The Cubs head back to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, this time to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks. Tony Campana is dealing with a big ‘ole cut on his hand, so I’m not sure if he’ll play today.
Jeff Samardzija gets the start for the Cubs, and gets into the lineup. If recent games have been any guide, he’ll have half of the Cubs’ hits today.
Although today’s started (Trevor Cahill) is a righty, the lineup makes me wonder what Dale Sveum intends to do when the opposing pitcher is a lefty: which is to say, I wonder if Darwin Barney, who’s been higher up in the lineup against lefties this Spring, will bat second. For his career, Barney’s .271/.315/.364 line against lefties is neither impressive nor a marked improvement on his overall line. Indeed, against lefties in 2012 (small sample size), he was actually worse against lefties than righties. All of these samples are small, but I’m not sure I see a good reason for batting Barney any higher than 7th or 8th, regardless of the pitcher on the mound. Thus, he probably won’t.
In today’s game, I’d reckon Barney batting second has more to do with getting him extra at bats (since Starlin Castro is out of the lineup anyway) than anything else.
Today’s game is available (audio) on MLB.com/Cubs.com.
1. David DeJesus, CF
2. Darwin Barney, 2B
3. Nate Schierholtz, RF
4. Alfonso Soriano, LF
5. Luis Valbuena, 3B
6. Welington Castillo, C
7. Javier Baez, SS
8. Steve Clevenger, 1B
9. Jeff Samardzija, P