The Cubs take on a split squad Padres club today in Mesa, and I’ll be there to watch with my father-in-law. Better still, you can watch the game, too – it’s going to be on WGN (and WGN Radio). It’s a 3:05 CT start, and Travis Wood is scheduled to start in what could be his last Spring appearance with the big club. Randy Wells is supposed to follow Wood, in what might be his last chance to impress and win a rotation spot.

Chris Volstad, for what it’s worth, will be starting in a Minor League game today. Query whether the Cubs have already seen what they need to see from Volstad, want to see Wood one last time, and want to see Wells come out of a bullpen in a long-relief-type outing. It’s plausible.

For the televised game, we’ll get a Game Thread going at the Message Board (where you can recount my numerous television appearances, and question whether I really need that third hot dog).

The lineup is Castro-less (about which, bummer – I guess he’s getting the day off for his birthday):

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Marlon Byrd, CF

3. Blake DeWitt, 2B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Jeff Baker, 3B

6. Darwin Barney, SS

7. Joe Mather, 1B

8. Welington Castillo, C

9. Travis Wood, P

  • Brett

    Jim Bowden just reported that Dale Sveum told him, as of now, the bullpen includes Marmol, K. Wood, Russell, Dolis, Coleman(!) and possibly Castillo.

    That would leave one more spot, which would presumably go to one of Randy Wells or Rodrigo Lopez.

    • CubFan Paul

      or another Lefty ..Miller or Maine

      this 2012 pitching staff was built without Wells and Coleman beat him out for long RH option in the pen

      • Brett

        Yeah, you could be right. Another lefty, Coleman as the long man, with Wells dealt and Lopez in the minors. Would really surprise me if Sveum doesn’t want one of Wells or Lopez in the pen, though. Unless he’s been told…

        • Turn Two

          Coleman makes much more sense in relief than starting. Give wells the long relief spot and Coleman in short relief late innings.

        • Luke

          I’ve got think Maine is in the pen at this point.  If Sveum has Coleman in the pen, does he need Wells or Lopez?

    • Joker

      How is Coleman in the mix? You would think a second lefty was a must.

  • Joker

    Where are you sitting? We will be looking for you.

    • Brett

      Section 205 – up behind home plate, slightly to the left, but we’re up a ways.

      • Joker

        Still no bad seat at HoHoKam. Might I recommend a breakfast trek to LoLo’s Chicken and Waffles in Phoenix tomorrow? It’s worth the journey.

        (A quick googlin’ shows they have opened a Scottsdale location as well. Giddy-up)

  • Carmelo

    I would think the bullpen would be Marmol, Wood, Russell, Dolis, Maine, Coleman, and Wells,

  • Tarheel Cub

    I am glad to see the young guys getting a chance… our eye has to be to the future. I hope Coleman and Dolis make the best of there oppurtunity. In projecting our bench players, we look a little heavy on the right side of the plate, but that would change quickly with the addition of Jackson & Rizzo. This year will be a work in progress… and next year we make a splash!

  • Brett

    Bowden also said that Sveum told him Volstad is in the rotation (and didn’t mention Samardzija). Not being reported by the Chicago folks at this time, so I wonder if Bowden is taking some liberties with quotes.

    That said, I do think Volstad will be in the rotation.

  • Tarheel Cub

    I wonder if Smardza would accept a set-up position with a promise to close in future :)
    I would rather see if can develop into a great starter… I would also agree with Maine in the pen. I say if we go ALL IN! with the kids…

    • http://bleachernation loyal100more

      i think the shark has shown the staff enough to merit an expirement in the rotation. i really dont see him becoming an effective starter with out some form of off speed pich. however he has more than likely got his rotation spot to make or break. with the team giving him this huge chance, id say if it doesnt work out he should be alot more satisfied with a bullpen roll. i mean the guy has great bullpen stuff and above average stamina, hes big and works hard, he just probably needs to add another effective pich to stick as a starter. i am pulling for him

  • die hard

    Hmmmmm….Barney at SS again…Sveums been reading my posts…good

  • Cliffy

    The Reds have been in contact with the #Cubs about Carlos Marmol according to sources. Ryan Madson will undergo Tommy John surgery.

    • http://bleachernation loyal100more

      nice!!! carlos marmol for jay bruce….yes please

  • Kyle

    I have never wanted anything in a spring training start more than I want Wood to have an awesome game today.

