We’re still a few hours away from the Cubs’ lineup officially coming out, but manager Joe Maddon just confirmed on The Score that Jason Heyward, who has recovered from a hamstring strain, will be in the starting lineup.
Heyward, 29, has not been the guy he was offensively before coming to the Cubs, but this season has seen him bounce way back – again, relatively speaking – to a .275/.342/.399 line, which is just about league average (101 wRC+). He still plays impeccable defense in right and center field, though, so having his lefty bat available to pair with that glove is a very good thing.
Righty reliever Matt Andriese will spot start for the D-Backs tonight, and he’s actually a huge reverse split guy, so it’s not necessarily an ideal return matchup for Heyward – but who knows how deep Andriese will actually pitch.
It’ll just be nice to see Heyward out there again and fully healthy after about two and a half weeks on the shelf. Heyward now has a couple weeks to get fully back into game shape/timing in advance of the postseason, and his presence enhances the Cubs’ ability to mix-and-match their other positional starters based on matchups.