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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
  • ssckelley

    Finally! He exhausted his pitch count.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Thank goodness for ending the maddness, McDonald was absolutely brutal to watch

  • ssckelley

    Oh my gawd! Baez killed that ball!

  • NorthSideIrish

    Day-um Javy…

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Wow Baez put some charge in that ball

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

      If they think wolf has anything…ha ha. Nope.

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

    Are you going to san francisco Baez…wow!

  • ssckelley

    How the heck did he pull that pitch?

  • Jason P

    Did Giancarlo Stanton hit that ball?

  • Rebuilding

    What a perfect power swing. He got a bit if that one

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Thats what I like to see from Javy at-bats. Not just the homer, but facing breaking balls, even though Wolf at this stage in his career is throw junk breaking balls. He left that homer hanging

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      That is a veteran that has seen a lot of baseball. He knows how to confuse kids. He made a mistake and the kid jumped on it like it was a beach ball. Seriously, I think I sense Jason Parks taking a moment to himself after that one.

  • ssckelley

    Challenge that!

    • ssckelley

      No good camera angle…..I think he was safe, tie goes to the runner.

      • half_full_beer_mug

        Without really good audio a “bang-bang” play is going to be difficult to over turn.

        • ssckelley

          I agree

  • itzscott

    An infield of Olt – Castro – Baez – Rizzo is going to look mighty good sometime this year.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I hate replay. It is slowing the game down and I’ll miss managers getting thrown out of games more frequently

  • half_full_beer_mug

    wow that’s close

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    Did you guys see Javy crush that ball!! If I were Castro id be looking over my shoulder!

    • half_full_beer_mug

      No reason for him to look over his shoulder, maybe to his left.

  • itzscott

    More like Barney

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Agreed

  • miggy80

    The whole at bat was pretty good. Went down 0-2 to a couple of breaking balls. Then battled back by taking two inside fastballs. And capitalizing by wacking a 2-2 change up out of the park!

    • Jason P

      And the two breaking ball strikes weren’t wild swings and misses, either. I think they were both looking, right? Obviously not a whole lot can be taken away from 1 spring AB, but good AB’s are always a welcome sight.

      • miggy80

        yeah each breaking ball called strike was looking

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

    Castro and Barney: foot steps are coming. Baez isnt creepin’ hes poundin like jack nicholson…Heres Javi!!!!!

  • Cubs-Win

    Macdonald looked like a 12 year old tonight.

  • Seth

    I can’t stop watching this…

    [img]http://d3j5vwomefv46c.cloudfront.net/photos/large/843403695.gif[/img]

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

      June 1st is gonna be like xmas one can hope.

      • half_full_beer_mug

        We need to remember that this is AZ and Spring Training, but man it loos good for the future.

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

          Im aware. Im much more skeptical…but why not enjoy and dream for a night.

    • Seth

      Another angle(through vine):

      http://tinyurl.com/l3olclm

    • Soda Popinski

      Awesome!

      • Soda Popinski

        I can’t believe Baez was the #9 pick in the 2011 draft. There was some ridiculous talent in that thing.

  • half_full_beer_mug

    Terrible location there by Russell after he made the first two look bad and out quick on the third

    • ssckelley

      He missed his location the ball was supposed to be down, that is going to happen in the spring.

      • half_full_beer_mug

        Looked like the target was down and away, and it ended up middle in. Yes I know it’ll happen in the spring, especially the first outing.

        I will say other than that one pitch he looked pretty danged good.

  • ssckelley

    It looked like Baez hit the ball on the end of the bat.

  • ssckelley

    Haha, they thought that ball was gone.

  • Justen

    Furbush….what a great last name.

  • Jason P

    #prospectpower

  • half_full_beer_mug

    Maybe Mike isn’t blind after all

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

    Ding dong olt ! Olt seeing lefties well…how bout righties?

  • Jason P

    BS strike 3 call.

  • Kyle

    Olt train reboarding!

    • Soda Popinski

      Just logged in to confirm excitement! Choo Choo!

  • ThatCubsGuy

    Kalish ABs has been impressive tonight

    • https://twitter.com/dwoytek dw8

      I agree. It looks like he’s gotta a pretty good plan at the plate.

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