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cubs park shoesIt’s a split squad game for the Cubs today, but the second game isn’t until 9pm CT, and, for reasons you’ll see, is pretty different from today’s game. Different stuff to look at, and all that.

Today’s game is on CSN, and there will be plenty of fun stuff to watch.

Mike Olt is back at third base after a day off, and he’ll try to lock down the Opening Day job there. The bat is showing some things, but he has to clearly demonstrate that the shoulder is not going to be a lingering issue defensively to start the year.

Albert Almora starts in center field for the Cubs today, which will be fun to see. And Dan Vogelbach is starting at first base, also fun. Christian Villanueva is DH’ing, which is cool.

Darwin Barney starts at shortstop, where he’s gotten intermittent work over the past couple weeks. That he’s still seeing starts there this close to the start of the regular season is certainly interesting. Luis Valbuena, by the way, plays second base.

Junior Lake is back in left field today (he was to be in center, but Justin Ruggiano was scratched from left because of ankle soreness, so Lake slid over). Bullpen competitors Alberto Cabrera and Hector Rondon figure to see action in this one, too.

And then you’ve got the starter for the game, Tsuyoshi Wada, who was recently released and re-signed by the Cubs, and today’s scheduled start never even changed. So that’s neat!

Lineup:

  1. Junior Lake, LF
  2. Luis Valbuena, 2B
  3. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  4. Mike Olt, 3B
  5. Dan Vogelbach, 1B
  6. Christian Villanueva, DH
  7. Darwin Barney, SS
  8. Eli Whiteside, C
  9. Albert Almora, CF
  • jp3

    Also Eli Whiteside… That name is racist if I’ve ever heard one.

    • DarthHater

      [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5524/10845391603_3a12cb18cf_o.gif[/img]

      • jp3

        C’mon it’s a name that sounds like it should’ve been in blazing saddles

  • Isaac

    Two DH’s? It’s like the opposite of softball in our outfield.

    • hogie

      Almora’s defense is so good balls get themselves out in center so he can focus on hitting!

  • hoosiercub

    Vogelbach at 1st instead of DH?

    hmmm…trade showcasing? having him prove he can hold his own in the field?

    • JB88

      No reason to trade Vogelbach at this point. You trade him (if at all) when he is on the cusp of the majors and you can get serious return for him. Think Matt LaPorta for C.C. Sabathia-style.

      • hoosiercub

        I meant as part of a package deal, not on his own. Think paired with the Shark for some really good higher level pitching prospects.

        Also, I’m not exactly an expert, just throwing out some speculation and seeing what thsoe more knowledgeable have to say

        • cubmig

          Speaking of Shark, a Trib story says he’s “listed” his Lakeside condo. Any meaning other than he just may be moving into something better?, bigger?……..and not on the verge of being traded?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Let me put it this way: I saw the story and decided immediately not to write about it. And I write about *everything.*

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              Exactly, apparently he hasn’t ever lived there. He’s rented it out the whole time and it was an investment property

          • hoosiercub

            seems to me more like he is anticipating a trade at the deadline, putting his condo on the market now so he has time to sell before then and maybe moving into an apartment or something less permanent if he does manage to get it sold

            of course, that is totally speculative, just makes sense to me

    • Blackhawks1963

      Facepalm

    • Funn Dave

      Well, he’s most valuable as a first basemen, so it makes sense to get him some practice there. We already know he can hit.

  • Lou Brown

    Saw Villanueva DH’ing and I had to do a double-take “Why is a pitcher at DH?”, oh wait THAT Villanueva.

  • David

    I love when Olt bats between 2 lefties.

  • ThatCubsGuy

    Gold Glove caliber play there from Olt

  • MaxM1908

    Anyone else having to listen to the Angels radio feed?

  • Jason P

    Shit… Hopefully Almora’s alright.

  • cubbiekoolaid2015

    Almora down and getting looked at. Looked like he banged his knee hard into the wall.

    • cubbiekoolaid2015

      He’s up and jogging off the field. Good news. Hopefully he stays in the game.

  • cubmig

    After 4 innings and 86 pitches——that’s alotta’ Wada work. ——-and Almora is down making a great catch.

  • cubmig

    Almora jogs off field………….whew

  • cub4life

    Brett,

    I don’t remember from last year but how soon after the ML roster is set do the AAA and AA rosters get set?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      In that next week.

      • cub4life

        sweet, thanks

  • MightyBear

    Boy Vogelbach’s got a great approach at the plate. He’s a hitter. Very impressed.

    • MightyBear

      As soon as I same something good about Vogelbach, he get’s picked off first. Is getting picked off a TOOTBLAN?

  • josh ruiter

    Just scouring the web for baseball info, news & updates. Why don’t the Cubs spark up a conversation with the Pirates about a trade? They lost out on A.J. Burnett, Liriano is hurt (and has a significant injury history…though this is groin not arm, it could effect his arm down the road via over compensating for a weaker lower half), and despite being young they are entering the Pirates win now window. They don’t pay premium dollars to very many guys and they already inked McClutch. I wonder if we could offer two scenarios…
    1. Tyler Glasnow, Luis Heredia, Nick Kingham, & Josh Bell for Shark and Barney OR
    2. James Taillon, Luis Heredia and Josh Bell for Shark.
    Thoughts??

  • https://twitter.com/dwoytek dw8

    Junior Lake= Baseball’s crazy, super hot girl.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Dude. Nailed it.

  • cubmig

    Junior with a SENIOR bomb. Hope that happens a-hell-of-a-lot during 2014.

  • ThatCubsGuy

    When Lake hits a homer……man does he not mess around

  • cubmig

    wow. from leading to losing. and all in a blink of an eye. thank you Cabrerra.

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