Cubs Quick Hits — 02/03/2017: Maddon Says He Could Bat Pitcher 8th, Schwarber Leadoff
Joe Maddon will be consulting “the geeks” in order to find out whether batting the pitcher 8th and leading off with Kyle Schwarber makes sense, according to Carrie Muskat. Beyond the immediate implications, such a strategy would also have a domino effect. By that I mean Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo being boosted up the order as well.
How would Bryant and Rizzo fare in the second spot?
You might remember that Maddon batted Rizzo and Bryant second in the order several games in 2015: 192 PA for Rizzo and 122 PA for Bryant. In fact, Rizzo struck out at less than a 10% rate in the second spot in 2015, as compared to nearly double that in the cleanup spot. Bryant, on the other hand, struck out at a 34.4% rate batting second (though 2015 Bryant was much different than 2016 Bryant).
Maddon’s lineups are malleable, though. And since the Cubs will be shifting around several quality players in the field, we should probably not get used to one static order or concept.