La Stella and the Regulars sounds like a hotel lounge band, doesn’t it?
Well it also represents today’s Cubs’ lineup against their south-side rivals, the Chicago White Sox.
Here’s the lineup with a different outfield alignment than usual:
- Kyle Schwarber, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, CF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Tommy La Stella, DH
- Jon Jay, LF
Starting Pitcher: Duane Underwood
The Cubs lineup today isn’t very different than anything we’ve seen before. Joe Maddon does have Tommy La Stella hitting as the DH in the eighth spot of the order, but we always knew Maddon was considering hitting the pitcher eighth again in 2017 (this would be the Spring Training/AL version of that).
The defensive alignment, however, is quite different.
On a “normal” day with those outfielders, Jason Heyward would be in right field, Kyle Schwarber in left, and Jon Jay would split the difference. But to give each outfielder a different look, Maddon has shaken things up. Heyward slides over to center, Schwarber mans right and Jay gets in position in left. Given Albert Almora’s ability to also play all three outfield positions, I’d say the Cubs have a very dynamic rotation brewing.
Three out of four “starting” outfielders can play all three spots and the fourth is Kyle Schwarber (and it doesn’t really matter where he plays, as long as he brings his bat to the park). The Cubs sure do love their versatility.
We’ll have a full Pre-Gamin’ for you closer to game time.