Today the Chicago Cubs kick off their Cactus League schedule, taking on the Oakland A’s (who’ve already played a couple games, so, like, if the Cubs lose, it’s totally because the A’s have had more practice) at 2:05 CT.
The Cubs’ lineup is as follows, and it’s certainly an interesting configuration. As I said with respect to the intrasquad game, it isn’t worth reading *too* much into this lineup, as it likely to change dramatically by Opening Day (it also doesn’t feature Geovany Soto, and does feature a DH). There could be any number of reasons for batting Ian Stewart second or David DeJesus sixth.
Or, you know, leading off with Alfonso Soriano:
1. Alfonso Soriano, LF
2. Ian Stewart, 3B
3. Starlin Castro, SS
4. Bryan LaHair, 1B
5. Marlon Byrd, CF
6. David DeJesus, RF
7. Jeff Baker, DH
8. Darwin Barney, 2B
9. Welington Castillo, C
For now, I sate myself with the belief that there are instructional/organizational/whatever reasons for batting Soriano leadoff that have nothing to do with where he’ll actually bat when the season rolls around. If he’s still there come late March, then I’ll start really grousing. For his part, Dale Sveum has said that we’re likely to see a different leadoff hitter “every day.” I’m not sure if that’s literally true, but I expect to see a healthy rotation over the next few weeks.
Rodrigo Lopez gets the start for the Cubs today, and is expected to be followed by some combination of (but not necessarily all of) Carlos Marmol, Rafael Dolis, Dae-Eun Rhee, Lendy Castillo and Marcos Mateo.
Today’s game is not available on TV, but will be on radio on Cubs.com, featuring Len Kasper.