Between the Lines: Anthony Rizzo Leading Off

The reigning World Series champion Cubs made a big switch in their lineup that has resulted in immediate success.

This past week Joe Maddon switched Anthony Rizzo to the leadoff spot in the lineup and he led off two games in a row hitting home runs in his first at bat. In his third game he hit another to lead off that was ruled foul but nonetheless his small streak is impressive and speaks volumes for how great of a coach Joe Maddon is and his immense ability to read his players so well and get the best out of them.

The Cubs have the lowest batting average in the National League among leadoff hitters, and they rank 12th in on-base percentage, per ESPN. The lineup was hitting just .214 with runners in scoring position, which ranks dead last in MLB. Rizzo, who said he has been asking Maddon consistently to put him in the leadoff spot, has a .390 on-base percentage in 229 at-bats this season.

The Cubs are hoping this lineup switch could get them going and get them to win some games and make up ground. At first glance the lineup switch may seem weird however with Rizzo being one of the Cub’s best hitters right now this makes a lot of sense. Not only is his on base percentage through the roof but he will now get the most at bats from anyone on his team. This will bode well for the Cubs because the more times Rizzo bats the more impact he could have on the game.

Only time will tell how this switch impacts the Cubs but yet again a move Joe Maddon pulls gets the entire team excited and shows baseball that he is truly one of the very best at what he does. His exceptional ability to put players in positions to succeed is amazing. Every pitcher in the league should watch out for Rizzo in that very first at bat.

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