The Chicago Cubs have lost five in a row, and are going to lose this series to the Padres one way or another. But if this lineup can finally break through and score some runs, maybe they can salvage one win on this trip.
Here’s who heads out there for the Cubs today:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ian Happ, CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Javy Baez, SS
- Jake Arrieta, P
The Chicago Cubs lineup is struggling, mightily, and no one can argue that. But here’s the thing … there’s so much damn talent up and down the roster. You see it when guys like Addison Russell, Albert Almora, Jon Jay, and Miguel Montero are all on the bench, and the lineup still looks strong on paper.
They just need to make paper into reality.
In Russell’s place this afternoon, Javy Baez starts at shortstop. Since starting the year off 1-11, Baez has actually slashed .273/.305/.515 in the 143 plate appearances since. Obviously, that on-base percentage is frustratingly low, but his batting average and slugging are sufficiently high, that he’s actually been an above average hitter overall (103 wRC+). With his glove, you’ll absolutely take that. Remember, Baez was nearly a 3.0 WAR player last season when his wRC+ was down at 94.
Ben Zobrist is still leading off, Kyle Schwarber is still in the lineup, and Ian Happ returns after a couple days off. As usual, we’ll have your Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (2:40 CT).