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chase fieldWell, that’s a bummer. Starlin Castro’s absence from tonight’s lineup is not necessarily a dealbreaker with respect to him starting the season on Opening Day, as there were some hints that the Cubs might want him to play in only one of these Diamondbacks exhibition games. At the same time, there were indications that, if he was feeling fine after yesterday’s minor league action, he would be playing tonight.

That all said, Gordon Wittenmyer reports that Castro is scheduled to start at shortstop tomorrow after taking the day off today. That would put Castro on a schedule to play yesterday, rest today, play tomorrow, rest the next day, play Opening Day, rest the next day, and then play the next day.

If for some reason Castro can’t play tomorrow, and does start the year on the DL, we could be looking at something approximating a “regular” lineup tonight for the Cubs (save for the catcher spot). Of course, as we explored earlier today, hopefully there won’t really be much of a “regular” lineup, given the matchup advantages of this roster.

Interesting that, with Ryan Sweeney and Junior Lake in the lineup, Lake is back in left field.

Edwin Jackson gets the start in his final short tuneup for the regular season. This game is on CSN, by the way, and it’s also a free game on MLB.tv, if you want to check that out.

Lineup:

  1. Emilio Bonifacio, SS
  2. Junior Lake, LF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Mike Olt, 3B
  5. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  6. Ryan Sweeney, CF
  7. John Baker, C
  8. Darwin Barney, 2B
  9. Edwin Jackson, P
  • http://www.w2wn.net Cerambam

    I can dig that 3,4,5

    • ssckelley

      It is starting to look respectable, it will look much better once Baez is penciled in.

  • Kyle

    That lineup is so, so bad. It hurts my eyes to look at it.

    • Rebuilding

      Tough when a guy not expected to make the team 2 weeks ago is the logical person for the cleanup spot. Oh well, 2 more months of this

  • Diehardthefirst

    I reported 2 weeks ago that he starts season on DL cause he just doesn’t have the will to succeed- recall how much quicker relatively Barney came back from worse injury? Bellyfire!!

    • DarthHater

      [img]http://infinitemonkeys.fuzzie.sg/img/logo.png[/img]

  • willis

    1-6, I’m good with that. 7-9, brutal. But, remember, with Castillo in there instead of Baker and Castro at SS, the lineup all of the sudden looks ok. Not great, but maybe they’ll score a run here and there.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

    It’ll be a different story once Bryant comes up. His (logical) presence in the 3 hole, moves Rizzo down to 4 and Olt or Baez to 5 and 6. Soler will platoon with Valbuena at the 2 or 7 hole, with Castro leading off.

    SS Castro
    LF Valbuena (L) / Soler [LF]
    RF Bryant
    1B Rizzo (L)
    3B Olt
    2B Baez
    CF Sweeney/Kalish (L) / Lake [CF]
    C Castillo / Baker (L)

    • DocPeterWimsey

      In that bunch, Kalish might be the best OBP guy (if he really is recovered from all of his physical ills); that would make him the best #1 guy.

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

    Is this an ok time for me to voice how much I hate pitchers hitting?

    • davidalanu

      No.

    • ChrisFChi

      As long as I can voice my opinion on the DH being an overpaid pinch hitter, than yes 😊

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

        That’s better than having an overpaid hitter that has about the same ability to hit as I do.

    • DarthHater

      Better stick to voicing your views on hamburgers.

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

        How about this. I would forever give up hamburgers if they immediately instituted the DH in the NL.

        • ssckelley

          Your lying!

          • DarthHater

            This

            • DarthHater

              Only with “you’re” :-P

              • ssckelley

                I was checking to see if Dave was around.

                But thanks for correcting me, I guess.

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

            Ok…ya. I’ll double my hamburger intake if they do that.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    The X-factors are Olt and Lake. There have been a lot of doubters about Lake. After seeing his three home run day and his homer in the following game there is littlle doubt in my mind that Junior is beggining to reach his potential. I don’t want to hear all the anti-Junior rants Blah Blah. Those two guys and improved seasons from Rizzo and Castro are the only salvation for this team. Pencil them in for 20 plus homers and we have a chance to push the ,500 mark.

    • ssckelley

      Funny how Lake hits a few spring training homers and he goes from being sent to AAA to being a 20 to 30 home run guy.

      I think we need to temper our expectations on Lake. He will be fun to watch when he gets hot but he will frustrate the heck out of us when he faces good pitching and struggles to make contact.

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        We shall see.

      • Voice of Reason

        Lake just needs to play everyday so we can see if he part of the future.

