Tonight, the Chicago Cubs are starting a brand new, four-game series against the Mets at Wrigley Field. And they’ll do so with Tyler Chatwood on the mound, backed up by arguably the Cubs top pitching prospect, Adbert Alzolay. Starting opposite that duo is right-hander Walker Lockett, which has led to an interesting lineup decision.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Wilson Contreras, C
- Jason Heyward, CF
- Carlos Gonzalez, RF
- Tyler Chatwood, P
- Daniel Descalso, 2B
Okay, listen. No one was a bigger Daniel Descalso fan at the beginning of the year than I was, but he just hasn’t been good in a very long time (he’s got 10 hits in his last 95 ABs, 7 of which were singles) and doesn’t need to start right now.
I understood putting him in the starting lineup the other day – every bench guy needs a start and every starter needs a rest every now and then, plus there were big-time splits in his favor – but starting him again tonight just isn’t necessary. Yes, Walker Lockett has been BRUTAL against left-handed hitters this season, but without Descalso, the Cubs still have lefties Kyle Schwarber, Anthony Rizzo, Jason Heyward, and Carlos Gonzalez in the lineup. That’s a freakin’ TON of lefties.
And just because a guy is the opposite hand doesn’t mean he’s destined for more success.
Versus Righties This Season:
Descalso: .189/.293/.287 (59 wRC+)
Russell: .265/.320/.441 (95 wRC+)
Bote: .295/.369/.532 (133 wRC+)
I mean, what exactly are we doing here? I’m a righty, but you wouldn’t start me over Descalso against Clayton Kershaw, would you? No. Of course not. Addison Russell and David Bote aren’t perfect players and they aren’t lefties, but both probably stood a better chance in the batters’ box tonight. I’m a big fan of using splits to help coordinate a lineup, but not at the expense of common sense. Descalso got his token start just two games ago, he did not need another one this soon.
Alright, Descalso, did I do enough reverse-jinxing for you to make me look bad? PLEASE MAKE ME LOOK BAD.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (7:05 CT).