So I have a little secret for you guys.. the Cubs have not gotten off to a good start to this season. They beat the Pirates last night to get back to .500 at 34-34. There really isn’t one thing that you can point at and say, “If they fix that, the season will turn around.” They can’t really hit. They can’t really pitch. Their defense isn’t as elite as last season. Everything is just very “blah”.
One way that managers try and fix things is to shuffle things around. Give a fresh feel to a team and see what happens. Joe Maddon is known for drastically shifting things with success. Well after a week of games, it looks like he is onto something. He stuck Anthony Rizzo in the lead off spot and in the five games where Rizzo leads off, he is batting a flaming hot .429, including a few dingers here and there.
I absolutely love the move. Rizzo has always been an on-base guy over everything else. His power numbers will probably come and go, but his ability to get on base will keep in the league for quite some time.
One thing that we had last season that we don’t this season is a guy at the top of the lineup who sets the table and gets on base. The hole that Fowler left has been dragging us down all season. It seemed as if the only way we could fill it would be to trade for a piece. Rizzo at the leadoff spot may just be the answer we’ve been waiting for. He seems to like being lead off. A player has to have the right mindset to bat first and Anthony seems to have embrassed this mindset. You put Ian Happ batting second and now Joe can play around with the order all he wants.
It seems to have woken up the bats, just a little. It’s not making us an offensive juggernaut, but baby steps are always a good sign to a struggling team.