Ross ready to start toying with Cubs' batting order
Cubs manager David Ross plans to start experimenting with the batting order to see what might work best in the postseason.
For example, he flipped Willson Contreras and Javy Baez in Tuesday's lineup. Contreras batted fourth and Baez sixth.
"Willy's swinging the bat a little bit better," Ross said. "Javy's been coming around. Javy's having good at-bats. Then as it lined up with KB (Kris Bryant) being back in, I may start moving some things a little bit more, trying to find a little bit more continuity.
"I definitely went with the trust factor early on and most of the season and letting these guys feed off each other's at-bats. But now we're starting to get a clear picture of who's having the good at-bats, who's having a good season, who's coming along."
Most of the Cubs' holdovers from the 2016 World Series team have struggled at the plate. Heading into Tuesday's action, Bryant was hitting .200, Baez .203, Kyle Schwarber .204 and Anthony Rizzo .205. Contreras started heating up in the last couple of weeks and he's up to .247.
The first step in this process was acknowledging Ian Happ was having the best year at the plate and moving him to the leadoff spot last month. Jason Heyward (.293) has also been solid.
"Still got to trust in those guys," Ross said. "It's a really deep lineup when Javy Baez is hitting sixth, obviously. He could very easily be back in the 3-4 hole at some point too.
"It has nothing to do with my lack of belief in them and just happens to do with maybe the lineup flowing a little bit better than it has. (In Bryant), I see a guy that I feel like is getting ready to carry us a little bit. But that's just a shot in the dark for me."