Chicago Cubs: Not at Wrigley, but still Opening Day nonetheless
Opening Day is a day to put your best players on the field. It was a looooooongggg offseason for Cubs fans. If there’s any day where they should see the best hitters the club has to offer put on the field, it’s the first game of the season.
As I mentioned, Chicago went with Zagunis over Schwarber in left field on Opening Day. He’s a nice bench guy who has always shown the ability to get on base, but entering the season, he carried a whopping 21 big league at-bats into action.
Part of the reason he made the team’s Opening Day roster derived from the club’s decision to send Ian Happ to Triple-A to start the season. Oh, and he had a really nice spring. However, we sat one of our best hitters on Opening Day so that a guy who won’t spend the whole season in Chicago could start for a “matchup” advantage.
Look, Zagunis had a big hit and drove in a run. The whole point of this isn’t to point to individual happenings and say, “look-see, I told you so.” That’s not logical at all. Just because Zagunis did or didn’t do well, it doesn’t take into account what Schwarber would have done in the exact same spot. Or a different spot, because the lineup would have been constructed differently, no doubt.
This is why the platoon kerfuffle is unending- there’s no way to say who’s right and who’s wrong because even if things go well (they did on Thursday), it doesn’t mean Schwarber wouldn’t have done the same exact thing, or more, or less. It’s about the philosophy behind it and the fact that this will happen again because of that same philosophy.
Sitting one of your best hitters because of this idea might not be the logical thing to do, even if it works out well some times because, well, baseball.