Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: What could the Cubs lineup be on Opening Day?

jfrancis
Nov 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) holds the Commissioner
Nov 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) holds the Commissioner /
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Oct 22, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop
Oct 22, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop /

Comfort Zone

It is not a demotion, but a promotion. While it may not seem like that, it is.

Addison Russell can produce offensively, as evident by his 21 home runs and 95 runs-batted-in in 2016. Even with that, his average was low. And while the Cubs do not need him to hit .290, any improvement is welcome.

Batting in the eighth spot of the order does two things for Russell. First, in 2016, his splits in this spot was .333/.397/.450, his best of any position in the order. He seemed comfortable there and was successful. It also places him in a spot to either start a rally if no one is on base or move runners to third. If all goes well, Russell gets the Cubs back to the top of the order.

This is a spot for Russell to prove he can hit. It also gives the Cubs an option that no other team in the Major Leagues can boast: a hitter in the eighth spot that can hit 20+ home runs.

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