He’s here! Ian Happ is up and starting for the Cubs today, and although you wish the circumstances were much less injury-y, that was pretty much the only way he’d have been called upon this early in the season anyway. So … is that a yin and yang situation?
Here’s the Cubs lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Ian Happ, RF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Jeimer Candelario, 3B
- Tommy La Stella, 2B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Javy Baez, SS
- Jon Lester, P
- Albert Almora, CF
The lineup is actually fairly similar to last night’s edition when all was resolved with who was and was not playing.
Here’s the thing: it’s not great to be missing so many key players to injury. But when you look at that lineup, it’s not the absolute tire fire you’d expect to see from a team missing four(!) starters (Bryant, Russell, Heyward, Zobrist). That’s quality depth right there, and also a credit to how the Cubs have prioritized positional flexibility.
Will the youngsters be able to get after Carlos Martinez? We’ll see. Certainly not an easy first assignment for Happ, or for Candelario or Almora (or really any of the righties, either, for that matter).
Sometimes youngsters are the injection of life a team needs, though. Win or lose, I’d look for the Cubs to look a little energized today.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (3:05 CT). In the meantime, read about Eddie Butler’s huge debut with the Cubs.