The First Chicago Cubs Lineup of the Year is Here! (UPDATE: Seiya Suzuki Scratched)

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The First Chicago Cubs Lineup of the Year is Here! (UPDATE: Seiya Suzuki Scratched)

Chicago Cubs

UPDATE: Seiya Suzuki has been scratched from today’s lineup with left oblique tightness (please-please-please just be the “EXTREME CAUTION” phase of holding players out). He’ll be replaced by Brennen Davis in right field, batting ninth.

Your new lineup:

  1. Nico Hoerner, 2B
  2. Dansby Swanson, SS
  3. Ian Happ, LF
  4. Cody Bellinger, CF
  5. Trey Mancini, DH
  6. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  7. Patrick Wisdom, 3B
  8. Yan Gomes, C
  9. Brennen Davis, RF

Bellinger and Mancini swapped spots in the lineup, as well.

Original post follows.

I always feel a little guilty using the “First Chicago Cubs Lineup of the Year” headline iteration for Spring Training, because I’ll use it again at the start of the regular season. But both are true in their own sense, especially this year with all of the regulars in the lineup on Day 1. That’s pretty unusual and very awesome. We might have even more insight into David Ross’ plan at this point on the calendar than we normally would. So let’s take a look!

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Nico Hoerner, 2B
  2. Dansby Swanson, SS
  3. Ian Happ, LF
  4. Seiya Suzuki, RF
  5. Trey Mancini, DH
  6. Cody Bellinger, CF
  7. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  8. Patrick Wisdom, 3B
  9. Yan Gomes, C

SP: Marcus Stroman

Bah. I could write a thousand words on the decisions made in that lineup today. So let’s start with some of the more obvious choices: While I had no clue who’d be leading off this season (I’d have gone with Ian Happ), the top four was a mortal lock. Hoerner, Swanson, Happ, and Suzuki are the Cubs most bankable hitters. And the muscled-up, second-year Suzuki looks like he’s especially well-suited for clean-up.

I also like rolling with Swanson in the two-hole. I don’t think anyone expects him to repeat his offensive performance from 2022, but until he proves otherwise, he deserves to be treated like a two-hole hitter.

My biggest issue with this order is leading off with Hoerner, who’s not much of a see a lot of pitches, take a lot of walks, get on a lot of bases type of hitter, especially when you’ve got Happ right there, who is that guy. BUT it doesn’t bug me. And Happ struggled at leadoff in the past. Might just be best to let him do his thing and see if he can carry it forward from last year. Also, it’s no unreasonable to assume that Hoerner will continue to mature as a hitter and could even steal a few more bases than usual with all the new rules.

We’re not surprised to see Trey Mancini batting fifth. After the top four, he’s got the highest floor of all the Cubs hitters. But I would be a little surprised if we see Cody Bellinger bat this high at the start of the season. Maybe it’s a spring thing, maybe it’s a confidence-building thing. I don’t know. I would have expected to see him much lower, perhaps as the “second leadoff man,” but hey … his projections actually are better than I thought they would be.

You can bat Hosmer, Wisdom (or Morel or Rios or Madrigal), and Gomes (or Barnhart) in any order at the bottom of the lineup and I don’t think it matters.

Gah. I have so much more to say, but there will be plenty of time to deconstruct lineup decisions throughout the year. Let’s leave it here for now and get ready for the first Cubs Spring Training game (2:05 CT). We’ll have a pre-gamin’ post later today.

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami