Daniel Murphy Figures to Bat Near the Top of the Cubs' Order - How Would You Set It Up?

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Daniel Murphy Figures to Bat Near the Top of the Cubs’ Order – How Would You Set It Up?

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs need an offensive infusion as desperately now as they needed a starting pitching infusion when Cole Hamels arrived. You hate to put that all on a single player, but Daniel Murphy has been – frustratingly – one of the best hitters in baseball for three and a half years now. If he’s truly healthy and back to where he was last year, he can single-handedly change a lineup. He’s that type of guy.

So how will the Cubs deploy him?

Joe Maddon confirmed after last night’s game that Murphy will be in the lineup tonight in Detroit. You can assume he’ll be starting at second base. Maddon added that Murphy will bat at or near the top of the order.

So, then, in a perfect world, how would you sort out the batting order?

The positional stuff makes things a bit challenging, because the one other guy you definitely want to have in the lineup right now is Ben Zobrist – he’s been one of the best hitters in the NL in the second half – but if he’s not playing second base, then you’ve gotta put him in the outfield, which means someone else sits. Then again, it’s not like the outfield has been raking, so …

Let’s say the Cubs were facing a typical right-hander with typical splits. Here’s what I think the best lineup could look like (when also considering how guys are playing right now):

  1. Ben Zobrist, RF
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  3. Javy Baez, SS
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  5. Kyle Schwarber, LF
  6. David Bote, 3B
  7. Jason Heyward, CF
  8. Willson Contreras, C
  9. Pitcher

Against a typical lefty, maybe something like this:

  1. Albert Almora, CF
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  3. Javy Baez, SS
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  5. Willson Contreras, C
  6. David Bote, 3B
  7. Ian Happ/Ben Zobrist, LF
  8. Jason Heyward, RF
  9. Pitcher

That working for folks? The only part I don’t love is breaking up the grinding at bats in both lineups with Javy Baez there in the three spot, but he can make so many things happen that I wouldn’t want to bury him much further.

How would you want to see it now that Murphy is in the fold?


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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.