The first Chicago Cubs lineup of the 2022 MLB season is here! Let’s take a look at how David Ross is lining up his group for the first game of the season.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Rafael Ortega, DH
2. Nick Madrigal, 2B
3. Willson Contreras, C
4. Ian Happ, LF
5. Frank Schwindel, 1B
6. Seiya Suzuki, RF
7. Jason Heyward, CF
8. Patrick Wisdom, 3B
9. Nico Hoerner, SS
With so many new faces around the diamond – and a new position, entirely (DH) – I really had no clue how this lineup was going to shake out. But we weren’t far off in our Series Preview, specifically with Rafael Ortega leading off and becoming the first Designated Hitter in this new era of MLB. I’m very happy to see him in the lineup against a tough righty like Corbin Burnes.
But it’s not all roses. With Ortega at DH, center field remained open for Jason Heyward, who’s effectively bouncing Clint Frazier out of the starting lineup. We knew this was coming, but it’s still frustrating now that it’s here. Hopefully, Heyward earns his spot right away, because the Cubs might otherwise waste a whole lot of time and precious ABs finding out something we already know about him.
With Andrelton Simmons on the IL, Nick Madrigal and Nico Hoerner are your double-play duo, with the former getting the all-important second spot in the lineup and the latter acting as the second leadoff man.
The Cubs power is packed into the middle of the order, where Ian Happ (S), Frank Schwindel (R), Seiya Suzuki (R), and Willson Contreras (R) load up. Suzuki is a strong bet to move up in the lineup as the season moves on, but starting him off lower in the order is a wise move (and today’s assignment against Burnes is going to be a particular challenge).
Patrick Wisdom did get the nod over Jonathan Villar at third today, but that makes sense. For one, Wisdom is going to be the more day-to-day starter there, but also Burnes doesn’t live at the top of the zone with his fastball (Wisdom’s weakness). Instead, the cutter down-and-away is his bread-and-butter, so I’m happy with this group, as is.
It’s going to be cold and rainy today, but we’ve got some baseball on tap! We’ll see you at the park if you’re heading in, otherwise, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (1:20 CT).