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tempe-diablo-stadiumThe Cubs travel to Tempe to take on the Angels this afternoon in the second game of the Cactus League season. Chris Rusin gets the start as he battles for the 5th spot in the rotation, assuming (and I am now assuming) Jake Arrieta won’t be ready in time for the start of the season. One of the men he’s battling, James McDonald, is scheduled to follow Rusin today.

Today’s game is available via audio on WGN Radio (Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer) and Cubs.com, and you can watch on MLB.tv if you’ve got that.

… and you might want to watch if you’re able, because Javier Baez will be starting at shortstop.

The lineup:

  1. Chris Coghlan, DH
  2. Darwin Barney, 2B
  3. Ryan Sweeney, CF
  4. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  5. Donnie Murphy, 3B
  6. Casper Wells, LF
  7. Javier Baez, SS
  8. George Kottaras, C
  9. Chris Valaika, 1B

Carrie Muskat says that Kris Bryant is on the travel roster for today, by the way, so he might see some action.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Sadly, Baez is the only one in the game I am really excited to see today (with an eye towards the future).

    • willis

      You mean Casper Wells and Chris Valaika don’t blow up your skirt? :)

  • bonger0493

    I wonder if Rick Renteria will give us a lineup this spring with Bryant at 3B Castro SS Baez 2B Rizzo 1B Almora in CF and Soler in RF

    • Scombs

      With CJ pitching and Olt in LF, perhaps? Unfortunately, no way he plays Olt in the OF…

      • MightyBear

        How about Olt at third and Bryant in left? Everything else the same.

        • Scombs

          There you go. Shall we start a petition?

        • itzscott

          I agree….

          The Cubs should be giving Olt as much game time as possible for evaluation purposes.

          Same goes for Bryant AND Baez.

    • josh ruiter

      Or how about a game or two of:
      1. Alcantara 2b
      2. Almora CF
      3. Baez 3b
      4. Rizzo 1b
      5. Bryant LF
      6. Soler RF
      7. Castro SS
      8. Castillo C
      9. whoever you want to have hit/DH

      • Spoda17

        ++

      • Darth Ivy

        excuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard

        • DarthHater

          I always expected that the first time I read that sentence at BN, it would come from Diehard…

          • Darth Ivy

            except that if diehard wrote that, it wouldn’t be drool….I officially apologize to the BN community for that comment. It was a mistake. I will learn from this incident and seek to improve myself.

            Also, I was hacked.

            • Funn Dave

              Ha.

            • DarthHater

              Well played.

        • another JP

          Carlos Martinez says hi.

      • Darth Ivy

        oh, and the DH should be Vogelbach. duh.

        • josh ruiter

          well right…except he didn’t get the invite to big league camp…so…he doesn’t fit the “this spring” portion of the lineup

          • Spriggs

            They play guys in spring training who were not invited to camp. Alcantara played last year and pretty sure Amaya and maybe even Voglebach played last year. For sure Dunston Jr did.

      • Thiscantbegood

        OR

        1B Rizzo
        2B Baez
        3B Olt
        SS Castro
        C Castillo
        LF Bryant
        CF Almora
        RF Soler
        DH Vogelbach

        • Eternal Pessimist

          …and Olt first off the bench for Castro some late power with Baez shifting to SS and Olt to 2nd.

          • http://BleacherNation blewett

            And Junior Lake pinch-running for Vogelbach.

      • tymx9

        It crazy to think that we have a farm system that has legit prospects to fill each of the starting 9 positions. It would be pretty cool to see a lineup with nothing but guys in our system but chances are, someone’s gettin hawked for a pitcher eventually down the road. I have a feeling Rizzo wont end up a clean up hitter either. Theres just too much going on with his swing for him to be clean up guy. Maybe a solid 5 spot eventually. Bryant seems like he’d fill the role.

      • Patrick W.

        How about he just bats them alphabetically?

        2B Alcantara
        CF Almora
        3B Baez
        LF Bryant
        C Castillo
        SS Castro
        DH Olt
        1B Rizzo
        RF Soler

        • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

          We need Rob Zastryzny and/or José Quintana to make the lineup interesting..lead off Zastryzny….down to Alcantara. That would be fun.

          I wonder how many times in MLB history the lineup has been alphabetical? Or reverse?

  • Darth Ivy

    Yep, it makes sense that Baez plays in the games that I can’t watch

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Casper Wells? Didn’t even know that he existed.

    • Fishin Phil

      He’s a friendly ghost.

  • Ballgame17

    I obviously know it’ll never happen, but if that were the Opening Day lineup this year I’d be beyond pumped. The future looks bright and once it starts getting better, it’ll only continue to improve. I know it’s not hard to improve from the last 3 years, but there is hope…

  • JakeMac

    Anyone else wondering if they will get Alcantara some work in CF this spring? Would think he would have the arm strength and speed to cover the position.

