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The Cubs should move Kris Bryant and Javier Baez down in the lineup

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It’s time for a shakeup.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not usually one to complain too much about lineup construction, because in general I think that sort of thing is overblown. Generally, good hitters are going to hit no matter where they stand in the lineup.

However, given the struggles of Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, I do think it’s time for manager David Ross to make a change.

This is something Ross seems loath to do, at least in comparison to Joe Maddon, who often moved guys up and down the lineup. Baez, for example, has started 38 of the Cubs’ 40 games so far. He’s batted third 32 times and fourth six times. For whatever reason, it’s not working out for Javy, who is hitting .195/.233/.362 (29-for-149) with 54 strikeouts. These are Baez’ worst numbers since his rookie season of 2014.

Bryant, at least, has an injury as a partial excuse for his poor hitting. He’s started just 20, half of the Cubs’ 40 games, and after a failed experiment with him leading off (16 games in which he hit .171/.271/.323, he moved to the second spot in the order on his return from the injured list. That hasn’t worked either, though it’s a small sample size of just four games: .158/.158/.211 (3-for-19).

Ross, at least, has found a good leadoff hitter in Ian Happ, who is having a MVP-caliber season. Happ is hitting .315/.412/.767 (23-for-73) in 20 games as the Cubs’ leadoff hitter, and so he should be kept there.

But Ross really needs to shake up the rest of the lineup, and if he’s going to run Baez and Bryant out there every day — and I’m not arguing against that — he needs to drop both of them in the lineup.

So here are my suggestions for Cubs lineups against RHP and LHP (and an extra one for when Victor Caratini catches Yu Darvish) going forward.

vs. RHP

Happ, CF
Rizzo, 1B
Schwarber, LF
Contreras, C
Heyward, RF
Bryant, 3B
Baez, SS
Martinez or Maybin, DH
Kipnis, 2B

vs. LHP

Happ, CF
Rizzo, 1B
Contreras, C
Bote, 2B
Bryant, 3B
Schwarber, LF
Baez, SS
Heyward, RF
Maybin, DH

When Caratini catches Darvish

Happ, CF
Rizzo, 1B
Schwarber, LF
Bryant, 3B
Caratini, C
Heyward, RF
Baez, SS
Martinez or Maybin, DH
Kipnis or Bote, 2B

Any of those lineups could play mix-and-match with Bryant possibly playing left field or serving as DH, or having Schwarber DH. Those are just examples of how Ross could shake things up.

A shakeup is what this lineup needs. In losing three of their last four, the Cubs have scored a total of just nine runs. They’re going to have to do better than that.