Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria has released his first lineup of the regular season.
- Emilio Bonifacio, CF
- Junior Lake, LF
- Starlin Castro, SS
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Mike Olt, 3B
- Welington Castillo, C
- Nate Schierholtz, RF
- Darwin Barney, 2B
- Jeff Samardzija, SP
- With Francisco Liriano starting for the Pirates, this may be the lineup that Renteria trots out against left handed pitchers. Though, outfielder Justin Ruggiano likely will be a part of the Cubs lineup against left handed pitchers. The reason why Ruggiano is not in today’s lineup is because the outfielder is still recovering from an ankle injury.
- Bonifacio gets the first crack at being the Cubs leadoff hitter. Bonifacio certainly possesses the speed to be in the leadoff spot, the only concern is if he can get on base enough to be in that position. If Bonifacio is able to get on base regularly, that should create favorable scoring opportunities for the Cubs offense.
- After moving throughout the lineup last season, Castro opens the 2014 season hitting third in the order. Castro has refined his approach and plans to follow the same blueprint he had in his first two seasons with the Cubs.
- The power combination of Rizzo and Olt in the middle of the Cubs order is something to watch. The Cubs were lacking run producers last season and this year’s lineup will be dependent on Rizzo and Olt to stay productive.