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peoria sports complexThe Cubs head out to Peoria – like, Arizona, not Illinois – to take on the Mariners tonight. If you’re able to stay up, you can catch the game on MLB Network and MLB.tv. It’s kind of like a West Coast game during the regular season, though it’s a little atypical for Spring Training.

Fifth starter competitor James McDonald makes the start tonight, and we’ve reached the point in the Spring where the results for guys in the very few “competitor” spots tend to mean a little bit more. Not a lot, mind you, because the coaches and front office are seeing things behind the scenes that we are not, and those still mean more than the in-game stats that result from a small sample size of fake baseball games. But, yeah, it matters a little.

The lineup features Javier Baez and Emilio Bonifacio in the middle infield, but Baez is still at his usual shortstop spot, and Bonifacio is manning second. I guess the plans to play Baez at second a bit are still a day or more away. Ryan Kalish gets yet another start, which, by my count, gives him the most starts in the outfield so far this Spring among the guys competing for the 5th outfielder job. (Because of the projected extra bodies in the infield, though, we may not see the Cubs actually carry a traditional fourth/fifth outfielder combo.) I believe Casper Wells, who also starts, is right up there with him. I am not surprised by those two names being the most featured.

Also, MIKE OLT! gets in the lineup as DH, while Christian Villanueva mans third.

Lineup:

  1. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B
  2. Junior Lake, CF
  3. Casper Wells, RF
  4. Mike Olt, DH
  5. Javier Baez, SS
  6. Ryan Kalish, LF
  7. Chris Valaika, 1B
  8. Christian Villanueva, 3B
  9. John Baker, C
  • Seth

    Jesus Montero looks flippin awful out there.

    Seattle announcers as the manager comes out of the dugout: “Are they coming out to get the first baseman or the pitcher?”

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

      Hed be a change of scenery dude. Hes toast in seattle. That said he could rebound…stranger things have happened.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Jesus Montero is such a disappointment in so many ways. Out of shape, can’t field any positions and gets moved off catcher. And he really hasn’t developed with the bat like people thought. People this offseason really questioned his work ethic

  • AdamAE24

    Flip Olt now! Value rebuilt!

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      No one is going trade for them until they see him against pitchers in midseason form, with probably at least 250 at-bats with good results

      • Jason P

        I believe he was kidding.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          You never know about the message board

        • AdamAE24

          Correct, it was a joke. Hope he is a productive big leaguer and the eye issues are truly behind him. Literally have built no expectations from him.

          25 homers, 80+ RBIs .250/.330 and great D at third would be an absolute gift.

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

    I wonder what Jack Z would take for Jesus Montero…depressed asset swap? A bucket no balls…

    • Jason P

      First he’s gotta get his attitude in order. If he wants to be a big league player, he can’t show up to camp 50 pounds overweight.

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

        Depression…angry about something. Resolve that and see qhat happens.

    • ssckelley

      Bring him over and let Renteria work his magic.

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

        A whisperer in the making…Montero for Jackson? Who hangs up first? Hypo…

        • ssckelley

          How about Olt for him? Or is he too valuable since he hit 2 homers today?

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

            Is that sarcasm? Its a good night for olt…he’s a guy we got in a change of scenery type pickup. Texas didnt foresee a resurrection. And we here Jon Daniels is a sleazeball…if kinsler was asked.

            Montero is more about having some catching depth…since I think we have OFers of comparable abilities that are MLB roster bound. Then our best prospects are 1-2 seasons from mlb ready. But Jackson might be a change of org guy…but who knows.

            • ssckelley

              No, looking at areas of excess value and third base has good depth as an organization. As mentioned below the only way this works is if Montero can catch otherwise there is no other place to play him.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Seattle might do it. Montero projects much better at the plate, but Jackson provides more overall utility and won’t have worn out his welcome yet.

          Cubs… only if they think there is some value left in Montero as a catcher, I think. Other than that he’s a bat in need of a home.

          • Serious Cubs Fan

            I still don’t see it. It be a decent swap though.

          • Serious Cubs Fan

            Jesus Montero seems like he’d be a solid pinch hitter type

        • Voice of Reason

          Whisperer in the making? Lol

          There is no way the cubs are trading for that bum. And, I’m not a jackson fan, but with his front loaded contract he is much more valuable than Montero.

          • Jason P

            Jackson has very little value left. Many were calling for him to be de-rostered this offseason, and likely the only reason he wasn’t is because there was no need to.

            • Serious Cubs Fan

              Agreed, if he doesn’t show he can make consistent contact i dont see the front office keeping him on the 40 man. Next season they’ll have to add quite a few guys like Baez, Bryant, Amaya and others

          • Drew7

            Wrong Jackson, Void.

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

            I chuckled too. No telling on what Renteria is yet…their bum a double. Our bum a k bases full.

  • Seth

    What is wrong with this Seattle defense?

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

      Kelly and Montero will run the warning track or take 50 grounders apiece….

  • kridertr

    John baker has looked really good hitting this dpring

    • ThatCubsGuy

      Giving Kotarras a run for his money

  • Seth

    I didn’t realize the Cubs had an outfielder named “Scoozer” lol

  • ssckelley

    So I wonder if Olts ST stats are now good enough for everyone on here?

    • Kyle

      They are indeed.

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

      Making good contact…yep that helps. Now if mlb.tv would be cooperative. Missing olt!

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

      Doesn’t matter…he is clearly on the outside looking in for a starting job…

  • ssckelley

    The camera work is horrible.

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

      “It’s Spring Training for all of us”

      -Pat

  • ThatCubsGuy

    Olt is a machine tonight…Eye Robot!!

  • itzscott

    Olt is just dead red right now. You can see he’s right on the ball a seeing it clearly

  • Head and Heart

    I have this fantasy dream land where all of our prospects pan out and reach their ceilings and an opposing manager has to tell his starter that he has to try and get through Bryant, Baez, Rizzo, Soler and Olt 3 times without making any mistakes. And they have to get through those guys with fastballs because Almora, Alcantara and/or Villanueva are on base. I know it won’t happen but it’s fun right now to imagine the possibility.

    • AdamAE24

      The Cardinals make it happen.

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