The Chicago Cubs return home for a ten game home stand, beginning with the Phillies today at 1:20.
The forecast does call for rain, but I sure hope the Cubs can sneak this one in. Why? Well, for on,e there was an off-day yesterday and I can’t take another day without baseball. But two, the Cubs are throwing out quite a different lineup/defensive alignment today. Check it out:
Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Adam Morgan):
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kris Bryant, 1B
- Jorge Soler, LF
- Matt Szczur, RF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Javy Baez, 3B
- David Ross, C
- Jon Lester, P
Uh … wow. That’s a lot to unpack (I’ll even save some for the Pre-Gamin’, which will come a little closer to game time). First and most notably, Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward are getting the day off. Why? Well, the Phillies starter, Adam Morgan, has pretty significant lefty/righty splits. For his (admittedly short) career, Morgan has allowed a .341 wOBA against righties, but just a .296 wOBA against lefties. So Maddon has stacked the deck with righties.
In fact, with the exception of Jon Lester, everyone will bat righty this afternoon (which is pretty crazy when you think about it, because on any other given day, the Cubs could throw out six lefties – Fowler, Zobrist, Heyward, Rizzo, Montero and La Stella – and no one would blink an eye). Also, this is Rizzo’s first scheduled day-off the entire season. He is overdue. Plus Heyward is still dealing with lingering soreness in his side, and his wrist issue.
Kris Bryant takes over the duties at first, and man is he versatile. Bryant has now made starts at third base, first base, left field and right field in 2016. Javy Baez comes in to cover third for Bryant, and Matt Szczur takes the place of Heyward in right. It’s a different look today, but this feels like the right lineup against Morgan.
A full Pre-Gamin’ will come a little closer to game time.