For the first time with the Cubs, Anthony Rizzo will bat leadoff

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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs follows through on a first inning double against the New York Mets at Citi Field on June 12, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cubs 6-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

QUEENS, N.Y. – After being held to just one run for the third time in the last five games, Joe Maddon once again is getting creative with this lineup.

Believe it or not, the Cubs manager has found a way to surprise fans who have seen just about every combination form him over the past three years.

On Tuesday night Anthony Rizzo will not only play first but be the first batter for the Cubs tonight in the lineup. It’s the first time that the All-Star has been in the leadoff spot since joining the team back in 2012.

The only time he did so before this was on September 13, 2011 while a member of the Padres. He only took the leadoff spot because he was a substitute in an extra-inning game against the Giants.

Rizzo is batting .239 this season with 13 home runs and 37 RBI’s and will make his Cubs debut as a leadoff hitter tonight against Zach Wheeler of the Mets.

Finding a leadoff hitter has been a problem for the Cubs all season long after the departure of Dexter Fowler to the Cardinals. Kyle Schwarber started off as the leadoff hitter but his struggles at the top forced Maddon to try a few other options like Jon Jay and Ben Zobrist.

Is Rizzo a permanent solution? Unlikely considering his prowess as a power hitter, but for the moment he could provide a bit of a boost for a Cubs’ offense in need of one.


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