Earlier today, the Chicago Cubs announced the order of their entire 2018 starting rotation, and today’s pitcher, Kyle Hendricks, got the nod just behind Opening Day starter Jon Lester. Also earlier today, I took a closer look at Kyle Hendricks’ improved level of comfort and why he looks ready for another big season on the mound.
Needless to say, today is Kyle Hendricks day.
But that’s not the only relevant news for today’s contest. We also learned that Kris Bryant is still not feeling well, and is being held out of the lineup once again. He’s been out of action for the last few days with an illness (the flu or a virus of some sort, according to David Kaplan), and was only able to play catch today, which, hey, is better than nothing!
In his place, David Bote takes over third and bats ninth.
Elsewhere in the lineup, Albert Almora takes another shot at leading off a game (that’s three for him and three for Ian Happ, if you’re keeping score at home) and it looks like they’ll keep going with these two until Ben Zobrist gets better, at which point you might see him at the top of the order both as an audition for that spot, of sorts (not that he needs it), and an effort to make up some missed ABs.
Javy Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell, and Jason Heyward are the only other regulars in the lineup, and Chris Gimenez, the front-runner for the back-up catcher job, follows, batting sixth. After Hendricks comes out (expect 1-2 innings or about 30 pitches, whichever comes first), you might see Mike Montgomery, Justin Wilson, Justin Grimm, Eddie Butler, and others. My guess is Montgomery gets in first, but that’s just a gut feeling, given his desire to be considered among the “starters.”
There’s no TV for this game, but you can listen along on MLB.com.
And here’s the full lineup:
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Chris Gimenez, C
- Efren Navarro, DH
- Peter Bourjos, LF
- David Bote, 3B
Pitcher: Kyle Hendricks
A’s lineup tomorrow, with Blackburn starting this time and Mengden coming in second. At Cubs: pic.twitter.com/9xHFa45A8x
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 27, 2018