You guys! We made it!
We made it through that terrible winter, with free agent ice-outs and fights between the union/league on pace-of-play (and just about everything else), and we’re finally here … the first official Cubs lineup of the year.
We won’t be doing a full lineup post every day for Spring Training (don’t worry, we’ll still have Pre-Gamin’ threads up with the lineups and other useful information), but we couldn’t resist for today.
BASEBALL IS HERE.
- Ian Happ, CF
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Tommy La Stella, 3B
- Victor Caratini, C
- Efren Navarro, 1B
- David Bote, 2B
- Jacob Hannemann, RF
- Mark Zagunis, DH
- Mike Freeman, SS
Hopefully, I don’t have to tell you to read too much into the Spring Training lineups, and who’s playing when or with whom. Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, and Tommy La Stella are all mortal locks for the 25-man roster on Opening Day if they are healthy, which is why they are batting at the top – they’ll get their two or three plate appearances and head out. Their presence in a lineup with a mix of non-roster invitees and Minor League guys doesn’t mean anything about their status.
Similarly, don’t expect Happ to suddenly take the lead in the leadoff man race … though I wouldn’t necessarily mind if he did. I’m expecting a big season out of him this year, and if he could cut down on that strikeout rate, his speed and on-base skills (let alone general offensive prowess) could make him one of the most reasonable leadoff hitter options when he’s in there.
The only real “race” we might have this Spring (perhaps, outside the last spot in then bullpen) is if Victor Caratini can somehow manage to beat out Chris Gimenez for the backup catcher role. But because Caratini is not a veteran, isn’t as familiar with Yu Darvish, has remaining options, and could probably benefit from playing every day, he’s the underdog at the moment.
The rest of the lineup is filled with guys who may/will probably make appearances in supporting roles throughout the season.
Gah! I’m just too excited right now. Baseball is back – there’s a lineup and everything! What a great day. Let’s go Cubs!