CHISportsNation

Tyler Lowe

12/5/2017

I know it may seem way too early to think about what the Cubs Opening Day lineup may look like in 2018, but if you’re like me, you cannot wait for Spring to come.  So, what might you expect to see when the Cubs take on the Miami Marlins on opening day in 2018?

Lineup:

1. Albert Almora Jr.    CF

2. Kyle Schwarber       LF

3. Kris Bryant               3B

4. Anthony Rizzo         1B

5. Willson Contreras    C

6. Addison Russell       SS

7. Jason Heyward        RF

8. Javier Baez               2B

9. Kyle Hendricks         P

Bench:

Victor Caratini             C

Ian Happ                  INF/OF

Ben Zobrist              INF/OF

Tommy La Stella       INF

Cameron Maybin      OF

Rotation:

1. Kyle Hendricks       RHP

2. Jon Lester                LHP

3. Jose Quintana         LHP

4. Alex Cobb                RHP

5. Mike Fiers               RHP

Bullpen:

Mike Montgomery    LHP

Justin Wilson             LHP

Dillon Maples            RHP

Justin Grimm             RHP

Pedro Strop                RHP

Carl Edwards Jr.        RHP

Brandon Morrow      RHP

 

Surprised by a few of the names you saw?  Although it’s possible that one or more of the position player core may be dealt before the end of the offseason, I just don’t see that happening so look for a similar lineup as the Cubs used in 2017.  Without a true leadoff option in the clubhouse, the Cubs could trot Almora Jr. out there to begin the season. I see the Cubs turning to the free agent market to find two starters that can fill out the rotation.  Cobb would be a great get, and Fiers has proven to at worst eat up innings.  This back end of the rotation would be one of the better ones across the MLB.  If you combine that with a better year from Jon Lester and continued improvement from “The Professor” Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs rotation should not be a weakness in 2018.  The other potential weakness is the bullpen.  Justin Wilson was downright bad in his brief stint with the Cubs last season, but I expect him to return to his usual form in 2018.  In his September call-up, Dillon Maples turned a lot of heads with his electric stuff and devastating slider.  If he can find his control more consistently, look for him to get meaningful outs late in games this season.  Rather than throwing money at Wade Davis or Greg Holland, maybe the Cubs will go with a relatively cheaper closer option in Brandon Morrow.  I wouldn’t complain, that’s for sure.

What are your thoughts?  Feel free to leave a comment with your projections!

Photo: Sullivan/Chicago Tribune

 

 

 

 

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