With a righty on the mound for the Pirates, Cubs Manager David Ross is floating back to his usual group for the finale in Pittsburgh – with one notable exception.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Rafael Ortega, DH
2. Frank Schwindel, 1B
3. Willson Contreras, C
4. Ian Happ, LF
5. Seiya Suzuki, RF
6. Jason Heyward, CF
7. Patrick Wisdom, 3B
8. Jonathan Villar, 2B
9. Nico Hoerner, SS
Pirates starter Zach Thompson, 28, isn’t a world-beater by any means, but he is a tall righty that was especially tough on right-handed hitters last season (.196/.253/.304; .245 wOBA). Getting one extra look from the left side today makes plenty of sense, so Nick Madrigal, who’s had a very slow start to the season offensively, is getting the day off in favor of the switch-hitting Jonathan Villar at second base.
That keeps Nico Hoerner in the lineup at short and Schwisdom in the infield corners.
Ross also moved Frank Schwindel up in the lineup to the two-hole, moving Patrick Wisdom (who’s also had a brutal start) down in the order. Separating those two might be necessary until one of them improves. Frankly, these are tough, but fair lineup decisions by Ross. I’m glad to see he’s acting quickly.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (11:35 am CT).