I don’t know what the Cubs need to get their offense – and team – back on track, but maybe playing Willson Contreras out of position will help.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, RF
- Victor Caratini, C
- David Bote, 3B
- Addison Russell, 2B
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Yu Darvish, P
Well, uhm. Okay.
Kris Bryant is getting the night off in Pittsburgh tonight, and is replaced by David Bote at third base. But with Bote at third and Daniel Descalso on the bench, that leaves second base open for Addison Russell, who continues to draw starts at the expense of other players I want to get starts. Don’t get me wrong, Russell does have 8 hits in his last seven games (including two doubles and a triple), but I was hoping to see newly called up prospect Robel Garcia in there tonight, instead.
And, frankly, I’m a little surprised he’s not in there. Joe Maddon loves to get guys starts/appearances immediately after being called up/returning from injury, but for whatever reason it’s just not happening with Garcia tonight. Oh well.
In any case, all of that is the appetizer for the main course du lineup: Willson Contreras in right field.
Contreras has played the outfield for the Cubs before, but it’s obviously not his natural position. And without Kris Bryant in the lineup tonight, it’s not even like his presence is replacing the … eh hem … weaker bats in the lineup. But I guess if Bryant is getting the night off no matter what and you really wanted Caratini catching Yu Darvish, this is one way to not completely neuter your offense. Let’s hope it works.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (6:05 CT).