  • TeddyBallGame

    One thing we all have to be excited about, is at least we have options for our rotation. A year ago, April, we lost two starters (Wells and Cashner) in the first few weeks of the season and without knowing at that point, our season was over. I wouldn’t necessarily be in a rush to trade Wells, especially if we’re relying on Coleman for anything. As I’ve been saying, Coleman just isn’t good enough. Simple as that. Keep Lopez or Wells for long relief and the other as a backup in the Minors in case of injury. Whether T Wood ends up in pen or another left-handed starting pitching option, I’m fine with either. Just cannot wait for Opening Day and too bad you won’t get to see Jackson or Rizzo, Brett!! I saw Rizzo’s 800ft HR against the GIants in Scottsdale last week. Unreal!!!

  • Tarheel Cub

    What about Marmol for… salary relief. Barney now utility?… Could Dewitt end up a second base starter? Has he impressed Dale THAT much? I wish he was that good.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    You lucky dog, what is the weather like today out there? Hoping you enjoy the ball game.
    Rumor is that Svuem said the rotation is Garza, Dempster, Volstad, Malholm, with the last spot still to be determined. What a switch from last year, we were looking for pitchers on the scrap heap(Dougie Davis?), now we have guys fighting for starting spots and roster spots. Nice when you have guys that know what they are doing in charge.
    Think the Reds would give up value for Marmol? I would have no problem with Dolis given the spot now, has huge upside.

  • Joshua Edwards

    Good question: what would the Cubs take for Marmol to the Reds?

    • http://bleachernation loyal100more

      it would be an interesting thing seeing as they need a closer and we need everything… the reds should be willing to put up something decent given there chance to compete this year is alot more likely with a closer… but given that marmol has had a horrible spring to add to the collection of disasters he delivered last year, id take the relief of the contract and be pretty damn happy and feel pretty damn smart when he goes down to the minors or gets relesed outright this year because he cant find the plate. I have a strong feeling this is the guys last year with any kind of trade value what so ever, and if the reds are looking at him the FO should be very actively trying to rid themselves of him by any creative means necessary

  • Ryan

    Better be more than what it cost for Marshall

    • Pat

      It wouldn’t be anywhere near the return for Marshall. Carlos is due 17 million over the next two years. As awful as he was last year and so far this spring, I’d be rather stunned if the interest by the Reds is real.

      • http://bleachernation loyal100more

        yea im pretty ditto on that.. id take a chance on someone in the farm before i stepped up to the kinda risk marmol is. the reds however are in a good position to compete, thats granted they get something in the way of a closer. like i mentioned earlier, ifn the reds are indeed interested the FO need to move him by any creative means necessary. even if it comes in the form of salary relief

  • mark

    Somewhere, Dusty Baker is having a good laugh. Sean Marshall, too.

    Brutal day for DeJesus. Another team has figured out–don’t walk the guy. Make him put the bat on the ball.

    Just look at the hitting stats for DeJesus, Johnson and Sappelt. I sure hope Mather can keep hitting, because that Cubs outfield is looking pretty weak so far. Byrd’s numbers aren’t world beaters, either. Too bad Campana’s OBP is worse than the others’.

    • DocWimsey

      Wow, you really read a lot into meaninglessly small sample sizes…..

    • Tommy

      Yeah – time to hang it up. Season’s over.

      • Desert Rat

        My biggest consolation right now is that as bad as this season will surely be for the Cubs, it’ll be even worse for the White Sox.

  • mark

    Wow, you really read a lot into meaninglessly small sample sizes…..

    So, you think Cubs management will ignore the “meaninglessly small sample size” and Sappelt will make the team, like management was hoping he’d do? You predict a comeback year for DeJesus? And Byrd? I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath. You think the Cubs’ future is an aging Reed Johnson? He had a great year last year. This is this year, and he’s a year older. The older you get the faster you age. Except Jamie Moyer, I guess.

    • Bric

      One thing we’ve got going for us now is Thed seems to not have a problem with moving players and a bigger grip on reality than Hendry. It’s true DeJesus, Byrd, and Sori is a pretty weak looking outfield but they may have some value at the trade deadline and I doubt Jeo will cling to the false reality that Hendry always did- all we need is a couple of guys to get hot blah, blah, blah.

      Right now I think the management is just doing things to keep service years down (it has little to do with getting more experience at AAA) and by July we’ll be seeing the salary down where it belongs and a lot of new faces by September.

      • brittney

        Bric- I 100% agree with you on this. This year (with the new FO) will be the year we just need to frin and bear with it. Because next year we have even more salary coming off the books and I think theo & co will be picking up a couple great FA’s.