The Cubs are set to start a four-game series against the Nationals on Monday, and they have another new name atop the batting order.
Catcher Willson Contreras will get his shot to stake his claim as the team’s leadoff hitter Monday as the Cubs’ weekly audition tries out a new candidate.
Anthony Rizzo replaced Kyle Schwarber, who is now in the minors, atop the order last week. After great results early on, he tapered off a bit during the weekend.
Knowing manager Joe Maddon, Rizzo will likely get another shot, soon, to leadoff, but it’s clear he does not have an everyday leadoff hitter like he did last year.
When Dexter Fowler left the Cubs this past offseason to sign a big contract in St. Louis, few looked at it as a destructive loss for the defending World Series champs. But Chicago is hovering just above .500 this year, and the hole Dexter left was never replaced.
In the span of 10 days, Ferrell had gone from being a D-League player who was seriously considering an offer from a Russian team, to agreeing to a two-year deal with the Mavericks. By February, he was the Western Conference Rookie of the Month. On the final day of the regular season, NBA.com ranked Ferrell seventh in its Rookie of the Year ladder, one spot behind No. 6 overall pick Buddy Hield.
Not bad for a player who could’ve been playing 5,000-plus miles, a hemisphere and a dozen time zones away in Russia.
I had a really nice offer overseas. They wanted me, Ferrell said, per Mavs.com. Then I got the call from the Mavs, and decided to come over here.