Joe Maddon lives to make us question his every lineup decision. I’m sure of it.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Kris Bryant, RF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- David Bote, 3B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Willson Contreras, C
- Victor Caratini, 1B
- Jon Lester, P
- Ian Happ, LF
What I’ve always found so interesting about the Cubs roster is that, with three switch hitters and a boatload of other quality position players, the Cubs can almost always flip their entire lineup to one side of the plate or the other (at least when everyone’s healthy). Today, they’ve managed to do it on the right side, with every single batter besides the pitcher, Jon Lester, swinging it right-handed.
And I’m guessing you can guess why:
Versus Lefties: .245/.317/.362 (.300 wOBA)
Versus Righties: .301/.395/.558 (.399 wOBA)
For his (admittedly short) career, Cody Reed has allowed nearly 100 points of additional wOBA to right-handed hitters than left-handers. Thus, today is a perfect day to get Anthony Rizzo a rest in favor of the switch-hitting (and recently hot) Victor Caratini, to start Albert Almora Jr., and to give a struggling Daniel Murphy a day off at the plate.
In fact, I’m glad that each of Ben Zobrist, Rizzo, and Murphy are getting the day off today, regardless of the pitcher, because all three of them could use it – each will be crucial to the Cubs chances down the stretch. Today’s lineup is also heartening, because it might’ve looked exactly like this even if Jason Heyward was back and Kyle Schwarber wasn’t still nursing an injury. That’s a SUPER small victory in my mind, but I still like it.
So I guess, in the end, while this lineup may have looked weird at first, I think it actually makes a ton of sense. As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time.