The Chicago Cubs’ offense has been a bit up and down so far this season. While the team looked to be generating a bit more offense of late, it appears that manager Joe Maddon decided it was time for a bit of a shakeup. Unfortunately for Cubs fans, they didn’t get to see what appeared to be a new look lineup on Saturday because the game against the Milwaukee Brewers was rained out.

New leadoff hitter for the Cubs

While Joe Maddon is certainly one who likes to mess with his lineup from time to time there is something noteworthy about the crew he marched out on Saturday.

The biggest news was that Kyle Schwarber was in the lineup but not in the leadoff spot. Instead, Ben Zobrist had taken over the top spot. Schwarbs was moved down to the second spot, Kris Bryant was dropped to the third spot and Rizzo is batting cleanup.

The Cubs might be looking at this lineup being something they go with a bit longer than a day or two based on Maddon’s explanation of why Zobrist was in the leadoff spot.

“Zo has been really good lately. We gave him a couple of days off, and he has come out of it real nicely.” Chicago’s second baseman has been rather hot lately, going 6 for his last 13. He’s also got an on base percentage of .348 on the season, despite a batting average of just .248 in 2017. Compare Zobrist’s numbers with those of Schwarber who is hitting just .182 on the season and has posted a less than impressive .305 on base percentage.

Zobrist is not new to the leadoff spot entirely, as ESPN points out. The Cubs’ second baseman did it quite a bit in Tampa. Zobrist’s manager when he was batting leadoff for the Rays was none other than Joe Maddon.

Chicago’s new center fielder?

While Schwarber no longer being the leadoff hitter for the Chicago Cubs is newsworthy, the position and lineup spot that Ian Happ was playing might be even more newsworthy.

Jason Heyward returned to the lineup on Saturday and went back into his usual right field position. That moved Happ into center field and had him batting fifth.

Heyward batted sixth, with catcher Wilson Contreras batting seventh and short stop Addison Russell batting eighth. The interesting thing about Happ being in center and protecting Rizzo is that the Cubs already have two players who were supposed to share center field.

Could this mean Albert Almora’s days in Chicago are numbered? While Almora has decent numbers for the season, he’s struggled for the Chicago Cubs in the last couple of weeks. While there had been some speculation Javier Baez is the odd man out, it’s possible the return of Heyward means the departure of Almora from Chicago.

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