In a slight change from what we’ve seen thus far in the leadoff spot, Jason Heyward will get a chance start the offense this afternoon. Heyward wasn’t among those players widely presumed to have the best shot at the role, but spring training is all about experimenting. It’s also starting to look as though Kyle Schwarber may not get much run there, though it’s still very early.
After sitting several days due to illness, Kris Bryant is back in the lineup batting second, followed by Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell. Schwarber is batting fifth as the DH, with Javy Baez and Albert Almora Jr. trailing him. Victor Caratini is catching and Peter Bourjos is in left.
Though he’s led off twice against righties already this spring, this configuration for Almora is probably more like what we’ll see once the real games begin. He could and should improve against righties, but his inability to draw walks against them doesn’t bode well for a top-of-the-order hitter.
Bryant will get the chance to rack up a few at-bats today as Joe Maddon looks to get his best hitter caught back up after the unscheduled time off. And he’ll be able to do so while surrounded by a group that largely resembles a regular season game.
Barring a late scratch due to illness, Jose Quintana will be on the bump for the first time this spring when the Cubs take on the Angels at 2:10pm CT from Tempe Diablo Stadium. You can hear the game via MLB.com or the At Bat app and you can catch a delayed broadcast starting at 3pm CT on MLB Network.
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 2, 2018