CHICAGO -- For the first time in his career, struggling Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will bat second in the lineup against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday. Fellow slumping teammate Starlin Castro will bat leadoff one day after hitting eighth.
Rizzo's batting average dropped to .228 after an 0-for-4 night on Tuesday in which he stranded four baserunners. He's 2-for-24 on the current homestand and is one of the worst RBI men in the league with runners in scoring position despite his season total of 65.
Castro hit eighth on Tuesday for the first time this season after beginning the homestand 1-for-23. He went 0-for-4 on Tuesday as well, dropping his average to .240. Before the game, Castro vowed to be more aggressive for the final weeks of the season. He's been more patient at the plate this season but it hasn't translated to a higher batting average or on-base percentage.
This will be Castro's 78th game hitting leadoff in his career, including his fourth this season. Junior Lake will take Rizzo's usual spot in the order batting third while Nate Schierholtz will hit clean-up. Donnie Murphy bats fifth, Brian Bogusevic is sixth followed by Darwin Barney and Welington Castillo. Jake Arrieta pitches for the Cubs.