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Maddon looking forward to Fenway return

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

PITTSBURGH -- Joe Maddon remembers his first trip to Boston in 1995. He was a coach on the Angels, the team arrived around 6 a.m., and it was raining. That didn't stop him from exploring.

The Angels were staying in Cambridge, Mass., and Maddon asked the hotel van to drop him off in Harvard Square.

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PITTSBURGH -- Joe Maddon remembers his first trip to Boston in 1995. He was a coach on the Angels, the team arrived around 6 a.m., and it was raining. That didn't stop him from exploring.

The Angels were staying in Cambridge, Mass., and Maddon asked the hotel van to drop him off in Harvard Square.

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"I just walked and checked out Harvard and a coffee shop there and wanted to feel this whole thing, and I did and went to the train station and jumped on a train and went to Chestnut Hill because I wanted to see [Boston College]," Maddon said on Wednesday.

Maddon and the Cubs will be in Boston for a three-game Interleague series against the Red Sox, which starts at 6:10 p.m. CT Friday. The Chicago contingent will have an off-day on Thursday in Boston, so Maddon could do a little more wandering.

Lester eager for Fenway trip

One of the things Maddon also did on that first trip in 1995 was check out the area around Fenway Park.

"What's behind the [left-field] wall is actually really interesting to me, so that was another thing," Maddon said of his adventure. "I had to take a walk by myself down the street to see it. My first trip to Boston was about me, and I wanted to see the city."

Maddon saw plenty of games in Boston when he was manager of the Rays.

"It's the American League East, and I cut my teeth there as a manager," Maddon said.

Worth noting

• The Cubs tweaked their rotation for the three-game series, flipping Kyle Hendricks and Brett Anderson, so Hendricks starts on Sunday and Anderson goes Monday against the Phillies at Wrigley Field. The Phillies have a slash line of .230/.294/.410 against left-handed pitchers, which is the reason for the switch. Because of Thursday's off-day, Hendricks will be pitching on regular rest.

Kyle Schwarber was expected to be the Cubs' designated hitter for the three games, but Maddon wasn't ready to reveal who will play left field.

Schwarber did just fine as the DH during the World Series last fall, batting .438 (7-for-16) with a double and two RBIs after missing the regular season because of a knee injury.

Video: WS2016 Gm2: Schwarber hits two RBI singles, walks

Ben Zobrist did not start on Wednesday, which will give him two days off prior to the series in Boston. Zobrist has been battling a stiff back, although he said he's feeling fine and the move was more precautionary.

"I'm being respectful from his back's perspective," Maddon said. "Of course, I played him in the worst weather [Monday and Tuesday] and gave him the best weather off [on Wednesday].

"I'm looking at the big picture down the road. The latter part of the season, I want him to be well and healthy."

• During his tenure with the Cubs, Chris Coghlan didn't pull off the acrobatic move he did during Tuesday's Blue Jays game when he dove over Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina at home plate.

Video: TOR@STL: Coghlan scores by jumping over Yadi

"That is shocking," Maddon said of the play. "That's other-worldly. That's something you see Bo Jackson or [former high jumper] Dick Fosbury do. That also is the residue of the rule about blocking home plate. He could've just ran [Molina] over but probably internally somehow felt he couldn't and put himself at risk by landing on his head. I want to make a point of that also."

How would anyone know they could do that?

"When do you ever practice that?" Maddon said. "The only time you know you can do that is right after you're done doing it."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

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