The answer to the question posed in the title is, of course, probably not, since it’s likely that Jake Arrieta will be pitching, but consider this. The two pitchers projected to top the Los Angeles Angels rotation are Garrett Richardson and C.J. Wilson. Most of the current Chicago Cubs lineup has not faced these guys at all, but there are a few players who are notable exceptions.
Not surprisingly, Ben Zobrist has seen them the most. The good news is that Zobrist has a career .545 average against Richards. Catcher David Ross? 1.000. Against C.J. Wilson? Zobrist has hit only .262, Anthony Rizzo has managed .333, but David Ross? 1.000. Noticing a pattern here?
Maybe Ross is the Cubs’ secret weapon against the Angels. Maybe not. Maybe he should not bat and maintain those perfect batting averages, but come game two, when it’s very likely to be Wilson vs. Lester on the mound – sparks could fly!
Of course, this is all silly, since the Cubs and Angels rarely meet, and have not done so enough with their current rosters for any meaningful stats to exist. Only seven of the active starters have faced Wilson, and two of them are free agents signed this offseason. Only five of them have ever seen Richards on the mound, and, again, two them are Heyward and Zobrist.
One thing is certain, the world is going to be paying attention when the 2016 Chicago Cubs take the field for the first time this year. They will be playing in the pitcher-friendly Angel Stadium of Anaheim, so the sluggers will have their work cut out for them. ESPN rankings (using numbers from 2012 and 2013) have this park as the 24th most hitter unfriendly venue in baseball. Maybe Granpa Rossy will hit one out of the park and keep his streak alive!
Or… maybe he should pitch!