Kris Bryant has been scratched with lower back stiffness. New lineup below. Details here.
The Cubs captain, first baseman, and two-hole hitter, Anthony Rizzo, is back! If all goes well tonight – and he feels good tomorrow – the Cubs may have avoided a big offensive problem to start the year (against the Brewers, no less). Here’s hoping for the best health imaginable, and not caring about the results.
Also, here’s the rest of the Cubs lineup.
Chicago Cubs Lineup (UPDATED LINEUP):
1. Ian Happ, LF
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
3. Javy Baez, SS
4. Kyle Schwarber, DH
5. Willson Contreras, C
6. Jason Heyward, RF
7. David Bote, 3B
8. Jason Kipnis, 2B
9. Albert Almora, CF
One other note on Rizzo: I’m glad to see him at first base, not designated hitter, because it would’ve been easy enough for the Cubs to ease him back into action that way, seeing as how he doesn’t need more reps at 1B, he needs more live at-bats. Point being, I think that’s a very good sign.
As for the rest of the lineup, this is a pretty standard group against righties, with the exception of designated hitter/second base. Although Kipnis and Bote are both perfectly reasonable choices today, those two positions are basically the two variables for any given matchup. We’ll see mixing and matching elsewhere, but for the most part, the Cubs have obvious starters at every other position. For what it’s worth, this is the first game Nico Hoerner is not starting at second base.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (6:05 CT).