The Cubs lost the first of four against the Pirates last night, but they’ll try, try again tonight. At least Kyle Hendricks is back.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Willson Contreras, C
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Addison Russell, 2B
- Kyle Hendricks, P
David Bote is not a perfect player. I know that. He doesn’t have Addison Russell’s glove, his prospect pedigree, or his ceiling. But he hits righties better, is hitting FAR better for the season, and is hitting better than Russell even recently. And as is sometimes the case, Russell doesn’t even have a particularly compelling case against tonight’s starter, Joe Musgrove (2-9, 3Ks).
The only two explanations I can think of for Maddon’s continued resistance to starting Bote are (1) wanting the best possible infield defense for Kyle Hendricks, who gets a fair amount of ground balls, and (2) showcasing Russell for a potential July trade. Neither are particularly compelling to me. And I suppose it’s worth mentioning that Bote does not appear to be hurt, given that he came into yesterday’s game (presumably against Joe Maddon’s will) and notched two hits.
Since June 1st:
Russell (73 PAs): .222/.301/.317
Bote (90 PAs): .239/.313/.423
Russell (101 PAs): .250/.300/.413 (82 wRC+)
Bote (179 PAs): .291/.369/.500 (125 wRC+)
Other than that, Willson Contreras is back behind the plate and everything else is pretty much the same around the lineup. Oh, one last bit: Jason Heyward has done relatively well against Musgrove in the past (3-10 with two walks), while Javy Baez has struggled (1-12, K). As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time.