Who’s No. 1? Replacing Anthony Rizzo -- the Cubs’ self-proclaimed greatest leadoff hitter of all-time -- on Monday, Willson Contreras homered leading off the game.

Another day, another Cubs’ leadoff man, another leadoff homer

SHARE Another day, another Cubs’ leadoff man, another leadoff homer
SHARE Another day, another Cubs’ leadoff man, another leadoff homer

WASHINGTON – Anthony Rizzo has some competition for GLHOAT.

The self-proclaimed greatest leadoff hitter of all-time was moved down to second in the Cubs order against problematic left-hander Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals, and his replacement for the day, Willson Contreras, led off Monday’s game with a home run in his first career leadoff at-bat.

“I’ve been wanting to try Willie vs. a lefty,” manager Joe Maddon said of the eighth player he has used in the leadoff spot this year. “Even when [Kyle] Schwarber was here I thought at some point I would give that a go.”

Maddon said Rizzo, his slugging first baseman, will be back in the top spot again Tuesday against Nationals ace Max Scherzer, Rizzo’s 11th game leading off, all in the last two weeks.

Contreras said he had never led off at any level until Monday but wasn’t surprised.

“Because I know how Joe likes to work,” he said. “I was ready for everything. Every hitter has to be ready to hit in every spot [playing for Maddon].

“It feels good to feel that kind of confidence they put in you.”

The Cubs’ inability to find a reliable solution to their leadoff spot has created the midseason creativity and flux, with Opening Day leadoff man Schwarber lasting just six weeks in the spot and eventually getting optioned to the minors Thursday with a .171 batting average.

Eventually, Maddon would like to see a rebounding Schwarber return to that spot long-term, the manager said.

“I still think if Schwarbs can get back on track, his tools will reflect a lot of what you’re seeing Anthony do right now, how he gets the offense started,” Maddon said. “We don’t have that 40-steal guy. We don’t have that kind of speed combined with on-base percentage. So you’ve got to do the next-best thing. And I prefer your best hitters be at the top.”

Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub



Cubs win 5-4 in series opener.

Schwarber goes 1-for-4 in Iowa.

The Latest
The 34-year-old was crossing the street just before 8:30 p.m. in the 2900 block of West Columbus Avenue when she was struck by a black SUV.
“That’s where you build fandom, grow revenue, and that’s where all the players will benefit versus adding a roster spot here and there.”
Reflecting on one of the most iconic photos of his presidency, former President Obama said, “I think this picture embodied one of the hopes that I had when I first started running for office.”
Four cities bid for the 2024 Democratic convention by the Friday deadline: Chicago, New York, Houston and Atlanta.
The Alpha and Delta variant waves left 342 Chicagoans dead in less vaccinated parts of the city. That toll could have been 75% lower if more people had been inoculated, University of Chicago Medicine researchers found.