On a simultaneously somber and happy day (somber because a bunch of guys got cut, happy because a bunch of guys landed jobs), the Cubs head to Peoria, AZ to take on the Padres. Chris Volstad – recently minted the number four starter in the rotation – gets the start, as he tunes up for the regular season.

Kerry Wood, who hasn’t seen action for over a week, is supposed to get some time today, as is recently-cut pitcher Casey Coleman.

Today’s game is at 3:05 CT, and audio will be available via MLB.com. I’m not saying it matters, but the Cubs are an even 14-14-1 on the Spring, and it would be nice to pull ahead of .500.

The lineup is not really reflective of the Opening Day lineup:

1. Darwin Barney, 2B

2. Marlon Byrd, CF

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Jeff Baker, 1B

5. Reed Johnson, LF

6. Joe Mather, 3B

7. Geovany Soto, C

8. Blake DeWitt, RF

9. Chris Volstad, P

  • Kyle

    I have a feeling those positions are in the order of what we are going to see in the regular season lineup.

    • Smitty

      Barney leading off regularly? Really? I know Dejesus has not been hitting nearly as well as Barney in ST…but all I hear is that ST doesn’t matter. I would have to think that he is only there because Dejesus isn’t playing today.

      • Cooper Rushing

        I’d project:
        1. Dejesus (9)
        2. Barney (4)
        3. Castro (6)
        4. LaHair (3)
        5. Soriano (7)
        6. Byrd (8)
        7. Stewart (5)
        8. Soto (2)

  • Joe


    • Jeff Wilson

      Soto at 3? That is simply ludicrous if you’ve seen Soto on the field. Look at his hitting chart, where he makes his outs. He consistently rolls over ground balls, he can’t use the right side of the field. And you want him batting behind Castro? But hey, routine DPs aren’t a bad thing.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        Only Soriano hit a fewer percentage of balls on the ground last year for the Cubs. (not including Cubs who have left the team). And hitting it on the ground to the right side would still be a routine double play if Castro is on first.
        Seeing as how the 3 hitter is actually the 4th most important spot in the lineup, I would be completely fine with Soto hitting 3rd.

        • J Wilson

          I understand any ball hit in the IF is an easy DP with Soto, but teams can (and have) easily modify their IF defense to take away the ball up the middle as well. Furthermore, Soto is among the slowest players in the league, those guys belong at the bottom where they can’t clog up the bases. I’m thrilled I don’t have to see Ramirez go 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd, why watch the same thing all over again? Soto had 12 GIDPs last year and 19 (!) in 2009.

          • DocWimsey

            Nobody clogs bases…..

          • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

            “…clog up bases”. I think Dusty agrees with that.
            100 batters hit into 12 double plays last year.
            Albert Pujols into 29. Adrian Gonzalez into 28. And 12 hitters hit into more than 19, including Castro, who had 20.
            Soto isn’t out of the ordinary when it comes to GIDP’s. If he’s one of the 4 best hitters on the team, he should bat in one of the first 4 spots.

            • J Wilson

              By clogging up bases I mean not going 1st to 3rd or 2nd to home. Do you think Soto can score from 2nd on a ball not hit in the gap or to an OF’s glove side? I got so sick of watching Ramirez not leg it to 3rd from 1st on balls hit to RF. There are better options for the 3rd spot in the lineup, even on this team.

              This is all secondary to other issues, like Soto’s oh, I don’t know, .228/.310 last year. Put him in the 6-7 spot.

            • J Wilson

              And one other issue with the DPs, the players you list are a little better than Soto–they’re performance more than offsets their GIDPs. Also, Soto batted where he belonged last year, and he didn’t have nearly as many men on base as did Pujols, Gonzo, etc. or nearly as many ABs. Last year Soto GIDP in 3% of his 421 ABs, and Pujols in 5% of his 579 ABs. It’s not sufficient to just look at the GIDPs.

  • Steve

    Dear Lord !!! We are going to be preeeetty bad.

    That lineup looks like a rec league team.

    • wax_eagle

      On the contrary, that lineup looks like a team that will get beaten by a rec league team…

      • Joshua Edwards

        Hey, we need to stop picking on rec league teams: some of them still have players the Cubs can sign.

  • TWC

    Jeez, the Cubs are taking a whole lotta pitches today it seems.  Good to see.

  • ty

    Mather showing out again today at third. Nice story about his dad being a former amateur coach and having a batting cage in his back yard in Phoenix and Joe goes early in a.m. and 70 yr old dad soft tosses for him. That is a great reason to love this game.

    • Edwin

      Cool story. As much as I enjoy Sabermetrics and statistical analysis, sometimes it’s nice to just relax and get caught up in a human interest story like this.

  • Spencer

    Welcome to the rotation, Chris.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      A bit of Samardzijitis, maybe.

      • Sircub

        I had that once. It’s not pretty…