Now Willson Contreras gets the chance to bat leadoff for the Cubs in 2017
WASHINGTON D.C – Even with his success with his first baseman at the top of the lineup, there was a feeling like it couldn’t last.
After all, Anthony Rizzo is arguably the Cubs’ best power hitter and having him below the leadoff spot would likely be best for more long-term success.
With that in mind, just two weeks removed from starting the Rizzo experiment, Joe Maddon is trying a new guy at the top of the Cubs lineup.
This time it’s second-year catcher Willson Contreras. The catcher gets the honor of being the latest Cubs batter to be put at the top of the lineup as they start a four-game series against the Nationals on Monday night in Washington D.C. It will be the first time in his Cubs career that he bats in the leadoff position.
Contreras is batting .248 on the season with seven homers and 34 RBIs in 66 games and he continues to be one of the most versatile players in the lineup. After tonight he will have better in every single spot in the lineup for the Cubs this season, doing so the most in the seventh spot where he has 69 at bats. So far this year Contreras only batted twice in the second spot in the order and 18 times in the third.
The Cubs begin a four-game series with the Nationals tonight with a 38-37 record, a game-and-a-half behind the Brewers for first place in the National League Central. Meanwhile, Washington is running away with the NL East, sitting nine games ahead of second-place Atlanta with a 45-30 record.