The Chicago Cubs are playing a baseball game today. Were you aware?
The regular season is here! And the DEFENDING CHAMPION Chicago Cubs are set to face the Cardinals in St. Louis.
Here’s the first lineup of the year for the Cubs:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, CF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Jon Lester, P
- Javy Baez, 2B
Well look at that. Joe Maddon throwing us for a mild loop right out of the gate. Everyone wondered whether Albert Almora Jr. or Jon Jay would get the start in center field? Psyche. Neither.
Jason Heyward slides over into center field, where he’s perfectly well-equipped. In right field, Ben Zobrist takes over, allowing Javy Baez (and his sublime defense and tagging abilities) to play at second base. A nod to Jon Lester being on the mound? A preference for Baez at the plate against Carlos Martinez over Almora/Jay? Simply wanting to get Baez in there? All of the above?
It’s all good by me, as it’s hard to argue against playing Baez these days. He was, after all, the starting second baseman throughout the Cubs’ playoff run. And if Baez won a regular gig, that would be just as desirable as – for example – Albert Almora winning a regular gig. In any case, I suspect we’ll see plenty of both throughout the season. Tonight, it’s Baez. And he’ll probably do something fun.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time. Let’s go.
In the meantime, read a meditation on Cubs fandom after It Happened.