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camelback ranch white soxIt’s a cross-town matchup of sorts – remember when this was the only Cubs/Sox matchup you could see? – as the Cubs head to Camelback Ranch to take on the White Sox. Chris Rusin gets the start as he continues to try and earn that temporary fifth starter spot while Jake Arrieta gets ready for the season.

Today’s game is on CSN, albeit in the form of a White Sox broadcast. Beggars can’t be choosers and all that. For those of you outside of Chicago or without MLB.tv, the game is also on MLB Network.

Today’s lineup features Mike Olt at DH (he could play third again tomorrow) and Javier Baez at shortstop. Ryan Kalish gets another outfield start, and Emilio Bonifacio slides in at second.

Interestingly, Junior Lake is back in center field after making his first start in left yesterday.

Lineup:

  1. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B
  2. Junior Lake, CF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Mike Olt, DH
  5. Justin Ruggiano, LF
  6. Javier Baez, SS
  7. Ryan Kalish, RF
  8. Luis Valbuena, 3B
  9. John Baker, C
  • willis

    Fun lineup today. I know you said CSN, but it’s telling me on DirecTV that it’s on MLB live at 3 central as well. For those of you outside the Chicago Area.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Good call. Wasn’t on my list for some reason. I’ll add that info.

  • Jim

    Watching on mute, check. #iwillputnothingontheboard.

    • willis

      The only at bats I’ll watch with the sound on are those of Javier Baez. I just love the sound the ball makes off his bat. I’ll deal with Hawk for that. But that only.

    • Featherstone

      Yeeeeeesssssss?

  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    After Duke’s loss, it’s going to be very difficult to flip between the Cubs game on MLB Network and the Vols’ game…

  • Danny Ballgame

    Nice play by Baez

  • Danny Ballgame

    Olt with another smash. Seeing the ball well today

    • another JP

      Pack your bags for Chicago, Mr. Olt.

      • ThatCubsGuy

        Yep. If his shoulder is okay from playing at 3rd base. We will see him on Opening Days

  • another JP

    Want to feel good about the Cubbies- read this:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/22152/sutcliffe-not-if-for-cubs-but-when

    Gotta love Sutcliffe-

    • Edwin

      Meh. It’s as generic a puff piece as they come. Especially that stuff at the end with Nolan Ryan and the whole “in my day” line.

      • another JP

        Puff pieces work for me.

      • mjhurdle

        the term “puff piece” has become the buzzword now apparently.

        it has gotten to the point that any post that uses it is treated as any conversation at work that involves the word ‘synergy’ or ‘leveraging the cloud’ or other such phrases spoken by people that can’t/don’t want to make a legitimate point.

        • Edwin

          It’s an ok piece, but it’s a pretty empy rah rah piece is all I’m saying. I find things like “It’s not about if, it’s about when” to be a pretty cheesy thing.

        • another JP

          What I like about the article is that Sutcliffe is confirming what plenty of other talent evaluators have been saying about the Cubs future prospects. For the people with little faith in Ricketts or Theo, a player that has seen what success looks like should be a little more reassuring that the rebuild is going according to plan.

          But I’ve always been a rah-rah type of guy when it comes to this front office FWIW.

  • ThatCubsGuy

    Just love how Kalish battles well against lefties in particular. Great way to battle back

    • another JP

      Yep… he can get his stuff and ride with Olt on the way to Chi-town.

      • Danny Ballgame

        I hope so. He looks like a baller

        • Danny Ballgame

          Kalish that is

          • Fishin Phil

            Kalish has much Belly Fire!

        • CubsFaninMS

          The catcher on my softball team said he knew of a few guys who “looked like ballers”. One showed up in sneakers and jeans.. and was staring outside the field as a ball skidded past him. Both sucked (certainly for me, captain of the team) and were clearly.. not ballers. True story.

          • Danny Ballgame

            I was referring to a pro baseball player playing against other pro baseball players, not your beer league buddies. Not sure of the relevance in your statement.

          • ssckelley

            I once played softball. I was awesome, I could drink more beers as anybody on my team. I was the MVBD (most valuable beer drinker).

