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phoenix municipalThe Cubs head to Phoenix Municipal to play the A’s today on another WGN game, so you get you watching on. Jason Hammel gets the start as he’ll put in his final long outing before the regular season.

Mike Olt makes another start at third base today, having played there yesterday and on Thursday (and he DH’d on Friday). This is the stretch where he’s very much being evaluated for a roster spot, which would presumably come along with a full-time starting gig.

Junior Lake flops back over to left field again today, his second start there. As I’ve said, I’m hopeful that the Cubs will just bite the bullet and give him a full and fair shot to show something in center field before putting him in left, where I don’t think his bat can carry the day long-term.

Apropos of today’s Luis Valbuena discussion, The Bat Flippa is playing second base today, while Darwin Barney fills in at shortstop. Ryan Kalish starts in right field, which you could read as a signal that the Cubs are preparing for life without Nate Schierholtz, or you could just calm down and recognize that it’s Spring Training and Kalish has played all over the outfield (as he would if he makes the team).

Lineup:

  1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF
  2. Junior Lake, LF
  3. Luis Valbuena, 2B
  4. Mike Olt, 3B
  5. Ryan Kalish, RF
  6. Ryan Roberts, 1B
  7. George Kottaras, C
  8. Darwin Barney, SS
  9. Chris Coghlan, DH
  • Medicos

    Because the Hawks game is a bit more important than the Cubs exhibition game. Cubs will be on TV tomorrow.

    • ssckelley

      That sucks, they showing AFV here

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I think Alberto Cabrera deserves a spot in the pen. If they send him down to the minors and put him through waivers we will lose him. He has pitched pretty well this spring too, so I’d hold onto him instead of trying to sneak him through waivers

  • Jason P

    I picked a hell of a game not to watch. Hopefully I can find a replay to DVR.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I think also Junior Lake needs to be sent down to the minors (regardless of this game) if he won’t start most games with the Cubs. He needs to regular at-bats to keep on progressing, but I feel like he is pretty much what he is at this point. He’ll show glimpses of brilliance like today and then other games look like a hack happy guy who will strike out a ton off of breaking stuff.

  • cubmig

    WGN feed shifted to Blackhawks’ game…………anyone lose their mlb feed too?

    • ssckelley

      Pfft, I get Americas Funniest Video

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Anyone know what pitches Lake’s homers were on? Fastball? Hanging slider? Breaking stuff. If he hit them on breaking pitches I will be much more impressed because that what he struggles with

    • cubmig

      That last one looked like a change-up to me. I also think the first one was a fast ball…..just my opinion though….

    • ThatCubsGuy

      two of the homers was on breaking pitches. You can just tell by the look on his face that he wasn’t going to be fooled by anything today

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      The first one was a breaking ball and the second one was a fastball. The last one was a hanging slider.

  • ssckelley

    Can Lake hit 20+ homers a year?

    • itzscott

      Wada YOU think?

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      yeah, if he’s only thrown fastballs all year. I think he definitely has the power for 20 homers but does he have to contact skills is the bigger question

      • ssckelley

        I could live with .270 with 20+ homers, at least for this season.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          Yeah I could see lake hitting around .260-270 with a .300 OBP. Not great, but he play CF it would be easier to swallow that OBP

    • Jason P

      I could see possibly 20 home runs with a .300 OBP.

      • ssckelley

        Yuck, if he can get ~.750 OPS that would be decent for a centerfielder.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Jurickson Profar just tore a muscle in his right shoulder. Hey Rangers you need a 2nd baseman? Valbuenna or Barney, take your pick

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Profar is out 10-12 weeks

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        And I’m suddenly feeling brilliant for taking Aybar as insurance on my fantasy team.

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

        Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    • ssckelley

      Yes plz, I love it when the Cubs deal with the Rangers.

  • E

    The last one by Lake was a slider up in the zone. He worked it to 3-2 and just jacked the shit out of that ball, almost to dead center field.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      That at-bat sounds actually very impressive for lake. At this point I’d rather Lake work deep counts then get hits. His problem is his aggressiveness at the plate

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Last year I was commenting that from a physical standpoint that Lake reminded me of a young Soriano. I think is cappable of hitting 20 homers easiliy this year. IMO he has the physical tools to be a 30 plus guy.

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