Chicago Cubs have found their leadoff man in Jon Jay
The Chicago Cubs’ winning ways recently can be attributed to a lot of things. Jon Jay leading off is a big part and should be prioritized come playoff time.
The Chicago Cubs entered Tuesday 10-2 in their last 12 games. After beginning the season mired in mediocrity, the team seems to finally be turning the corner at the right time.
A 45-23 second half record has been the biggest reason why the Cubs are going to be defending their World Series title this October. There are many other reasons as to why they are in this position, but the one we’re looking at is Jon Jay’s emergence at the top of the order.
As we all know, the Cubs decided to have Kyle Schwarber lead off for most of the first half. He struggled mightily, ultimately culminating in a demotion to Triple-A to work out some kinks. Around that same time, Jay was starting to log more time in the leadoff spot. Since Schwarber’s demotion, the Cubs are 26-19 with Jay at the top of the order. After Monday’s opener, 6-1 in their last seven games.
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With an OBP of .444 over his last six games, Jay has been playing lights out. It seems the Cubs have finally found their leadoff man, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. With the playoffs coming up, the team should have Jay tabbed as their everyday leadoff man.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
We know Maddon loves to mix and match his lineups. However, as we saw in last year’s playoffs with Javy Báez, he’s not afraid to stick with what’s working. In what was arguably a playoff atmosphere in Milwaukee this past weekend, Jay stepped up in a big way, scoring two runs in three of the four games (all wins).
The Schwarber experiment told us above all us that this lineup needs a consistent on-base threat for Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, etc. We’ve opined before about how the experiment has had a direct result on Bryant’s lack of RBIs. Well over the weekend Bryant had seven hits and five RBIs; guess who he drove in the most?
You guessed it, none other than Jonathan Henry Jay. Bryant has driven in Jay 12 times total this season, the most out of any Cub but himself. The amount of times he’s driven in Schwarber? Four.
That’s right. In four games Bryant almost drove in Jay the same amount of times as he has Schwarber all season. If that doesn’t convince you that Jay needs to be leading off in the postseason than I don’t know what will.
Next: Will veteran Lackey be the odd man out in NLDS?
Out of all the possible candidates to lead off, Jay is the one that makes the most sense. The old adage says that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. With the Cubs playing the way they are with Jay leading the way, the veteran needs to be batting first in the postseason.