Chicago Cubs Lineup: HE'S BACK! Javy Baez Is the Starting Shortstop Tonight

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Chicago Cubs Lineup: HE’S BACK! Javy Baez Is the Starting Shortstop Tonight

Chicago Cubs

Earlier today, Theo Epstein mentioned that Cubs Manager Joe Maddon had two lineups ready to go tonight, one with Javy Baez (who’s been nursing an injured foot … in between walk-offs) and one without him, depending on how his evaluation went.

Chicago Cubs Lineup: 

  1. Kyle Schwarber, LF
  2. Kris Bryant, RF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Javy Baez, SS
  5. Willson Contreras, C
  6. Albert Almora Jr., CF
  7. Addison Russell, 2B
  8. David Bote, 3B
  9. Cole Hamels, P

I guess it went well.

With Javier Baez back at shortstop and in the heart of the lineup, all is right with the world. And I’ve gotta say … this group just looks so much deeper when he’s in there. He’s such a huge part of this team and offense, I’m very happy to see him back.

With Baez back at short, Addison Russell, who draws another start tonight, moves over to second base, batting seventh.

But here’s where things get interesting. Despite a lefty on the mound, Albert Almora Jr. is not leading off tonight. Obviously, the leadoff situation has been a bit flexible with Daniel Descalso’s struggles and Ben Zobrist’s absence from the team, but I still expected Almora to get the nod against all lefties. Cole Irvin technically has reverse-splits, but he’s hardly thrown at all, so it’s tough to say for sure that’s the reason.

Then again … I guess I forgot the world is upside down this year:

Versus Lefties:

Kyle Schwarber: 137 wRC+
Albert Almora Jr.: 36 wRC+

Versus Righties:

Kyle Schwarber: 83 wRC+
Albert Almora Jr.: 121 wRC+

Uhm … okay. I guess it all checks out.

Jason Heyward gets a seat tonight, Kris Bryant moves to the outfield, and David Bote picks up third base. As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (7:05 CT).

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is the butler to a wealthy werewolf off the coast of Wales and a writer at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami