Today the Chicago Cubs are playing their first “game” of the season. This, of the intrasquad, six-ish-inning variety. Still, it’s baseball, right?

The lineups for the game (which you can catch at HoHoKam for free if you’re in Mesa – it starts at 1 pm local time):

Team A, for which Travis Wood will start:

1. Alfonso Soriano, LF (seriously – fortunately, this doesn’t really much matter)

2. Ian Stewart, 3B

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Bryan LaHair, 1B

5. Marlon Byrd, CF

6. David DeJesus, RF

7. Blake Lalli, C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Blake DeWitt, DH

Team B, for which Randy Wells will start:

1. Brett Jackson, CF

2. Matt Szczur, RF

3. Jeff Baker, 2B

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Reed Johnson, LF

6. Josh Vitters, 3B

7. Junior Lake, SS

8. Michael Brenly, C

9. Tony Campana, DH

(h/t Carrie Muskat)

  • T C

    Serious question- why is Michael Brenley even in camp? Didn’t he hit like 210/240/290in A ball last year?

    • Andrew

      Working out lots of pitchers you have to have lots of catchers. I wouldn’t read any more into him being in camp than that. He has virtually no legitimate shot of making the roster. He’s, at best, the 5th option at catcher.

      • TWC

        I think Jody Davis is higher on the depth chart, frankly.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Or, Marmol he used to be a catcher didn’t he?

      • Luke

        You can drop the virtually. He has exactly 0 chance of making the major league roster this year. If Castillo, Jaramillo, and Clevenger were all abducted by aliens, the Cubs would trade for a backup or claim one off the waiver wire. Lalli, Gibbs, and Brenly are there because the team needs extra catchers at this stage of camp, not to compete for a roster slot.

        2015 might be a different story.

    • Luke

      Brenly regressed at the plate last season, but defensively he’s solid. Had the Cubs not wanted both Clevenger and Castillo to catch every day, he would likely have been in Tennessee.

      He’s not a super-exciting prospect, but I think he’s solidly on the fringe. He’s got a shot of turning himself into a defensive-focused backup catcher in the majors in a few years.

      It is pretty common for teams to bring extra catchers to the major league camp early in spring training. More pitchers results in a need for more catchers. The catcher count will start to drop precipitously in a week or two.

      • WGNstatic

        Also, it seems like having your minor league catcher catch some big league pitchers… Seems like he might learn a thing or two that he can pass on to the minor league pitchers he will be receiving for.

        I think of Bull Durham… I want my minor league catchers to be as solid as possible behind the plate. Being in the big league camp can only help.

      • EQ76

        so… he’s our future Koyie Hill.

        • Luke

          Someone else’s future Koyie Hill, more likely.  It’s hard to see him making the Cubs as anything more than an injury fill-in given the sheer depth of catcher the Cubs have right now.  He’d be no higher than 5th on my list of Cubs catching prospects.

  • florida Al

    from what i saw last year..hes a good defensive late inning guy…i saw him a couple of times in tampa.

  • PoppyPants McGee

    It’s in Bob Brenley’s contract that as long as he is the color man, Michael gets a shot at the big league team. I Swear!

  • James Dell’Aringa

    Please, please, please….no injuries!!!!

  • Holden

    I love both lineups. I think its pretty cool to see the kids in one lineup. Wish this game was televised. This is what we get for not having a cubs network.

  • Cubbie Blues

    I about spit my drink all over the monitor when I saw Barney at DH. Is it bad for me to be rooting for team B? Does this mean that Wood and Wells are the favorites right now with the edge going to Wood? Or, does Wells have the edge and they want to see him against the “starters”? Gee, I wonder how much I could jump around in one post if I actually tried.

    • hansman1982

      I think you should read -546 points into today’s lineups or starters or anything.

  • Luke

    Go Team B!

  • Garrett

    I could actually see Soriano leading off this year, not to say I even remotely agree with it, but coming from a different team I’m guessing Sveum has seen something that he likes with Sori at the leadoff spot. This looks like a legit lineup that he is putting together, not just something to get guys AB’s. That being said obviously the catchers aren’t our top choices.

  • Kyle

    They really aren’t kidding about it being the A team and the B team.

    Well, with one obvious exception…

  • Deer

    Levine tweeted that Sveum said Sori might lead off at times this season. Maybe it does matter.

