The Cubs inked Jon Jay to a one-year deal last winter prior to losing Dexter Fowler via free agency. A left-handed hitting veteran, Jay offered a nice complement to Albert Almora as part of a platoon in center field. With the ability to handle all three outfield spots in a pinch, and to get on base at a good clip, Jay's value to big league teams exceeds his contributions to rotisserie squads as he's hit a combined five homers and stolen eight bases over the last three seasons. As a roster filler, Jay's batting average prevents him from being an overall liability, and his ability to use the entire field paired with a low soft contact rate (11.5 percent in 2017, 16.4 percent career) supports his flirtation with hitting .300. Now 33 years old, there is little reason to think 2018 will bring more in terms of offensive output or playing time, but he's a steady player nonetheless.
Jay is out of the lineup for Thursday's game against the Dodgers. Jay will retreat to the bench for Game 5 of the NLCS as the club goes up against left-hander Clayton Kershaw. In his place, Kyle Schwarber earns the nod in left while Albert Almora will start in center and bat atop the order. Jay will likely enter the game as a defensive substitute or pinch hitter in the latter stages of the contest.
Jay is not in the lineup against the Nationals on Saturday. Jay will remain on the bench for Game 2 of the NLDS with southpaw Gio Gonzalez on the mound for Washington. In his place, Ian Happ will draw a start in left while Albert Almora gets the nod in center. During Friday's victory, Jay was used as a pinch hitter, going 1-for-1 with a double and a run. He'll likely be deployed in that capacity again Saturday.
Jay is not in the lineup against the Nationals for Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday. Jay will head to the bench for the opening game of the series as Kyle Schwarber draws the start in left. He will be available off the bench and is likely going to enter the fray at some point if the game is close. Looking ahead, with left-hander Gio Gonzalez confirmed as Saturday's starter, Jay may be left out of the starting nine once again.
Jay is not in the lineup for Thursday's game against the Cardinals. The Cubs are resting all of their starters after clinching the NL Central on Wednesday, so Jay will head to the bench as Kyle Schwarber steps in to man left field in his stead.
Jay is not in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Cardinals. Jay raised his batting average 10 points to .293 over the last six games, but manager Joe Maddon decided he was due a day off after five straight starts, so he will open on the bench Tuesday. Ian Happ will take Jay's place in center field, and Ben Zobrist will assume his spot atop the order.