Chicago Cubs may be forced to turn to the world’s greatest leadoff hitter

Anthony Rizzo / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Will we see more consistent lineups this year?

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For better or worse, during the Maddon era, the Cubs mixed and matched their order on a near-daily basis. Last offseason, players asked for more visibility to how the lineup was constructed, leading to Maddon giving them the order ahead of each series.

But now, it’s the Ross show. He’s got no experience as a manager – working in the front office and as a part-time coach during Spring Training – so he’ll rely on his relationships in the game and experience as a player when he fills out the lineup card come Opening Day.

Last weekend, the leadoff hitter was a popular topic at Cubs Convention and Ross admitted he’s not going into camp with any preconceived notions about who will fill that role.

"“We won’t know until the end of March when we get ready to head up to Milwaukee,” Ross said. “Definitely, that is an area that I’ve focused on the most, and trying to see what that looks like. I don’t have that picture yet, and I don’t think any of us rightfully would be able to say that that’s something we can strongly feel one way or another yet.”"

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Given ownership’s mandate to get under the competitive balance tax threshold, Chicago is betting everything on the culture they’re hoping Ross will create. It stands to reason, then, he knows the answer in the leadoff spot is likely a guy already on his roster. The only question left is who – and whether or not he’ll be forced to rely on Rizzo regularly this season.