            • Danny Ballgame

              The big club could use a few more like you Kelly

              • Fishin Phil

                ….And chicken, don’t forget the chicken!

              • ssckelley

                naww…i couldn’t hit a lick…mainly because around the 3rd inning the opposing pitcher would start pitching 3 balls at once and I kept swinging at the wrong one.

                But it was weird, at the bar I could drink whatever and still hit the ping pong ball.

  • CubsFaninMS

    On a side note and something rarely mentioned of late: What tricks will the front office have up their sleeve this season for the international spending pool? It may make for quite an interesting story, although not as exciting as last season.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Watched replays on MLB gameday and White Sox commentators commenting on the great play by Abreu covering 1B on the collision at first…what a bunch of homer idiots.

    • Edwin

      What collision at first? I haven’t been following the game.

    • dsgn1

      Thought the same thing. The other day, the sox were in the first inning and gave up a ton of runs, nine hits I think, the last guy strikes out and hawk gives the ‘he gone’. What a dope!

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    The more I see of Lake I think he should be sent down to open a spot for Kalish. Olt is looking good with the bat. If he shows that the shoulder is OK I think he gets the start on opening day.

  • another JP

    Nice outing for Rusin today. Another guy that doesn’t want to go to Des Moines apparently.

  • another JP

    Now what’s wrong with Javy?

  • CubChymyst

    Baez needs to stop having trainers look at him during games.

  • MightyBear

    SOB

    • MightyBear

      That looked like he hyper extended his leg.

  • bonger0493

    Does hawk or Steve stone EVER say anything productive in a broadcast? Really… Talking down mike trout. Saying they have the most/best talent they’ve ever seen in a major league camp in 55 years. Give me a break

    • ssckelley

      That is only because they signed the “best hitter in the world”.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      I guess they think Chicago sports fans must all be gullible. They are pushing the Kool-Aid pretty hard on that side of town too.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Stone, yes, Hawk, NO!

  • Diehardthefirst

    Don’t pick on Stoney! He tells it like it is which is why most owners steer clear. He’s forgotten more stats than most announcers ever knew or will ever know. And is great story teller

    • Diehardthefirst

      Not anymore

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Sweet to see Valbuena jack two out, including the second lefty on lefty. Is Valbuena the most underated prospect for the Cubs??

    • Rebuilding

      If by “prospect” you mean a 28 year old who rode the hottest 6 weeks of his career into a whopping 709 OPS (94 OPS+)… then yes he’s underrated

  • Rebuilding

    From what we’ve seen so far, I see no reason for Olt not to start at 3b on Opening Day. I also think Kalish can be a nice 4th/5th OF on a good team

    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

      I tend to agree but Olt can be in Iowa, if he makes the 25 man who is out? Murphy, Valbuena, Barney?

      • Kyle

        My guesses would be one of the following:

        1) Cut Murphy
        2) Trade Barney
        3) Demote Lake, keep three reserve infielders

        • willis

          I agree, Rebuilding. At some point the best players need to be on the roster and playing. Olt and Kalish are two of those players right now. I also think it gives a jolt to the base when you have a performing Olt making the team vs. watching a Murphy/Valbuena platoon. I like Olt at 3B, Valbuena at 2B…if you can trade Barney, great. If not, cut Murphy.

      • Bill

        Who cares? Olt should be starting opening day. It’s not like he’s a 21 year old. Murphy, Valbuena and Barney are certainly not part of the future of this team. Olt? We don’t know but it would be nice to have some idea, especially before Baez makes his debut.

        • willis

          Olt performing and performing well…man it changes things so much and all in good ways. It adds another power bat that was damn near forgotten last year. Hell I hated the idea last year. But he’s shown he can hit this Spring and as long as his shoulder is ok, you got to give him that job.

      • Rebuilding

        Since I can’t pick all of the above until the Super 2 deadline, I would say Murphy. You can let Valbuena have some starts against extremely nasty righties.

        Actually, that’s a little unfair as I wouldn’t mind Valbuena as a utility guy

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