    Big hypothetical here, but if Olt actually sticks at 3b, pushing Baez to 2nd and Bryant to LF, what happens to “Jose Reyes-lite”?

    • Rudy N

      I still tend to believe that even if Olt makes it Alcantara will stay at 2B, his bat plays better there. Javy’s bat profiles anywhere plus I think unless Olt really proves to be elite Olt would still be the one moving either to the OF or traded… unless they trade Castro and open up SS for Javy.

  • willis

    Just for those who can’t watch it today (or listen) it’s replaying tonight at midnight (CT) on MLB Network.

    • Darth Ivy

      sweeeeeeet. This is going to be the sadest friday night ever. I’m so excited!

      • Darth Ivy

        saddest. Clearly we’re all well aware by now that I can’t spell

        • TWC

          Would you prefer a sadist Friday night?

          • DarthHater

            I know I would.

        • willis

          Haha “Hey man, what are you up to tonight? ”

          “Watching a replay of a Cubs Spring Training game at midnight sucka.”

          • Baseball_Writes

            HAHAHA … but that’s what I will actually be doing.

            • willis

              Absolutely, me as well.

          • miggy80

            I’m going to try and catch this game tonight since my fiance did not dvr the game for me yesterday when I texted her to do so.

            • TWC

              So you ended the relationship, right?

              • miggy80

                if she wouldn’t be taking me to Italy for two weeks after the wedding I would so bail on her.

  • Blackhawks1963

    I continue to think Olt making this club out of spring training is a longshot. The Cubs are starting to telegraph things a bit…

    • roz

      Oh please shut up. By that logic, Rizzo and Castro won’t make the team either.

      • Blackhawks1963

        Whatever professor. Te roster spot and starting status of Rizzo and Castro is quite secure. Olt is trying to make this club. Just a wee bit of difference.

        • roz

          No kidding. We all understand Olt’s situation, but that’s not based on the lineup from two spring training games, its’s based not he fact that we know Olt has to hit himself onto this roster. There’s not been enough time for Renteria to make that decision, and the lineup in the second cactus league game tells us absolutely nothing. Stop pretending it does.

    • Jon

      Make it official, what % would you put on it?

      • Blackhawks1963

        By the looks of things so far? I honestly think Olt is not being presumed a roster spot, in contrast to what many of us might assume or wish.

        Therefore…

        Olt’s chance of making the 25 man to break camp? Right now at this early stage I would downgrade my assumption to say 25%.

        • TWC

          “By the looks of things so far?”

          One draws conclusions from game 2 of Spring Training at one’s own peril. Nevertheless, you’re encouraged to repeat said predictions ad infinitum (and/or ad nauseam).

          • Blackhawks1963

            Facepalm. If you want to assume I draw conclusion after two measly spring training games, then go for it. That’s not what I did, but if it gets you through the day, then hell why not.

            Also, if you don’t like my “predicto-meter” style of posting, then don’t know what to tell you pal. I guess you could take the approach of ignoring what I post?!? Just spit balling here…if I come up with anything else to make your comfort level better I’ll be back in touch.

            • TWC

              “Facepalm”

              Why are you hitting yourself?

              “By the looks of things so far? I honestly think Olt is not being presumed a roster spot”

              Yeah. “So far”. It’s game 2.

              “if I come up with anything else to make your comfort level better I’ll be back in touch.”

              I’ve got a list you can refer to, if you’d like. I think Jon has a copy…

            • jh03

              When you say, “By the looks of things so far?” one is going to draw those conclusions.

              • CubChymyst

                That and that is under a post for today’s line-up.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Olt making the team has been a longshot since day one. Today’s lineup has absolutely nothing to do with it.

      • Blackhawks1963

        Ding, ding, ding, ding…

        • DarthHater

          You do realize that the statement “Today’s lineup has absolutely nothing to do with it” is a nice way of saying that you’re earlier comment that “The Cubs are starting to telegraph things a bit…” was stupid, right?

          • TWC

            ::sees revolting typo::

            ::breathes a sigh of relief that I’m not alone::

            • DarthHater

              Curse you.

              What are you doing, now? Stalking me for typos? Well, your mission is now complete, my friend.

              [This comment was carefully poofread.] [D’Oh!]

              • TWC

                The shame from my typo on Tuesday weighs heavy on my heart. I’m deflecting my guilt through commiseration.

                • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

                  We all need to eat our feelings….beer guts of America unite!

                • DarthHater

                  Well, you’ll find plenty of fuel in my posts. I’m convinced someone has uploaded into my brain a warped spell-check app that subliminally substitutes the wrong form of “your” and “you’re” in everything I type.

