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surprise arizonaHey, it’s just one game today! But it’s still a little unusual, because it’s a night game. The Cubs head out to Surprise tonight to take on the Rangers. The game is on MLB Network tonight live, so that’s pretty sweet. The audio is also available via Cubs.com.

Javier Baez makes his second straight start at second base, as the Cubs seek to expose him to the position (and seek to see how he looks out there) for future potential planning purposes.

The good news is that Mike Olt is back in the lineup, but the bad-ish news is that he’s DH’ing, rather than playing third base. He had hoped that, after resting up for a day, he’d be ready to make his debut at third base. Not so, apparently. Olt has been dealing with a sore shoulder since Spring games started, and it’s going to be hard to take him seriously as a third base candidate out of Spring Training if he can’t get in some time over there. That said, there’s still almost two weeks worth of games left. I tend to think he won’t need much time to show what he can do defensively. The bat was always the question – and we could probably debate whether that question has been answered satisfactorily yet. For my part, I still love the upside in Olt, but still see plenty of good reasons for him to start the year at AAA Iowa.

The last time Baez and Olt teamed up in a night Spring game, by the way, they unleashed hell.

Donnie Murphy is today’s shortstop fill-in, and Ryan Kalish gets a start in center field. And check out third base! It’s A-ball prospect Jeimer Candelario getting in on the action.

Jason Hammel starts for the Cubs, and we’re likely to see Alberto Cabrera and Armando Rivero at some point tonight.

Lineup:

  1. Chris Coghlan, 1B
  2. Donnie Murphy, SS
  3. Ryan Kalish, CF
  4. Mike Olt, DH
  5. Javier Baez, 2B
  6. Rafael Lopez, C
  7. Darnell McDonald, LF
  8. Brett Jackson, RF
  9. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
  • solomo11

    Gotta say I get kinda worried every time a ball is hit towards 2nd.

    • Beast Mode

      Yeah you can just here Barney saying I’m better than that Bum.

  • Jon

    I like Kalish because it sorta rhymes with hashhish

  • Beast Mode

    I totally agree with u just wondering. Which would be tougher an all-star selection for the cubs or winning ROY?

    • Jon

      Since the Cubs get to send 1 player no matter what, I’ll go with the later.

  • willis

    Cabrera looked good. I think he makes it as a reliever. Now or never and he has the stuff.

    • SenorGato

      I’m kinda sorta rooting for him to make the roster, but he probably won’t.

  • willis

    Baez double…not as fun to say as “bomb” but still, another good at bat.

    • bbmoney

      I might enjoy saying “Javy walk” more than either……not really I guess, but it’s close.

  • ssckelley

    Ok that stolen base was scary, would he not do that no more?

  • Ballgame17

    Please, no head first sliding Baez. Especially in ST, we all know you’re busting your ass…What the hell is with the Rangers broadcasters have an interview going on in the booth as Olt/Baez were batting? Don’t they know it’s only Cubs fans watching this broadcast…

  • SenorGato

    Rivero’s on the mound, that is interesting. First pitch is a fastball, a good fastball, thrown way out of the zone. Next pitch is a breaking ball for a swing and miss. He looks like a reliever. Just overthrew a breakingball, bounced it.

    • SenorGato

      Fastball down the middle is smacked the other way by Kevin Kouzmanoff.

    • willis

      He needs a couple steaks.

      • SenorGato

        Plus some minor innings in the minors to get more command of that fastball. Another one out over the plate.

        • willis

          Yep, he definitely has some good gas. He needs time to harness it some as you said. Arm is pretty electric. Give him a year in the minors to get it all figured out…we’ll be talking about him as a bullpen candidate come next Spring I would think.

  • willis

    The day Vitters gets cut, he shows zero effort going for a foul ball in left. Not the best way to impress, son.

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

      Remember that time when Barney went full effort for a foul ball in a meaningless game? That was awesome that he showed that much effort.

      Considering Vitters had last year derailed by injuries, I’m glad he loafed it.

  • Jon

    Supposedly, Sizemore looks awesome this spring

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24490200/the-grady-gamble-so-far-sizemore-revival-is-something-to-behold

    With all the dumpster diving they’ve done, it would suck to have missed on this one.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Keep in mind with stories like that: Sizemore is a “name,” and the Red Sox are a huge draw for eyes. That combination means he’s going to get pimped nationally a little more than, say, Ryan Kalish, who is having a similar success story with the Cubs right now.

      Also, it’s Spring.

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        But if you can use Sizemore to continue the narrative that everything the Cubs is horrible because “the FO sucks” agenda

        Of course if the Cubs signed Sizemore then this post would also be negative because agenda.

      • jp3

        Sandberg would ask you what you mean by “it’s Spring?”. I agree that would kind of suck if we missed a good flip candidate, lord knows we kicked the tires on everyone

  • SenorGato

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlsMv5yHWGw

    Law today called him a potential top 5 pick:

    “I’ll be back in the San Diego area to see Cathedral Catholic lefty Brady Aiken pitch on Tuesday at La Costa Canyon High School. Aiken was hitting 94-97 mph last week with a plus curveball, and as a 6-foot-4 southpaw with room to fill out he’s jumped to the top echelon of this draft class and is even on top of some national scouts’ personal “pref lists.”

    If the draft were held today, he’d probably be in the mix for all teams drafting in the top five, with the Miami Marlins already linked to Tyler Kolek at No. 2 and the Cubs at No. 4 linked to Tyler Beede.”

  • SenorGato

    Even bad Baez moments are cool. His swing and miss drew huge oohs and ahhs, and then the line drive left the SS massaging his hands.

    This Slack guy has a good arm.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Agree- to fill the park the Cubs have to either start Baez, build Jumbotron or lower beer prices

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