What Lineups Will Joe Drum Up This Year?

Opening Day is this week, one of my favorite days of the year. Every team starts 0-0 with the hope that this is the year that they are the last ones standing in November. In Joe Maddon’s mind, this is another year to use even more lineup variations.

With his future in question, you know Joe Maddon is going to go wild and use as many lineup variations are there are rubik’s cube combination. The Mad Scientist’s lineup variations have increased each year he has managed the Chicago Cubs. It has gone from 119 in 2015 to 130 in 2016 to 143 in 2017 to 152 last year. There are only 162 games in a major league season….

Joe Maddon has driven us crazy throughout the years for more reasons than one. He is that crazy uncle you question often but at the end of the day trust to do the right thing. Here are some lineups that I imagine he will roll out for his potential swan song with the Chicago Cubs.

The Grow A Beard Or Grab Some Bench Lineup

Ben Zobrist–2B

Kris Bryant–1B

David Bote–SS

Kyle Schwarber–LF

Albert Almora–CF

Jason Heyward–RF

Daniel Descalso–3B

Victor Caratiini–C

Tyler Chatwood–P

This one is pretty self explanatory. Nowadays if you do not have a beard you may as well not even step outside. It has become a staple of every man’s look. Either you are man enough to play baseball or you grab some pine. Simple as that.

The Lineup Involving The Best Pitcher On The Team

Ben Zobrist–2B

Kris Bryant–3B

Javy Baez–SS

Anthony Rizzo–P

Kyle Schwarber–LF

Wellington Castillo–C

Albert Almora–CF

Jason Heyward–RF

David Bote–1B

We all know who the best pitcher on the team is. He goes by the name of Anthony Vincent Rizzo. Joe only used him in a brief relief appearance last year but this is the year Tony gets on the bump to start the game. Once Joe realizes Rizzo’s full potential as a Cy Young candidate, I have to imagine this lineup is used very often.

The We Actually Went To College Lineup

Ben Zobrist–2B

Kris Bryant–3B

Kyle Schwarber–LF

David Bote–1B

Mark Zagunis–CF

Daniel Descalso–SS

Victor Caratini–C

Tony Barnette–RF

Kyle Hendricks–P

There are some franchises in baseball that think they know more about the game than others. They sit on their throne and look down at those who are lesser than them (ahem St. Louis Cardinals). Well, good luck facing a lineup full of players who have stepped foot in a collegiate classroom. You can outsmart a bunch of dumb high school grads, good luck outsmarting a player that went to a little ivy league school called Dartmouth.

The Everyday Lineup

Ben Zobrist–2B

Kris Bryant–3B

Javy Baez–SS

Anthony Rizzo–1B

Kyle Schwarber–LF

Wellington Castillo–C

Albert Almora–CF

Jason Heyward–RF

Jon Lester–P

This is the lineup the Cubs should use if they want to win games consistently. You can go ahead and change who hits where but these are the Cubs best 9 players. I am not hear for your Jason Heyward slander. He isn’t going anywhere and provides a lot of value playing a Gold Glove right field. Hey Joe, I know you are reading this, stay consistent and use this bad boy majority of the time. Thank you!

The Lineup That Should Have Been…

Ben Zobrist–2B

Bryce Harper–RF

Kris Bryant–3B

Javy Baez–SS

Anthony Rizzo–1B

Kyle Schwarber–LF

Wellington Castillo–C

Albert Almora–CF

Jon Lester–P

I am going to end on a somber note. This is the lineup that should have been. The Ricketts family decided to not open up their checkbook this offseason. We all understand not wanting to commit to a player for 13 years but that doesn’t mean we can’t think of what could have been…

Joe is going to Joe this season. Prepare your twitter fingers to complain about him folks. While it is annoying at times, savor it. This could be the last year of the Mad Scientist on the North Side.

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