        • waittilthisyear

          you seem to have a hearty agreement with someone who is correcting you

        • roz

          BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAID

      • brickhouse

        Mark Gonzales‏@MDGonzales·
        Renteria said Olt (sore right shoulder) will continue to get ABs and play 1b and DH. Soreness not believed to be serious.

    • CubChymyst

      Drawing any conclusions from players starting right now is ridiculous.

  • Ballgame17

    +1

    • miggy80

      +2

  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    This is probably a stupid question–but is there anyway to listen to the game via some kind of internet radio stream?

    I don’t have MLB.tv and I live in TN…

    • CubChymyst

      You can pay for MLB radio, I think it is only 20 bucks if you don’t want to pay more for the MLB.tv

    • http://thenewenthusiast.com/ dw8

      Just pony up, it’s worth it.

      • http://thenewenthusiast.com/ dw8

        If you pay for the At Bat app, you get the radio online with it.

        • dumbledoresacubsfan

          I’m going to get MLB.tv once I graduate college, have a job, and know where I’m going to be living. haha.

          Didn’t see the point in paying for the service while in school when those funds could go somewhere else and last longer.

          I’ll just have to deal.

  • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

    I have MLB.TV…and its’ still thinking about it…is there a problem with MLB.TV? I could get the Orioles and Twins radio…no TV stuff.

    • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

      I had to go to gameday – instead of just clicking on the TV screen on the mainpage. Annoying….

  • Jon

    We need a jump to conclusions mat

    • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

      That’s would be one worn out MAT her at bleachernation!

      • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

        here!….See, jump to typos mat!

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Rusin just struck out Mike Trout swinging, so he’s pretty much already locked up the Cy Young.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      Trout gonna be worthless this year. Only half the war of normal trout.

      • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

        Trout Downgraded to a small mouth Bass…Kevin “small mouth” Bass jealousy ON!

        • willis

          So can we say he’s an awful pitcher after his second inning beat down?

          I would like it to be sooner than later when he is eliminated from any rotation consideration. He’s a piñata out there.

        • JB88

          I know that’s a joke, but trout, by and large, are not as big as smallmouth bass.

          *Fisherman stepping out of his wadders*

          • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

            Never fished successfully in my life. No Idea…I just eat them from Captain D’s or Long John Silver. LOL

          • Fishin Phil

            JB88 has apparently never been trout fishing in Lake Michigan.

            • JB88

              Lake Trout are not real trout. Those are the missing link :)

  • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

    I wonder if anyone has ever put 666 on their uniform for obvious joke. Casper Wells with bad number…

    • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

      Wells looking to get hurt on the 2nd day! Run that knee into the tarp…

  • kridertr

    The game is also on mlb network tonite at 1 am

  • newsguy23

    seems troubling that the Cubs have a crapload of scrap hoping someone will make it. Will be nice when spring training comes and you pretty much know whose making the club.

    • Kyle

      That’s an odd way of looking at it. “We want exactly 25 players we like. More players we like is upsetting”

  • newsguy23

    I must be odd Kyle

    • DarthHater

      No, Kyle is odd Kyle. You’re odd newsguy23. And commas are your friend. ;-)

      • Fishin Phil

        Do we have a Punctuation Police meme?

        • DarthHater

          We do now:
          [img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7360/12841483025_0a9ff8f3e1.jpg[/img]

  • ssckelley

    Baez knocked a drive deeeeeeeep to the shortstop, who threw him out at first base.

    He just dropped a couple of spots on the top 100 prospect list.

    • DarthHater

      Come on, give him some time to waddle off that spare tire.

  • ssckelley

    Rough outing for Rusin, gave up 4 runs in 2 innings of work. James McDonald now pitching.

    • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

      Come on Barney! Yankees are drooling!

  • DrReiCow

    OMFG, Barney just hit a HR!

    • DrReiCow

      So shocked I forgot to moo!

      Moo.

  • psu415

    Okay, who had Barney for first spring training HR?

    • CubChymyst

      Didn’t he have the first homerun last season, or at least before Soriano had one?

      • CubChymyst

        never mind it was Rizzo who had the first home run last year.

    • ssckelley

      Barney 1
      Baez 0

      For those scoring at home.

  • ssckelley

    Darwin Barney with da bomb…..solo shot of course.

  • itzscott

    So far, these lineups Renteria is throwing out there isn’t instilling any confidence in anyone…. especially his own team when you can see the other manager trotting out their primo lineup to start things off….. with the predictable and ensuing kick in the groin early inning results.

    I get the fact that the Cubs are intent on tanking the regular season, but Spring Training too???

