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Hey, This is Fun: Opening Day Cubs Lineups Throughout the Rebuild

Analysis and Commentary

In the process of flipping back through Opening Day games while sketching this morning’s Bullets intro, I was reminded of the 2014 opener in Pittsburgh, which was an absolutely miserable affair. Don’t look if you don’t want to be reminded. (Actually, funny aside: the 2015 opener at Wrigley was disappointing for similar reasons, and I wound up using the same runners in scoring position quip on both Enhanced Box Scores. Whoops. A+ on the creativity, Brett. In my defense, the Cubs went a combined 0-24(!) with RISP in those two games.)

Looking back at the 2014 opener, I was struck by the lineup, which stands in contrast to the one that followed (and in extreme contrast to the one after that). So, for fun, I thought it worth sharing the Cubs’ Opening Day lineups going back to the year before the rebuild began in 2012.


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2011 Chicago Cubs Opening Day Lineup:

  1. Kosuke Fukudome, RF
  2. Starlin Castro, SS
  3. Marlon Byrd, CF
  4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
  5. Carlos Pena, 1B
  6. Geovany Soto, C
  7. Alfonso Soriano, LF
  8. Darwin Barney, 2B
  9. Ryan Dempster, P

2012 Chicago Cubs Opening Day Lineup:

  1. David DeJesus, RF
  2. Darwin Barney, 2B
  3. Starlin Castro, SS
  4. Alfonso Soriano, LF
  5. Ian Stewart, 3B
  6. Jeff Baker, 1B
  7. Marlon Byrd, CF
  8. Geovany Soto, C
  9. Ryan Dempster, P

2013 Chicago Cubs Opening Day Lineup:

  1. David DeJesus, CF
  2. Starlin Castro, SS
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Alfonso Soriano, LF
  5. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  6. Welington Castillo, C
  7. Luis Valbuena, 3B
  8. Brent Lillibridge, 2B
  9. Jeff Samardzija, P

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2014 Chicago Cubs Opening Day Lineup:

  1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF
  2. Junior Lake, LF
  3. Starlin Castro, SS
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  5. Mike Olt, 3B
  6. Welington Castillo, C
  7. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  8. Darwin Barney, 2B
  9. Jeff Samardzija, P

2015 Chicago Cubs Opening Day Lineup:

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Jorge Soler, RF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Starlin Castro, SS
  5. Chris Coghlan, LF
  6. Mike Olt, 3B
  7. David Ross, C
  8. Jon Lester, P
  9. Tommy La Stella, 2B

2016 Chicago Cubs Opening Day Lineup:

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Jason Heyward, RF
  3. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  5. Kris Bryant, 3B
  6. Kyle Schwarber, LF
  7. Jorge Soler, DH (Jake Arrieta, P)
  8. Miguel Montero, C
  9. Addison Russell, SS

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Well. That was certainly a stroll down memory lane. Mike Olt with more starts at third base in the last six years than Kris Bryant. Brent Lillibridge, Jeff Baker, Junior Lake, and Emilio Bonifacio as Opening Day starters throughout the years. Three-time Opening Day second baseman, Darwin Barney.

This year’s group projects to look very similar to last year’s group, which is also something we haven’t seen too often over these years. Even from 2015 to 2016, there were six players who were in the Opening Day lineup in 2015, but weren’t in 2016.


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.