(CBS) Ever since the Cubs bolstered their lineup with the additions of outfielder Jason Heyward and second baseman Ben Zobrist in free agency, a question has loomed.
What's the batting order going to be?
Manager Joe Maddon still hasn't figured it out. On Monday, two days before the team's first full-squad workout at spring training, Maddon acknowledged he's considering moving shortstop Addison Russell out of the No. 9 spot in the order, but it's all still up in the air.
Maddon often batted Russell ninth in his rookie season a year ago -- and the pitcher eighth -- because he thought it'd help Russell's development to see more quality pitches and not be pitched around.
"I need to get together with our geeks and talk about the batting order," Maddon said. "I really want to know specifically what they think of the one-two spot, and I want to know what they think about Addy hitting in the nine hole again this year. Last year, a lot of that had to do with me (wanting) to benefit him, and it worked out, I thought, pretty well. I just need more thoughts. I need them to throw some stuff at me to absorb right now. I like it. I really like it a lot. I like him there. I like the way it bleeds into one-two, but I got to look and see if there's any kind of, if there's something I'm missing there, that I'm not aware of yet. So I'm not prepared to say he is or is not. I'm just looking for more information. I'm not quite there yet."
It's believed that Heyward or Zobrist will lead off for the Cubs, who chose not to re-sign former lead-off man Dexter Fowler this offseason. Heyward has a career .353 on-base percentage, while Zobrist has a .355 mark.
A number of factors will inform Maddon in how he chooses to stack his order, including the desire to go lefty-righty, how much he's open to having Russell run on the bases and who he best sees fit to hit in front of the pitcher.
"I just don't want to miss anything," Maddon said. "So I'll throw that at (the analytics guys), see what they have to say, then make my decision."
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