With Jason Heyward out (the latest update is here, if missed it), the Cubs have to change things up this evening:
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Jorge Soler, LF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Addison Russell, SS
- David Ross, C
- Jon Lester, P
The middle chunk of the lineup all moves up a spot, rather than having a particular player replace Heyward’s spot in the lineup. From where I sit, that’s fine by me, because the number two spot is the most important in the lineup, and now Kris Bryant is there. In the end, lineup optimization does not make a huge difference over the course of a season (which is why you don’t hear me saying too much boo about where Heyward had been hitting in the first place – it’s just not that big of a deal).
Ben Zobrist covers for Heyward in right field, which is a nice use of his versatility now that the Cubs need it. He’d otherwise been pretty much just the regular second baseman (at which he’d been very steady), but when you need him to move around, he can still do it just fine.
Javy Baez, in turn, gets the start at second, which gives the Cubs an incredibly rangey and smooth middle infield tonight.
We’ll have a full Pre-Gamin’ closer to tonight’s game time.