Today is the Cactus League finale for the Cubs – flew right by, eh? – as they welcome the White Sox to Cubs Park. The game is televised on WGN, and it’ll be broadcast on WGN Radio, so everyone can enjoy.
The biggest news as far as this game goes is the absence of Starlin Castro. There was a hope that he could finally play in a big league Spring game today, but it won’t happen.
Here’s the thing, though: it isn’t because Castro isn’t over his hamstring issue. By all accounts, he’s fine. Instead, by holding him out of today’s game, the Cubs leave open the option of placing Castro on the disabled list, backdated to 10 days before the start of the regular season. Had Castro played today, the furthest backwards to which a DL stint could be dated would be tomorrow. That could be a difference of as many as seven or so regular season games that Castro would have to miss. Playing him today in a minor league game, instead, is probably the right call. My understanding is that Castro can join the Cubs for tomorrow’s “exhibition” game against the Diamondbacks without interfering with any of this.
Hopefully all of this becomes academic with Castro returning this weekend, and starting the season at shortstop for the Cubs on Monday.
Today is Travis Wood’s final tuneup for the regular season, so don’t expect him to go too deep. There are still bullpen spots to be decided, so watch for any of Justin Grimm, Alberto Cabrera, or Hector Rondon making an appearance (though I think Rondon is probably in at this point).
- Emilio Bonifacio, SS
- Ryan Kalish, RF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Mike Olt, DH
- Ryan Sweeney, CF
- Welington Castillo, C
- Justin Ruggiano, LF
- Luis Valbuena, 3B
- Darwin Barney, 2B