Role players stepping up
We know what to expect from the regulars. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have the potential to win the MVP. Ben Zobrist will perform in clutch moments. Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber can hit 25+ home runs each. This we know. Track record shows that can happen.
What is unknown is how the role players will perform. If Spring Training is any indication, the Chicago Cubs are in for a great season. Sure, it is only a few games and most batters have five or less at-bats, but early returns show promise.
Bench player Matt Szczur is 4-9 with four runs batted in already. Jon Jay is batting .333/.429/.500 with a double and a run scored. And Albert Almora not only putting together quality at-bats, he make this play in the outfield (courtesy of MLB.com):
Maddon has decisions to make. If Almora keeps up the solid all-around play, it will make a solid statement for starting in centerfield. But, if Jay continues to get on base, it will add value to the Cubs’ offense. And, can Szczur make a case to start as well? This is why there is Spring Training. It will be exciting to watch.