The big questions entering today were whether Jason Heyward would return, and, if so, whom he would be replacing. Prevailing wisdom started to indicate it wasn’t going to be Ian Happ.
Here’s the Cubs lineup for today’s game against the Brewers, answering at least that part of the question:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ian Happ, CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jake Arrieta, P
Well, then. That’s a whole lot of changing around.
Ian Happ stays with the big team as Jason Heyward returns, with Happ the one playing center field. Ben Zobrist bounces up to the leadoff spot, with Kyle Schwarber – and everyone else – moving down a spot, allowing the team not to stack lefties (which Joe Maddon did not want to do). Is this just a one-time thing against righty Chase Anderson? Or is this a change? Maddon had recently been pretty adamant that Schwarber was going to keep leading off, but I guess we’ll see.
Addison Russell returns to the lineup, and slides all the way down in the 8-hole. The presence of Happ in center field is your primary explanation there. Hopefully Russell can show discipline in front of the pitcher.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (1:20pm CT).