Chicago Cubs Lineup (3/1/24): Madrigal Leads Off, Shaw at 3B, Steele Makes First Spring Start

The Cubs are off to a 3-3 start in Cactus League play and now they’re beginning to work more of the regulars into the lineup. That probably matters more to the rotation, where we’ll see a pair of southpaws making their spring debuts today and tomorrow. Justin Steele is on the bump Friday afternoon, followed by Shōta Imanaga on Saturday.

Nick Madrigal will bat leadoff at second base for this one, followed by Seiya Suzuki in right and Michael Busch at first. Yan Gomes is behind the dish, Miles Mastrobuoni is at short, Matt Shaw is at third, and Pete Crow-Armstrong is in center. Owen Caissie handles left and David Bote is the DH. Love giving Shaw a look at the hot corner, which is where his future with the Cubs appears to be brightest right now.

They’re facing a Sox team that looks like a who’s-who of dudes looking to hang on for one last run, as today’s lineup features Kevin Pillar, Paul DeJong, and Mike Moustakas. That would have been a really potent trio in 2019, when they combined for 76 homers and a very nice 6.9 fWAR. Last year, however, they posted an aggregate 35 dingers with 0.0 fWAR. The Sox have other players, but man, did they ever crap the bed after what was supposed to have been a strong run.

Maybe Michael Kopech can finally put it together so they can flip him at the deadline. The 28-year-old (in April) sits a little over 95 with the fastball and he tries to elevate it, but he often ends up leaving it in the zone where it can get smacked. Not great when it accounts for 61% of his pitches. The slider he throws 27% of the time was likewise ineffective last season because of the bright red blob it created on the heat map over the outer glove-side third of the plate.

He’d probably be much better off moving back to the bullpen where he can really empty the tank, because his results as a starter have been rough. Too many homers, too many walks. This could be a fun game if those trends keep up.

First pitch from Sloan is at 2:05pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.

Back to top button