Jason Heyward is still working his way back from a hamstring injury of an unpublicized level of seriousness, but assuming he comes back somewhat soon, and in the wake of the Cubs getting some key hits off the bench late last night, I thought it would be fun to note just how absurd the Cubs’ September bench is.
So, let’s assume a day when the starting lineup consists of Willson Contreras, Anthony Rizzo, Daniel Murphy, Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora, and Jason Heyward.
On such a day, the Cubs’ bench would include …
- An elite switch-hitting bat who can play all over in Ben Zobrist.
- A switch-hitter with power and the ability to take a walk in Ian Happ.
- An elite defensive shortstop in Addison Russell.
- A versatile glove with a ton of thump in David Bote.
- A switch-hitting back-up catcher in Victor Caratini.
- A hard-swinging catcher in Taylor Davis.
- The fastest man on the planet in Terrance Gore.
- And a pinch-hitter extraordinaire in Tommy La Stella.
In other words, the Cubs’ bench is made up of another lineup. It probably wouldn’t be the greatest performing group, but it’s fun to note:
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Ian Happ, LF
- David Bote, 2B
- Taylor Davis, 1B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Victor Caratini, C
- Tommy La Stella, 3B
- Terrance Gore, CF
That lineup could at least win a lot of Spring Training games. And that is the Cubs’ current BENCH. Those are all guys who might be SITTING on a given day, and it’s not like I fudged the “starting” lineup to bring more good players onto the “bench.”
More important than the fake lineup there, though, is the unique skills those guys bring to a bench role on this team. Lotta very, very useful parts there.