"It's not about the pitcher hitting eighth, it's about who's hitting ninth then [Nos.] 1-2-3," Maddon said on Saturday. "We can get potentially more runners on base and feed them more."
Maddon likes to call the No. 9 batter a "leadoff hitter in training," and tries to insert someone who will get on base to set up whomever is batting second or third.
"It makes you feel like they're actually getting fed properly," Maddon said of his Nos. 2-4 hitters. "And if they're not, with the pitcher hitting ninth, it feels like they're not getting the right kind of nutrition."
The Cubs are carrying 13 pitchers and three catchers and, as a result, they have a short bench. From 1914-2014, the Cubs had batted the starting pitcher somewhere other than ninth only once in a game and that was on Sept. 8, 2012, when Jeff Samardzija did so.