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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
  • JCubs79

    Sweet! Jeimer playing some 3rd tonight. Gonna be cool to see him. Wonder if he bulked up at all in the offseason.

  • VittersStartingLF

    Aren’t teams supposed to play 3-4 regulars each spring training game?

    • jp3

      Like we have 3-4 regulars

  • willis

    Very interesting lineup. I really wanted Olt, Baez and BJax tonight with it on tv…looks like I got it. Sweet.

    • MightyBear

      No

      • MightyBear

        Replied to Vitters

  • ruby2626

    Am I silly to think Darnell McDonald has a good chance of making the team ahead of Junior Lake? Lake’s splits last year seemed perfect to have him play against lefties but the Brett Jacksonesque strikeout pace has me a little worried.

    Glad we get to see Rivera for an inning or so, he impressed me quite a bit when I saw him warmup and then throw at Kane County. Big kid.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Yes.

      • http://BN Sacko

        Yes McDonald has a good chance of making the team?

        • gocatsgo2003

          Yes silly to think that.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    I will be in the stands tonight…..

    Upper level third base side.

    Regards,
    5412

  • Spoda17

    I just got back from Best Buy wid my own supercomputer in tow..! after the game tonight imma work ups some crazy data crunchin up in dis biotch!!! I may even do some during the game!!!

    0.350-0for4+500ft homerun= I need a new position!

    Decision making like crazy!

    Supercomputer FTW!!!

    (OBTW… I was in favor of getting the supercomputer..)

    • jp3

      I think you just broke it

  • willis

    Vitters, Jackson and Vizcaino all cut just now. Sent to Iowa with Villanueva and Rosscup.

    • Diehardthefirst

      If their last names were a law firm header would be quite a challenge for a receptionist

  • Diehardthefirst

    Next year 3B will be Candelarios to lose after a tremendous minor league season. Bryant will move to LF

  • Blackhawks1963

    So the meaningful topic of discussion should be how long does Baez have to stay at Triple A before the arbitration clock resets. Because barring injury or the fundamental inability to make contact against Triple A pitchers he will be up here on day one after that date.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Mike Olt still not playing 3rd base while chipping in with a .240 OBP. Safe to say he either dramatically improves and also starts playing 3rd or he is the official starting 1st baseman for the Iowa Cubs. Opportunity handed to him on a platter and pissed away. Might end up being his baseball epitaph.

    • Diehardthefirst

      Sounds eerily Orie like

      • Jon

        Oh you done it now…

    • BT

      It’s 29 at bats. He also has a .550 slg pct. I’m not drawing conclusions.

      • Diehardthefirst

        Don’t jump to a concussion

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        Something something something about spring stats meaning nothing I would think with a community that is this well informed we would have understood this by now. Olt’s spring stats will have very little to convince the FO if he makes or does not make the 25 man roster.

  • mjhurdle

    hopefully these Ranger announcers are better than the Mariners’.

    • http://chicagocubsblog.tumblr.com/ Walking Blue Bear

      They just talked about staff ERA’s for spring….wow.

  • mjhurdle

    Cub hitters are making Ogando work

  • willis

    Man, Kalish just ripped one the other way for a double. I think he’s sniffing that roster spot.

  • mjhurdle

    walked Olt to load the bases for Baez….

    • ThatCubsGuy

      good AB too…could really see him not trying to expand the zone

  • jp3

    Baez up with the bases jacked!!

  • jp3

    Sigh….

  • mjhurdle

    not the best AB from Baez

    • willis

      Kinda had the feeling he’d K there. Sucks to see but that’s a good learning experience for him against a big league pitcher. He wasn’t going to get much to see (the first pitch was the best) and was going to be fed some off speed stuff. Hopefully he can file that one into the memory and learn from it.

      • jp3

        Yeah, I guess we won’t get to see him much this year so when we get the chance we put too much (good or bad) into one AB (I cried).

        • willis

          I cried as I typed that reply for sure. That couldn’t have set up any better. But there was no way Ogando was going to give into Baez there. Kid needs to know that, and he’ll get there.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        If it were that easy, then lots of guys would so file things away! What usually is happening in those types of ABs is that a guy is swinging at a fastball that turns out to be a slider or change up because that is what he “thought” he saw when he had to trigger swing. (Obviously, it’s not a cognitive process, but I’m not sure what the correct word would be.) When guys wrack up 25+% K rates in AA, then it often is because of things like this.

        • jp3

          This is true doc, I was just hoping for a 75% chance he didn’t K. I’d have settled for a line out somewhere, high fly out, anything like that…except for an infield fly out… Those are a bigger let down I think

  • waittilthisyear

    just felt all of bleachernation let out a disappointed sigh right there ha i wanted to see him square one up

  • ThatCubsGuy

    Cant blame Bjax for not swinging at that….tough pitcher’s pitch

  • David

    We look waaay overmatched against this guy. Not fair.

  • mjhurdle

    BOOM STICK!!

  • waittilthisyear

    olt really pissed on that one

  • willis

    WOW.

  • Jason P

    Olt bandwagon reboarding.

    • Kyle

      One more jump off/on and I get a free sub.

      That oughta cement his roster spot.

  • itzscott

    That had to be sweet for Olt

  • ssckelley

    I bet Olt enjoyed that one.

  • waittilthisyear

    o yea baby

  • mjhurdle

    BOOM STICK AGAIN!!

  • Jason P

    BOOM

  • willis

    Back to back? Yes please. Baez Bomb.

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