Hoyer on Schwarber hitting leadoff: "Love that idea"
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said recently that his leading candidates to bat leadoff will be Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber because of the departure of Dexter Fowler to St. Louis
Schwarber leading off a game would be one of the most unconventional moves by Maddon but would give the young phenom tons of at-bats during the season.
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer was excited about the idea on the Spiegel and Goff Show on Friday.
"To me, what I was always taught in baseball was when we started working with Bill James with the Red Sox, the most important part of a lineup is making sure your best hitters hit the most often," Hoyer said. You’re only guaranteed to lead off once a game, and the most important thing is having the right guys at the plate the most often. To me, it’s pretty terrifying to think of Schwarber, (Kris Bryant), (Anthony) Rizzo to start the game. That pitcher’s coming out for that first inning, and he knows he’s in trouble right away. And I love that idea, I think it’s intimidating, and I think getting your best hitters up there the most often is the most important part of our strategy.”
Schwarber has a career .352 on-base percentage in two seasons with the Cubs. In 2015, Schwarber hit .246 with 16 home runs, 43 RBIs with an outstanding .842 OPS in only 69 games (273 at-bats) in his rookie season.