Chicago Cubs may be forced to turn to the world’s greatest leadoff hitter
Chicago Cubs: Rizzo checks a lot of boxes for the team
At last weekend’s Cubs Convention, reporters asked Rizzo about potentially returning to the leadoff spot this season. Ever the team-first presence, the three-time All-Star offered up his thoughts:
"“That will be something I will not be lobbying for in the early going,” Rizzo said. “But, you know, we’ll see. We’ll see how that plays out. Obviously, I’ve done well hitting leadoff, but I truly love hitting third and fourth. But, whatever Rossy comes up with, I’m obviously all-in with.”"
So while he’s not pushing to return to the top of the order, if it comes down to it, Rizzo will answer the call once again. Last season, he had a 1.030 OPS leading off an inning, regardless of his spot in the batting order. That bodes well – especially for a team that’s struggled to manufacture offense the last few seasons.
Rizzo boasts a career .335/.426/.602 line out of the leadoff spot, spanning some 244 plate appearances. Clearly, we’re not talking about a limited sample size at this point. He knows what he’s doing when it comes to setting his teammates up for success.
It might sound overly simplified or too old-school for a lot of people, but Rizzo does the little things that make him successful there. When he’s down in the count, especially with two strikes, he chokes up and drastically shortens his stroke – something several of his teammates have failed to do.