#Cubs Bryant, Schwarber could be in OF

Cubs manager Joe Maddon didn’t want to reveal his lineup for Wednesday’s National League Wild Card Game because he didn’t want to give the Pirates any edge. But judging by batting practice on Tuesday, the Cubs could have rookies Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber at the corner outfield spots.

Tommy La Stella worked out at third base, including some extra work after batting practice ended on Tuesday at PNC Park. Bryant was in left field during the workout.

“I can do it,” Bryant said about playing the outfield. “I made a pretty good play here the last time I was in the outfield. [I’ll play] wherever they need me. This is a game where it really doesn’t matter where I play. I just want to help the team win any way I can. If that’s in the outfield, then I’ll play the heck out of the outfield.”

In the last 10 days, Maddon has moved players around in preparation for the postseason.

“I love the fact that we’re so versatile,” Maddon said Tuesday. “I love that young players are not stuck in one position, and if you move them, all of a sudden they freak out about it or it’s going to hurt them in arbitration or whatever years from now because they don’t have one position. Our guys don’t think that way and I love it. All of this has been experimentation waiting to get to this moment.”

Bryant has started 10 games in the outfield, including four in left, one in center and five in right. His only start in center was at PNC Park on April 23. In a doubleheader on Sept. 15, he started the first game at third, and was in right field for the second game.

“Right field is a little different because there’s a chain link fence,” he said of PNC Park. “There’s not the traditional padded wall. Left field is pretty big, left center is huge. I hit a couple balls to left center that I thought were homers and they were outs, so it’s a pretty big left field.”

The Cubs most likely would want La Stella in the lineup as the left-handed hitting infielder is the only Cubs player with an extra-base hit off Pirates starter Gerrit Cole this season. Bryant is 3-for-9, striking out six times.

Schwarber has started 38 games in the outfield, primarily in left (36 games). With Bryant, Schwarber, and shortstop Addison Russell, the Cubs could have three rookies starting on Wednesday.

— Carrie Muskat

9 Comments

Aloha folks, this is interesting. Some of us here have felt Soler’s defense is not the strongest and that could be partly due to his injury. Thinking this, thought as jhosk did that Coghlan would be a good fit defensively at right and offensively as well. Maybe if the offense can get off the ground early some defensive moves will be made, ie Bryant to third and Coghlan to right. Getting close! Mahalo!

Tommy proved to be better than must fans thought. BUT Coglin a Pete Rose type and a natural Of were Bryant good but he is more a infielder who next year will be CF . My point this is today Tommy a better pinch hitter so there it is . Tommy not as good as Beaz or CASTRO at 2B.

Seeing that Baez and Castro are both RH hitters, I think that Maddon may want that LH bat of La Stella’s against the Pirates RH Starter Cole. I don’t blame Maddon one bit on that decision.
Coghlan came out of that little slump he was in the last series in Milwaukee, he may come up huge tomorrow.

Aloha jasper, I was thinking with Fowler, Schwarber, Rizzo there were quite a few lefties in the lineup but like you cannot blame Maddon for his decision. Mahalo!

Aloha jasper- I had a quick moment and looked back at Cubs’ batters against Cole. The best is Rizzo with 10ab’s, no strikeouts and 4 hits. Montero is 3-5 and only 1 strikeout. Then you move to Fowler who is 3-12 and 3ko’s and Bryant is 3-9 with 6ko’s. Coghlan is 0-8 with 5ko’s and La Stella is 1-3 and no strikeouts. So even though it is a “small-sample-size” as we like to say in statistics, Coghlan’s 5ko’s out of 8 ab’s is tough but he did get 1 of the only 7rbi’s registered against Cole. Bryant ko’d the most of any Cub hitter and has no rbi’s against Cole. Runs have been hard to come by against Cole so they really need to jump on him quick. The only “unknown” to Cole which Maddon could use in his post-season lineup would be Baez who has no ab’s against the ace. What is amazing is that Arrieta has been even more stingy giving up only 18-119 (hits-at bats) to the Pirates whereas Cole gave up 21-92 to the Cubs. It is going to be a great game! Mahalo!

That is all very interesting K.g.
Jumping on him would be very nice, I just hope they do so with patience. They have beaten some good pitchers this season, by making them throw pitches and driving up that Pitch count.
De grom twice, Kershaw, Greinke and Wacha. They have beaten the Mets 7 out of 7 and their very good Starters.
Just a matter of hitting the pitches in the K zone, laying off the ones not. Patience at the plate is the key I think, especially against Cole.

Aloha jasper- good point about the pitch-count. We have talked a lot about this. The young guys approach at the plate. They will get better over time but I am sure Maddon is going over this with the team. My coach used to say be ready for the fast ball and adjust for the curve (anything breaking). So in the case of Cole he throws a couple of different fast balls, slider and change up. So in the case of the young guys they are going to have to lay off of his slider unless he makes a big mistake with it out over the plate and pay attention to when he uses his change up to set up his good fastball. Cole has struck out a lot of this lineup so running the pitch count up is a positive, plus if possible to get him out of the game sooner and to their pen. I will not forget them 2003 Marlins, how pesky the batters were and how they wore down the Cubs pitching. This young team has to do this not only for this game for hopefully for every game thereafter! Mahalo!

I am not one of those fans who is surprised by La Stella`s success, bare54. Have been one of his biggest boosters from Day One. He has a knack for getting on base. Was that way with the Braves last season, and with the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in Conway, S.C. before that, where I had the pleasure of seeing Tommy perform.

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