We’ll have a full injury run-down for you here shortly, but now that the lineup is out we can confirm that neither Kris Bryant (sore shoulder) nor Javy Baez (knee) will be starting today.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Ian Happ, RF
- Jon Lester, P
- Tommy La Stella, 3B
With Baez out from second base, Ben Zobrist jumps into the lineup and covers the position. It doesn’t sound like Baez will be out for long, but at least the Cubs have a quality back-up there in Zobrist.
With Jason Heyward sitting today – there’s a tough lefty, Robbie Ray, on the mound for the Diamondbacks this afternoon (.259 wOBA versus lefties) – Ian Happ is out in right field, alongside Albert Almora and Kyle Schwarber. But with Happ in right, third base – vacated by an injured Bryant – was left open. So Tommy La Stella hops into the starting lineup for the first time in a while and leaves the bench extremely short-handed (it’s basically just Heyward and Victor Caratini, if Baez is also truly unavailable).
The Cubs are going through a bit of a grind right now, playing without arguably their two best players (Bryant and Baez), their best starter (Yu Darvish), and their best reliever (Brandon Morrow). So hang on to your butts, because it could be rough. Hopefully, the picture on Baez and Bryant clears up soon – one way or another – because having two unavailable position players on the active roster when you are already rocking a short bench is no bueno.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (1:20 CT).