  • eporter34

    I will be highly disappointed if any ball hit to the outfield hits the ground with those “Team B” outfielders in place today.

  • die hard

    A looks like opening day starting lineup except for Soriano’s leadoff and Soto missing which means what we see today is what we get then. Wonder what it will take for B teamer to make A team?

  • Kyle

    Soriano is literally the worst expected starter to be batting leadoff. I’m very, very disappointed if Sveum is really taking the idea seriously. For now, I’ll assume he isn’t.

    • hansman1982

      Maybe they swapped his 40 ounce bat for a 4000 ounce bat so that he can’t swing at the sliders and will walk every time up this year

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Does anybody know that the line on the game today is? Team B minus 130?

  • Lance Dickson

    Is today’s game broadcasted in any form (tv or internet streaming)?

    Also, can anyone else help me with this:

    I canceled my cable television, bought an antenna and hooked up my computer to my tv. So, now I am trying to get Cubs games over the internet (those not on wgn). I thought that I could buy the mlb internet streaming package, but it looks like it will black out Cubs games because I live in Chicago. Does anyone have any suggestions? Also, is there a way to get Cubs minor league games live or delayed streaming?

    Lance Dickson

    • Brett

      Today’s game is not being broadcast anywhere, unfortunately – we’ll probably get updates on Twitter, though.

      As for the rest, unfortunately I have no answers.

    • JustSwain

      My opinion is that you should Get MLB.TV on your internet. The only games that will be blacked out for you are the ones that are on CSN, , also, they are only blacked out live. WGN games will be blacked out but I assume you get those over the air, as well as FOX. Living in Chicago it might be hard for you to avoid learning the score, but here in Minnesota (I get the same blackouts as you for some reason) its not that hard, and I actually prefer watching games without commercials, so I usually wait until the game is over and watch the archived version even if I’m not blacked out. Think of it as a permanent DVR that records EVERY baseball game. The hard part is resisting the urge to shoot ahead when the Cubbies are losing, but I prefer watching games that way now to games live. It is by far your best option. Quality is dependent on your Internet Connection, but if you are streaming video you know all about that anyway. MLB.TV has gotten better each year that they have had it (I’ve had an MLB.TV account since year one). Too bad I can’t say that about the Cubs.

  • Mike Foster

    Lance, here you go;

    I live 6 hours away from DC and the National games are black out?????

    • Stinky Pete

      I imagine Baltimore too.

      I am blacked out of both Chicago teams, (Seven hours away.) Milwaukee, (5 hours away.) Minnesota (Okay. two hours away. I get that.) St. Louis (5.5 hours away) and Kansas City (WTF? I don’t even know how far that is.) 6 teams.
      MLB: Here’s our product! (No you can’t consume it.)

      • Brady

        My quantity is not bad but I am in Hawaii and we get pretty much 0 games brodcasted that are blacked out on MLB.TV and those teams would be SF and Oakland. Like I care about those teams but that is still a few games a year that are blacked out for being a couple thousand miles and a giant body of water away.

  • http://bleachernation robert inman

    what i want to know is why the pitchers are not batting?? hello ! gosh don drysdale was a better hitter than blake dewitt / why because he practiced at it ! AGAIN HELLO

    • jr5

      1.) to get as many offensive players as possible at-bats against live pitching in game situations

      2.) to avoid pitchers getting hurt by a pitched ball or by running the bases.

    • Richard Nose

      See AJ Burnett’s face.

  • JXH

    I predict 5 home runs combined from the DH spots today.

    • Garrett

      haha that’d be amazing, probably more like 5 HR’s from those two combined all year, which is probably betting the over.

  • Butch Cub

    I hope there is a box score available after the game. I am giddy for cub baseball.

  • Austin

    Let us know which intrasquad team wins.

  • ferrets_bueller

    Lol, Campana DH. The only place his arm isn’t a liability.

  • JR Cubs

    Do you guys think that Soriano may get some run batting lead off this year? Obiviously his on base skills are garbage, and he can’t run now. But he could see a lot more fastballs at the top of the lineup, and it’s where he had his greatest success…

    • King Jeff

      He was garbage at the top of the lineup a few years ago, why would he be any better now that he’s older? He certainly isn’t learning any more patience. I see absolutely no reason to even consider Soriano for the leadoff spot.