    You’d think they’d at least want to instill some interest and enthusiasm from fans right about now if for no other reason than to trick them into buying tickets before the season starts!

    • JCubs79

      Really man…It’s ST. These games are meaningless and about development and evaluation. Who cares if he’s putting out a sub-par lineup.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Hold on there, these games don’t mean squat. They have to take a look at some of these marginal guys before they send them down. Relax and watch Barney increase his trade value.

    • Jon

      holy crap it’s Spring training. the 25 man roster sucks regardless. You know this. This is a 65 win team.

      • Patrick W.

        I’ll take that bet.

        • Jon

          You are taking the under?

          • Internet Random

            You’re taking 65. He’s taking all others.

          • Patrick W.

            The over.

      • ssckelley

        Right, but keep in mind we are in ST form as well. Might as well practice our bitching now so we get real good at it by April.

  • itzscott

    I dunno….

    Between Sveum and the very early returns on Renteria I’m getting the impression that the best way to nail down a managerial job with the Cubs is to demonstrate no common sense whatsoever.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Don’t you think you are taking the first two ST just a little overly sensitive? Already complaining about lineups? Pace yourself buddy you want it past June at this pace.

    • waittilthisyear

      what early returns on renteria? if i didn’t know you were serious, i’d think you were being satirical

  • Fastball

    If Olt can hit .250 in ST he will be the starting 3b in Chicago. What is the point in putting Valbuena and Murphy at 3b anyway. Neither could get a job on any other ML team if we cut them today. Let Olt play 3b. Hell last year we were going to hand the job to Stewart if he could get out of the trainers room. I am tired of the let’s play guys who suck really bad but don’t suck so bad we won’t pick them up and play em. I was listening to Hollandsworth yesterday on MLB Radio. He and I are thinking alike. Just stop with playing that particular type player. You can’t sell seats with Valbuena and Murphy. The Cubs Fans need to have some names they can associate with that may have something going on. The media can build up Olt, Castro, Barney and Rizzo in the infield. Not sure what you can say about the OF except to put Jr Lake’s picture on the side of a city bus so everybody knows who the hell he is. If your going to charge MLB ticket prices at the upper tier, you need to have at least a few players the fans can get behind. Um basically that’s what the Cubs have done for the last 100+ years. Put Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Ernie Banks out there and sell some seats because all Cubs fans love’em. Do the same with Olt, Castro and Rizzo. Only problem is these guys ain’t those guys. No timely HR’s and big time Cubs rallies late in the game to put the entire stadium on its feet.

    • Kyle

      “If Olt can hit .250 in ST he will be the starting 3b in Chicago.”

      The Cubs have neither said nor done anything to indicate that.

    • Funn Dave

      I agree that he should be the 3B if he can hit .250, but he hasn’t shown that he can do so recently. I very much disagree, however, that Olt is a good candidate for the fans and media to “build up” at this point. In fact, I feel that could have a malignant effect if Olt does not pan out as well as some have hoped–see Vitters and Jackson, MLB callups, Cubs’ fans reactions to. For some reason this post has taken the form of a self-referential dictionary.

    • itzscott

      Couldn’t agree more….. +++1

      What the hell is Renteria doing starting a guy named Valaika???

      Is there any rationale for putting some dude like that in to start against another team’s actual starters???

      Common sense….. I don’t see it so far.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      I disagree that Valbuena couldn’t find a team if he were cut. He’s a good utility man and the left handed bat makes him even more valuable. As for the rest you are right.

  • Funn Dave

    Alright, dudes–I was just about to take the leap of faith and pay for Gameday Audio, but the description only addresses regular season and postseason games and makes no mention of spring training. Can anyone please confirm for me whether preseason games are included in gameday audio?

    Thanks,
    Your buddy,
    Funn Dave

    • Funn Dave

      Actually, scratch that: regular gameday seems to be working now. I’ll take it. If I get desperate for audio, I’ll bring a radio into work and force all the Brewer fans to listen to some Cubbie baseball.

    • Patrick W.

      Yes. It does.

    • CubChymyst

      I’ve got the audio going for spring training right now with gameday audio

  • Fastball

    And Olt just has a spring time sore arm. It’s not a big deal. It just goes away in a week. Lot’s of guys get them. Throwing outdoors and a lot more throwing than they did over the winter. Effects some more than others. Not a big deal.

  • kridertr

    Itzscott, you my friend have no common sense. It is the 2nd game of spring training. Blow up over 2 lineups. It’s about getting work in for certain people. Get a clue about spring training. We’ll see the regulars enough at the end ST and regular season. Some people like seeing all these other people play, including the coaches

  • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

    Ding dong! MacDonald is lit up!

    • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

      Fork. Done.

  • Ricky

    He didn’t have the strongest of outings today haha.

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