The Chicago Cubs begin a weekend series against the Minnesota Twins on Friday, and at least for the opener they'll be without one of their best players, infielder Javy Baez.
Veteran utility man Ben Zobrist will start at second base in his place and bat third ahead of first baseman Anthony Rizzo, while Ian Happ will start at the hot corner with Kris Bryant being on the disabled list.
Albert Almora Jr. is leading off and playing center field and the hot-hitting Jason Heyward is starting in his usual right field and batting second. It could be for matchup reasons with Minnesota's Jose Berrios on the mound or just a simple day off, but backup catcher Chris Gimenez is getting the start behind the dish and batting eighth.
Baez isn't out because of an injury, it's because he and his fiancee welcomed their first child into the world.
Se los presento después! Baby Baez’s here! Gracias Mi Dios Por Otra De Tus Tantas Bendiciones!! pic.twitter.com/6yQWhfT6hQ— Javier Báez (@javy23baez) June 29, 2018
The Cubs are a little banged up and Baez is out for personal reasons, so this is the best lineup manager Joe Maddon could write out for the series opener.
Chicago is coming off an 11-run win yesterday against the Dodgers, so I'm sure they're hoping they can carry that into Friday against a pitcher whose been really dominant lately.