At this point it probably doesn’t matter who hits leadoff for the Cubs because it seems like whoever Joe Maddon picks instantly turns into a horrible hitter. Yet, somehow Maddon has picked the worst possible option we’ve seen all season long.
The Cubs have less than three weeks left in the regular season and after Tuesday’s devastating loss nothing screams more urgency than batting Tony Kemp at the top of the lineup.
I have absolutely no problem with Kemp getting the start at second after Ben Zobrist had a couple rough games in San Diego, but under no circumstance should he be the one getting the most plate appearances against the Padres’ best starting pitcher.
The Kemp trade back in July was fine. He was brought in to improve the overall depth of the bench and give Maddon another option at second base. But things just haven’t worked out for him.
Since the Cubs traded for Kemp he’s had 60 plate appearances, posting a hilariously low 6 wRC+. That’s 94% worse than the average hitter since coming to the Cubs. Kemp has a slash line of .164/.200/.218, going 9-for-55, with two walks and 13 strikeouts. Out of his nine hits, seven have been singles.
And sure, you can make the whole argument about Kemp making contact and how the Cubs need that in the lineup. Cool. Bat him eighth, not first.
Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward have been bad in the leadoff spot? Fine. Literally every other player besides Cole Hamels in tonight’s lineup would be a better option at leadoff than Tony Kemp.