Ross tinkers with lineup; Bryant remains sidelined
For the series opener against the White Sox and left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel, Cubs manager David Ross went a little unconventional with the starting lineup.
Hernan Perez got his first start as a Cub at second base. Albert Almora Jr. played in center field, while Ian Happ moved to left and Kyle Schwarber went to DH. Nico Hoerner and Jason Kipnis were both available to come off the bench.
"Hernan has a history of facing left-handers, the low bat path for me down in the zone, seems like a guy that should match up well," Ross said before the game. "He was swinging the bat really good and giving professional at bats from all the reports I got from South Bend.
"I remember catching behind him and he was a tough out. Nico's a nice option to come off the bench defensively. I just want to get Hernan a start and I thought this was the best matchup for him."
Perez joined the major league roster earlier this week when Steven Souza Jr. went on the injured list. The veteran utility player spent the last four years in Milwaukee.
Regarding Almora, Ross said, "This team does hit the ball in the air a lot, a little extra outfield defense. Schwarbs has been playing a lot of games, wanted to get him off his feet a little bit. Vic (Victor Caratini), giving him an extra day, to me he's a little better from the left side hitting against right-handed pitchers. So getting Al in there made some sense for me."
Meanwhile, Kris Bryant remained sidelined with a left wrist injury. He got a medical injection in the wrist on Tuesday and there's no set date for his return.
"We're going to just wait and see how things go today," Ross said. "Checked in with the trainer, he's still progressing in the right direction. See how things feel after treatment today, if he's able to hit in the cage or on the field. Just kind of taking it day-to-day from here on out."