As the Chicago Cubs open up a big 10-game home stand at Wrigley Field Tuesday night, don’t expect any changes at the top of the lineup.
Manager Joe Maddon is sticking with his decision to keep left fielder Kyle Schwarber as the lead off guy.
Despite hitting just .179 through the early part of the 2017 season, Schwarber will remain atop the Cubs lineup. Maddon discussed this issue while appearing on 670 The Score’s “Spiegel and Parkins show” and confirmed that Schwarber would leadoff on Tuesday night:
“Of course he is,” Maddon said via CBS Chicago. “And why wouldn’t he be?”
Maddon went on to defend the decision, citing Schwarber’s series in St. Louis. The left-handed hitter is currently in a 1-for-18 stretch dating back to the last week’s road trip in Colorado and St. Louis.
“He looks great, actually,” Maddon said. “That’s what I’m talking about, results versus process. He, to me, looks really good at the plate right now.”
Schwarber himself isn’t phased by batting leadoff and it hasn’t hurt his approach, although some might think that.
Here’s what he told CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney:
“Not at all,” Schwarber said. “I don’t think the leadoff spot has changed what’s been going on. I squared some balls up and wasn’t able to get a hit or anything like that. It’s part of the game. It’s baseball. That’s why it’s a game of failure and you got to learn from your mistakes.”
The Cubs are struggling as a whole right now. They are one game under the .500 mark and sit 3.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the N.L. Central.
The pitching, hitting and defense hasn’t been what we saw in 2016 when the Cubs won it all. This 10-game home streak could go a long way in getting the Cubs back on track.