The Chicago Cubs offense has been hit or miss through the first two weeks of the season and Joe Maddon is looking for some sort of spark, as he’s made one big lineup change for Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Braves.
The Cubs were shutout for the third time this season on Friday, losing 4-0, and dropping to 6-7 on the year. On Saturday, the Cubs have Javier Baez batting second in the order, starting in that spot for the first time since 2016, when he did it once.
Baez has hit second in his career, but 52 of his 53 starts came during his rookie season, when he made his MLB debut in August of 2014.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 14, 2018
It may seem as a desperate move by Maddon, but it makes sense as the Cubs continue to play without Anthony Rizzo in the middle of the order.
The Cubs are facing left-handed pitcher Sean Newcomb and as we know Baez is great against lefties. Baez has a career slash line of .285/.343/.497, against left-handed pitching and is 4-for-6, with a home run against Newcomb.
For the fans screaming about Albert Almora Jr., he was originally in Friday’s lineup, but was scratched because of illness. He must still not be feeling well, as he would definitely be in the lineup against a lefty.
Almora hasn’t been feeling well since the Pirates series, but did play through the illness on Wednesday, going 3-for-5 in the Cubs 13-5 win over Pittsburgh.
So, hopefully he feels better soon.
Also, Rizzo should be back Monday, when the Cubs start a series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Rizzo is currently on the disabled list because of back tightness.