The Cubs are going for a 4-game series win this afternoon and they’ll do it with an all-kids lineup. You’ll see what I mean:
- Albert Almora Jr., CF – age 24
- Javy Baez, 2B – age 25
- David Bote, 3B – age 25
- Addison Russell, SS – age 24
- Kyle Schwarber, LF – age 25
- Willson Contreras, C – age 26
- Victor Caratini, 1B – age 24
- Jon Lester, P – age 34
- Ian Happ, RF – age 23
With the exception of the starting pitcher, Jon Lester, Willson Contreras is the *oldest* player in today’s Cubs lineup at the ripe old age of … 26?! Yep, there’s no Anthony Rizzo, no Kris Bryant, no Jason Heyward, no Ben Zobrist, and no Tommy La Stella, which means the kids are getting a shot to show what they can do.
Obviously, as I just pointed it out, this lineup doesn’t include all of the Cubs everyday starters, but it’s still pretty amazing to me that a team who’s contended for this long (2015-2018) can still roll out a lineup while in first place with 7 guys at 25 or under (or 8 guys at 26 and under, whichever you prefer). That’s just so awesome.
Now, hopefully, these young guys can actually go out there and win, because 3 out of 4 from the Padres is solid, but splitting a four-gamer with one of the worst teams in baseball at home? Not so much.
As for where everyone is hitting today, well, I think you have to assume Joe Maddon is just trying to get some people going. For example, Albert Almora has struggled a ton lately, but he’s leading off. Addison Russell has seen his power all but evaporate, but he’s batting cleanup. Etc. As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (1:20 CT).