Chicago Cubs fans already experienced Christmas this year with the World Series victory. If the team has a chance to repeat, the lineup must step up.
There is no doubt that a new pressure now envelopes the Chicago Cubs. Coming off a year in which pitching and defense led the team to its first championship since 1908, the focus turns to repeating that performance. But, the team cannot rest their hopes on what got them to success in 2016.
A hole in the starting rotation still remains, yet is expected to be filled by Mike Montgomery. And, while there is hope for Kyle Hendrick to repeat his 2016 performance, it cannot be counted on. Just look at the performances of Jake Arrieta the last two seasons.
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The defense should still be stable as many of the starters from last year return. Left field is a concern. Much of that depends on who plays the position. And that may depend on who plays second. On the positive side, the Cubs still have depth. The negative? How do they use it to their advantage?
If the Chicago Cubs wish to repeat as champions of the NL Central, NLCS, and the World Series, it is the offense that needs to step up and perform with consistency. What could the potential lineup look like? Here is one option: