The Non-Starting Second Baseman, Watch Banner Raising Online, and Other Bullets

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The Non-Starting Second Baseman, Watch Banner Raising Online, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Ah, home opener day. It would be a good day no matter what else was going on, but obviously this one is historic.

Here’s hoping I see you around the ballpark – maybe even the new Park at Wrigley – before, during, or after the game. I’ll be wearing my Tsuyoshi Wada shirsey (yeah, baby, I’m that guy – hey, he was awesome), so if you see me out in the bleachers, say hey.

There will be quite a bit to get into from yesterday’s Cubs win – particularly with respect to the pitching and hitting stars of the game:

But for now, let’s touch on some Other Bullets …

  • Like the Cubs’ starting second baseman, Javy Baez. OK, so that’s not actually accurate just yet, but Patrick Mooney writes about how the transition from Ben Zobrist to Javy Baez is already beginning, even if Joe Maddon isn’t going to put a label on it. Given Zobrist’s age and Baez’s defensive ability, it was always a given that Zobrist would cede more and more starts to Baez as the year went on (that Baez started every game at second base in the playoffs was a loud, blaring signal), but it doesn’t really serve the Cubs’ interests just yet to have ONE starting second baseman. The reality of these two players is that, all else equal, you’d love to have Zobrist’s bat in there every day, and you’d love to have Baez’s glove in there every day. And, as we have already seen, that will happen frequently by way of Zobrist moving to the outfield. But when that happens, the Cubs get a marked defensive downgrade in the outfield, and they also have to park Albert Almora Jr. and Jon Jay on the bench. Some days, you’ll want to do that. Other days, you won’t. So, I very much buy the things Joe Maddon told Mooney in the article, emphasizing that he wants to keep everyone versatile and given the roster more “latitude.” Eventually, Javy Baez probably does take over more or less as the everyday second baseman (pending health, trades, and what happens with Ian Happ (not that he would necessarily bounce Baez from the position, but I’m just saying, a combination of events can change things)). But the Cubs have the pieces this year to maximize value and rest by specifically not having a set starting second baseman. I am a big fan.
  • Next year? The year after? I think that’s when you’ll really start to see someone settling into the position, in the latter two years of Zobrist’s four-year contract.
  • The banner-raising is tonight before the home opener, and the details you need: the banner festivities are starting at 6:20pm CT, and they will be streamed live on and Even if you can’t be at the ballpark, you’ll want to watch and be a part of that moment.
  • Early season standings are fun:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.