Typically, no manager wants to be struggling to fill out a starting lineup in September. But Joe Maddon has some tough decisions to make as the Cubs play down the stretch.
The problem comes not from struggling players or a lack of depth, but from an embarrassment of riches with young bats. Just as the picture appeared to be coming together, Jorge Soler has made a late push.
After returning from the disabled list, Soler looks like a player on a mission. Monday night he hit his second home run since rejoining the club on Friday.
Maddon and the Cubs will need to figure out who will be in the starting lineup come October. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell, Dexter Fowler all seem lineup locks, leaving five remaining spots.
Other than those four, finding the right combination will be difficult. Soler, Javier Baez, Starlin Castro, Chris Coghlan and Kyle Schwarber are left to battle over three remaining spots, not including catcher.
The Cubs will sport one of the deepest benches in the playoffs. In addition to those fighting for a starting spot, Tommy LaStella, Chris Denorfia, and Austin Jackson have all played big roles down the stretch.