      • JR Cubs

        Well he’s garbage anywhere in the lineup. But my point is he would see more fastballs batting leadoff. It’s something I haven’t thought about until I saw the lineups today.

        • J Wilson

          You are forgetting that Soriano would get far more ABs, and would leadoff innings more frequently batting leadoff than any other spot, especially 4th-7th. I don’t care if he would see 10% more fastballs, he would kill at least 10% more innings. I have the stats to back it up, but explanation is lengthy.

          • JR Cubs

            Yeah I hear ha. I’m not promoting Sori as a leadoff hitter as a great idea or anything.. Trust me I know Sori’s faults. But maybe the new FO wants to put him the best position to put up #’s, so they can move him and see that as a leadoff hitter. Just a thought.

    • tjtrigo

      Maybe having Sori leadoff is as simple is trying to get Sori two good at bats off of Wells and then get him off the field to save his knees…or something like that.

  • Fishin Phil

    If I was an opposing coach, and my pitcher threw Soriano a fastball, that pitcher would be headed to AA before the game was over. I don’t care if he bats leadoff or ninth, he would see nothing but sliders low and away.

    • DocWimsey

      Sori doesn’t swing at sliders low and away when he guesses that they are coming. So, they need to mix in some outside fastballs for Sori to be able to confuse the two different pitches. After all, there is no point in being a Viceroy butterfly if there aren’t any Monarch butterflies in the area, is there?

      • Fishin Phil

        Doc, busting out the mimicry metaphor! Kudos!

  • King Jeff

    Oh my, Brett Jackson with a lead off homerun, Matt Szczur running like Tony Campana on crack, and Randy Wells goes 1-2-3. If this wasn’t the Cubs playing against themselves, I might be a little bit excited about this year.

    • Brett

      Szczur added a grand slam off Wood, who was basically pulled early. Let’s all overreact about both of those things!

      • King Jeff

        @ROYSzczur, @AAAWood, @E4Baker, It’s never too soon to over react.

      • Luke

        Clearly, if the Cubs put Szczur in center from Opening Day, he’d finish the season with 162 HR, 324 R, and 648 RBIs.


        • Brett

          Whoa! I handn’t done the math yet. It’s pretty obvious what needs to happen. Rookie of the Year and MVP is pretty much guaranteed.

          (I joke, but now I’m wondering: if you had a player put up those kind of numbers, does he single-handedly take a crappy team to the playoffs? Assuming he isn’t walked every time.)

          • Luke

            I think he would, if he weren’t walked all the time. If one player alone is accounting for 4-5 runs a game (between R and RBI), then all the pitching staff and the rest of the offense has to do is just not be historically terrible.

            • JB

              Two words…Tuffy Rhodes…

              And asking an organization not to be historically terrible that hasn’t won a World Series in 103 years is asking a lot

          • Matt3

            Barry Bonds… I’d even take the walks

    • Beer Baron

      I only wish Harry was still alive to treat us to his pronunciation of Matt Szczur.

      • Fishin Phil

        Even better when he tries to do it backwards.

  • jim

    Soriano leads off, yes. Look at his record! Most leadoff homers cept for rickey.

  • oehly37

    Sori and DeJesus switch and i’d come closer to buying it.

  • Eric

    Lead off hitters bat with bases empty more than 2/3’s of the time (in the NL). You shouldn’t have people with loads of slugging leading off and a walk truly is as good as a single (IE Sori is an awful choice). That said, Sori could be a bit of a head case. There could be some mental aspect to the game that would allow him to bat better in lead off. My solution is just never give him the option of leading off and he won’t think about it.

    • DocWimsey

      I agree about walks, but not about slugging. Doubles are a huge part of slugging, and doubles are great from leadoff men. HR really are good, too, but you have to think of this a la Epstein instead of a la Hendry. The goal of the batter is to score: if he drives in anybody while doing that, then count that as gravy. A leadoff double has a high chance of scoring: but it has an infinitely higher chance of not scoring than does a leadoff HR.

      That being said, Sori’s OBP is simply too low to bat leadoff.

      • Eric

        Doubles are good in the leadoff stop but way more valuable with people on base.

        • DocWimsey

          That’s not the right way to think of it. A leadoff home run is more valuable than a leadoff double is more valuable than a leadoff walk is (usually slightly) more valuable than a leadoff single. Remember, the guy is leading off. So, what is the most valuable thing he can do while leading off?