surprise arizonaThe Cubs head to Surprise (surprise!) to take on the Rangers today. They’ll have Hisanori Takahashi on the mound to start the game, which is interesting, because he’d be considered – by me – be a LOOGY candidate until recently. In recent years, he’s been very effective as a situational lefty against lefties. But today’s start confirms that the Cubs are looking at him for more of a long relief role. We’ll see how this plays.

Junior Lake starts once again at third base. He’s seriously getting a ton of work over there.

Today’s game is available (audio) on

The lineup:

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Dave Sappelt, DH

3. Scott Hairston, RF

4. Darnell McDonald, LF

5. Javier Baez, SS

6. Dioner Navarro, C

7. Junior Lake, 3B

8. Edwin Maysonet, 2B

9. Steve Clevenger, 1B

  • COW142

    Italian National Team (Anthony Rizzo) vs LA Angels on MLB Network today at 3pm CST

    • Brett

      Thanks for that, Cow.

  • cubchymyst

    We keep hearing about Stewart’s injury, but is there any new information about Vitters’ injury. I am assuming no, unless I missed a post or bullet on it.

    • Cedlandrum

      Probably not and it isn’t as big of a deal because it was assumed all along that he would start in AAA. I am guessing that is why it isn’t “newsworthy”

  • Danny Ballgame

    Brett – Do you see Lake playing at 3rd pretty consistently this ST as a sign that he may be there long term with Baez/Castro making a move to 2nd? Or am I looking too far into it and just getting excited for 2015?

    • TheDynastyStartsIn2016

      I’m not Brett, but I’m guessing all of Lake’s playing time at 3rd is a function of the current lack of 3rd base depth. As it stands right now, he’s the Cub’s 2nd option at 3rd, so best to prepare him now. Lake may be one of those type of players who could play ANY position other than catcher. I don’t think Lake’s final position has been determined yet.

      • Seth

        Like I’ve mentioned before, Lake reminds me a lot of DeRosa in that aspect, a super-utility guy that can pretty much play anywhere on the field.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          The huge difference is that DeRosa has a good batting eye and slightly above average power. Thus, he provided enough OBP with some pop to be at least an adequate and often a plus bat at many positions. Lake has no batting eye: and this will greatly reduce his value.

          The reports on Lake’s fielding problems suggest that he has the same issue there: it seems that he does not read the ball off of the bat much better than he reads it out of a pitcher’s hands. DeRosa’s fielding inadequacies were due to poor acceleration and a less than stellar glove: but he usually knew (knows) where the ball is going.

          So, any similarities between the two are pretty superficial.

        • Danny Ballgame

          I would love to have an athletic, young, DeRo. Thanks fellas

  • dan

    Does anyone else think that Lake just might be being show cased ?

    • brickhouse

      No – Lake is not being show cased – he is getting the normal playing time for a long time prospect – he needs to show in the minors this season he has a position to play in the majors and can hit consistently.

  • Austin

    Is there a way to listen without MLBTV?

  • #23

    Brett, why wouldn’t Bowden be next in line for 6th starter? Do u think he can make the bullpen or will he be in the Iowa rotation? I thought he pitched well at the end of last year. Also, I am pulling for Lake. I think he could eventually put it all together and be an exciting player.

    • Brett

      The Cubs have apparently decided that Bowden’s going to remain a reliever for now.