in left field today, as Kris Bryant moves back to his native home in the infield.
Baez has been fairly hot lately, but Joe Maddon liked the matchup with Soler better, so here we are.
And it’s not as though it doesn’t make sense to have Soler in there, in general. Liriano has always been a good deal worse against righties (.315 wOBA) than lefties (.264) in his career, and Soler truly (and I don’t care how much you’ll kick and scream when I say this) has about as much offensive potential as any player on the Cubs. It isn’t without reason that he’s simply going through a prolonged slump, not unlike the Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward, but the potential is still there..
The rest of the lineup is precisely what we’ve come to expect, and I’m thoroughly pumped for some Friday afternoon baseball! Let’s go!