(CBS) Searching for answers amid his team’s prolonged struggles, Cubs manager Joe Maddon is getting creative again.
Slugging first baseman Anthony Rizzo will bat lead-off for the Cubs against the Mets on Tuesday night at Citi Field, Maddon told the Spiegel and Parkins Show on 670 The Score. It will be the second time in Rizzo’s career that he bats lead-off, according to baseballreference.com, and he’ll be the seventh player to bat first for the Cubs this season.
“We hit well for a couple days, then we don’t, then we do, then we don’t,” Maddon said. “So let’s just see if this gets us started again.”
Rizzo is hitting .249 with 13 homers, 37 RBIs and a .390 on-base percentage this season. Kyle Schwarber won the Cubs’ lead-off job out of spring training but lost it in recent weeks amid continued struggles. Jon Jay batted lead off for the Cubs in a 6-1 loss to the Mets on Monday night.
Schwarber is in the Cubs’ lineup Tuesday but won’t hit ninth — where he’s been hitting lately — because Maddon doesn’t want to stack lefties back-t0-back in Schwarber and Rizzo.
The Cubs have lost nine in a row on the road and are 31-32, sitting in second place in the NL Central, 1.5 games behind the Brewers.
Listen to Maddon’s full interview below.