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salt river fieldGet used to seeing the Diamondbacks. The Cubs play ‘em today, and then twice later this week in “exhibition” games before the regular season kicks off on Monday. No TV for today’s game, unfortunately. You can listen on Cubs.com, though.

Jeff Samardzija makes his final Spring start, and you can expect him to have a fairly short outing.

Mike Olt isn’t officially on the Opening Day roster yet, but he’s starting at third base yet again today. With Donnie Murphy on his way out, things are looking good for MIKE OLT!

Javier Baez starts at shortstop, which is fairly interesting, given the other options the Cubs had available. I don’t want to play the speculation game too far, but I wonder if there was some uncertainty as to how today’s roster moves would play out, so the Cubs kept Darwin Barney out of action. You’ll note that the early rumor had the Rangers looking at Murphy and Barney. Then again, Barney isn’t listed as even a reserve for today’s game (Murphy and George Kottaras were), so maybe it’s just a day off.

Speaking of which, Ryan Roberts starts at second base as he makes a final push to make the roster. He’s got a real shot, folks.

Junior Lake starts in center again, and I tend to think he’ll see action both in center and left in the early going this year, but maybe mostly in center?

Lars “And the Real Girl” Anderson (sorry for that) starts at first base, where he’s likely to be the man at AAA Iowa. If you’d forgotten about Anderson, here’s his signing post.

Lineup:

  1. Junior Lake, CF
  2. Chris Coghlan, LF
  3. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  4. Mike Olt, 3B
  5. Welington Castillo, C
  6. Javier Baez, SS
  7. Ryan Roberts, 2B
  8. Lars Anderson, 1B
  9. Jeff Samardzija, P
  • newsguy23

    Going to be a long season.

  • Porkslap

    Any early everyday lineup projections?

    1 – Hmmm Castro?
    2 – Uhhh Castruhoh
    3 – RizzOMG
    4 – Sweens
    5 – OLT!
    6 – We stinks
    7
    8
    9 – Pitcher

    • noisesquared

      I’d be ok with this:

      Bonifacio CF
      Castro SS
      Rizzo 1B
      Olt 3B
      Schierholtz/Ruggiano RF
      Castillo C
      Sweeney/Lake LF
      Barney/Valbuena 2B
      P

      • brickhouse

        That lineup is awful – the Cubs have been bad for so long most posters seem to forget what a good lineup looks like – the acceptance of mediocre teams is baffling

        • C. Steadman

          Fine, I want this lineup

          Trout LF
          McCutchen CF
          Cabrera 1B
          Cano 2B
          Bruce RF
          Longoria 3B
          Molina C
          Tulo SS

          • C. Steadman

            noise was doing his rendition of the best lineup with current Cubs players, obviously it isn’t going to be good because the Cubs aren’t good, but you don’t have to rag on him for it.

          • bbmoney

            Meeehhhh, i’d move Trout to CF and McCutchen to left.

            But i’m probably being picky.

            • C. Steadman

              True, that’d push projected win total from 135 to 137. haha

        • noisesquared

          I didn’t say that lineup was good or even mediocre. I personally think that lineup has the potential to be lower middle of the pack in offensive production if a few things break their way. And given the current roster construction, I’d be ok with that.

          • brickhouse

            Why is lower middle of the pack offense acceptable – Theo has lowered the bar instead of raising it -

            • C. Steadman

              “And given the current roster construction, I’d be ok with that”

              Unless Noise is Theo Epstein, he can’t change the current roster construction. So, he construed a lineup that’d he be ok with. I’m sure Noise wishes he had better players to work with like I’m sure Rick Renteria does.

  • ssckelley

    Every lineup looks so much better with Baez and Olt, even when a guy named Lars Anderson is in it.

    • dsgn1

      As long as Marmol isn’t on it we’re way better. He just gave up 4 runs in the 7th for Miami.
      He lost 10-12 games single handed in 30 days last year.

  • PejaO42

    “Lars and the Real Girl” was one of the worst movie I have even seen. The fact that it was based in Wiscosnin just made it worse.

    • Edwin

      I actually thought it was pretty good. Gosling was great in it. And how does it being based in Wisconsin somehow make it worse?

      • Austin8466

        I thought it was a really good movie as well. Gosling nailed it and the plot actually kept me pretty interested, as slow as the movie was at times.

  • jp3

    Where would vitters play in Iowa if real girl is at 1st

    • J. L.

      Left field.

    • half_full_beer_mug

      On the highway ….zing…..

    • jp3

      Brett Jackson, Szczur, Ha? I guess we don’t know where the salad will be yet

      • C. Steadman

        There’s the DH spot

      • jp3

        I forgot about the DH spot. Thanks

        • C. Steadman

          Yeah, I think there will be a lot of rotating in the OF in Iowa. Vitters only hope in Chicago is being a LF.

      • augiepb

        I read somewhere that Ha is recovering from an injury and won’t be available right at the start of the year

  • Funn Dave

    “Speaking of which, Ryan Roberts starts at second base as he makes a final push to make the roster. He’s got a real shot, folks.”

    You’re right, he does seem to have a real shot. But why? He’s no better–and probably worse–than the players with whom he’s competing for a spot. Or is he? Seriously, anyone have any insight here?

    • Fishin Phil

      Frankly, that is one I can’t figure out either.

    • ssckelley

      I agree, I don’t understand the fascination for a 33 year old that has had 1 decent season in his career. I complained the day he was signed and every appearance he has made so far this spring. Other than the fact he plays 3 positions he really does nothing well. Personally I would have rather they kept Murphy.

  • itzscott

    In spite of the Cubs soft peddling Mike Olt to the rest of us and doing their best impression of “not putting any pressure on him”, there was never any doubt in my mind that he would be the guy they planned to open at 3rd with the big team.

  • Cubsin

    I think 2014 will be a very interesting season. I don’t expect a lot of wins, but I do expect a lot of competition for jobs, playing time and preferred positions. If anyone on the Opening Day roster other than Castillo, Rizzo and Wood is comfortable assuming they’ll be on the 2015 Opening Day roster, they shouldn’t be.

  • ssckelley

    MIKE OLT! with a double

    • BlameHendry

      Wish they’d just tell him “you’re our starting 3B this year.” He’s ready and he’s earned it.

    • Professional High A

      I don’t get the MIKE OLT!….

  • ssckelley

    Rusin is making a strong case to be in the starting rotation at Iowa.

  • willis

    Yep, Villanueva, get ready for your start at Wrigley in a little over a week.

  • vitaminB

    Hank White getting an AB for the Angels.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I can’t seem to win. I was sure he was going to be the 5th starter. Now it’s Villanueva for sure.

  • Javier Bryant

    Aaron Cunningham is with the Dbacks now?

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