I know he can do it. I know he has done it. But man … every time I see Kris Bryant penciled into center field (even Wrigley’s tiny center field), it’s like … damn. This guy is special. That’s just not an easy position to play – and it’s not one he’s played often – but the Cubs trot him out there and he routinely does not embarrass himself. Here’s the Cubs lineup for the opener against the Pirates.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Joc Pederson, LF
2. Kris Bryant, CF
3. Javy Baez, SS
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Willson Contreras, C
6. Matt Duffy, 3B
7. Jason Heyward, RF
8. David Bote, 2B
9. Zach Davies, P
If you showed me this 2021 Cubs lineup back in 2015, I would’ve thought the Cubs had that dynasty still rolling. Back then, Joc Pederson was an all-start and finished 6th in ROY voting. Kris Bryant was an All-Star, won the NL ROY award, and finished 11th in MVP voting. Javy Baez was a top prospect. Anthony Rizzo was an all-star and finished 4th in MVP voting. Willson Contreras was a top prospect. Matt Duffy finished 2nd in ROY voting. And Jason Heyward won a gold glove and finished 15th in MVP voting.
It’s still a good group today, but damn.
In any case, not too many surprises today, as Duffy gets the start at third base, pushing Bryant to center field. With a righty on the mound, Jason Heyward and Joc Pederson both get the start. I suspect we’ll see Jake Marisnick on Sunday (against a lefty) at least, and possibly tomorrow too, moving Bryant out to left or right field, pushing Pederson or Heyward to the bench. For today, I like seeing both Pederson and Heyward in there.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time.