goodyear ballparkThe Cubs head out to Goodyear to take on the Indians (while I head to Cubs Park to try and catch some prospects, for whom minor league camp opens today), and Travis Wood will make his official Spring Training debut. He was scheduled to start this past weekend, but was rained out, and threw on the side instead.

As you can see, Albert Almora is getting the start in center field today, which could be kind of a “thanks for coming to big league camp” send-off. We’ll see if Almora heads to minor league camp soon after today’s game, given that he’s not actually under consideration for making the big league team right now.

Darwin Barney starts at shortstop, as Rick Renteria suggested he might, being that Starlin Castro is out with a hamstring issue. As I wrote previously, it’s very interesting to see Barney getting starts at shortstop right now. With Emilio Bonifacio and Donnie Murphy among the guys probably making the Opening Day roster, it’s not as if the Cubs don’t have plenty of options to cover at shortstop if Castro were to go down or need a day off. Barney doesn’t have to be that guy, given that he’s the starting second baseman. Heck, even today, Arismendy Alcantara is starting at second base (maybe also a send-off start), and he could have played short. So, why give Barney some time there in Spring Training? Well, it could be partly an effort to show the baseball world that, yes, Barney can still play above average defensive shortstop, in case another team out there is looking for a middle infielder.

There’s audio for the game on Cubs.com, and the starter for the Indians is scheduled to be Justin Masterson, he of the absurdly reasonable extension demands.

Lineup:

  1. Emilio Bonifacio, LF
  2. Donnie Murphy, 3B
  3. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  4. Anthony Rizzo, DH
  5. Welington Castillo, C
  6. Mike Olt, 1B
  7. Darwin Barney, SS
  8. Albert Almora, CF
  9. Arismendy Alcantara, 2B


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