        Why is schierholtz still on this team? Trade him. He’s taking at bats away from kids who could be part of our bright future

  • ssckelley

    Olt looked bad on that strikeout.

  • Fastball

    Lake is going to be a good player on this team he will get a lot of playing time. I just hope Renteria is smart enough to sit him a couple days if he hits a ruff spot rather let him lose confidence and go into a tailspin. That’s why he is the manager. You can’t play these young guys day after day if the are tired. I believe this is why this club has so many players who can play multiple positions. Keep them all fresh, healthy and positive.

  • NorthSideIrish

    Mike Trout agree to 6 year extension worth $145M…steal for LAA

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

      That means a 28 year old free agent Trout.

      OH MY FUCKING GOD.

      • NorthSideIrish

        That’s gonna be a $40M AAV contract…

      • ssckelley

        29 right?

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

          Ya. His first FA season will be 29.

    • ssckelley

      Unbelievable, did his agent not see what Cabrera just signed for?

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

        It’s an arb buyout. Richest arb buyout ever.

        • ssckelley

          But a great deal for the Angels, buys out a couple free agent years and Trout is worth every dime. Hopefully these are the type of extensions the Cubs will be making soon.

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

            Ya, I was just thinking about that today at work. If I were Trout I’d bet the farm on going year-over-year.

            • ssckelley

              But at least now he can lay off the juice. :p

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

                I dunno. Now that he’s rich, he’s going to be an unmotivated bum.

        • NorthSideIrish

          I’m a little disappointed in that I really wanted to see what he got in arbitration…

    • Jason P

      I can understand it from Trout’s perspective, assuming the extension begins this year and not next year. While he may have been able to get slightly more in the long run going year by year, it makes a big difference this year for him to be making $20 million instead of $1 million.

      • NorthSideIrish

        Bill Shaikin ‏@BillShaikin 41m
        Mike Trout’s $145-million extension starts next season. His $1 million salary this season stays, so Angels not subject to luxury tax in ’14

        Sounds like it doesn’t kick in until after this season.

        • Jason P

          Oh yeah, that makes sense since the deal buys out 2 years of free agency. It seems like a mighty good deal for the Angels, though. With the endorsements Trout has, you’d think he wouldn’t be quite so anxious to sign a pre-arb extension.

      • Rebuilding

        Once he signs it’s all guaranteed…that’s all that really matters. He can rip out both knees in a freak collision and still be worth $145 million. That’s why these deals are beneficial to both sides

        • Rebuilding

          …and I’ll add that personally I really like the early contracts buying out arb and some free agency. It let’s teams keep the guys they drafted and developed longer, which I think is good for the game (see Andrew McCutcheon).

        • Jason P

          That’s true… but when you consider arbitration raises and what he’s already accomplished, he’s essentially already “guaranteed” 30-40 million. Obviously that’s not $145 million, but either way he’s set for life.

          Still, you can’t blame him for signing the contract now. After the first $100 million, the rest only means so much. And I do like seeing players stick with the team they were drafted by. It’s unfortunate that the Rays have to move Price when teams like the Dodgers are paying $15 million for their 4th outfielder.

          • Kyle

            People get sick, people get hurt.

            • Jason P

              I think Brett did a post calculating the math a while back, but Trout’s pretty much guaranteed that amount in arbitration even if he does get hurt just based on what he’s already accomplished (unless he’s paralyzed in a car crash and can never play again, but that pretty much doesn’t happen). It’s possible I’m misremembering and it was closer to $20 million.

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

    Man…that Edwin Jackson guy is such a bum.

  • NorthSideIrish

    Jeff Sullivan ‏@based_ball 1m
    Albert Pujols still under contract with the Angels longer than Mike Trout

    This made me laugh.

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

    Arizona radio guy doesn’t know that contracts use AAV for luxury tax…or that arb contracts are always back heavy.

    Said the Angels backloaded it to get past the luxury tax.

    • ssckelley

      What are you doing listening to a Arizona broadcast

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

        MLB.com

        I hopped over to the radio feed hoping it was Pat. Listened for a few minutes to make sure I just didn’t know Ron’s voice yet.

      • Floyd7070

        Maybe because Cubs announcers are lousy. Sad, but true.

        • ssckelley

          So far I have not been impressed with Coomer. But I like the others.

        • johnnyp

          Pat Hughes is outstanding and so far I’ve been impressed with Coomer.

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

          If you are talking about Pat…

          YOU CAN SHUT YOUR FILTHY HOOKER MOUTH.

  • willis

    So we got good Edwin Jackson tonight. Really nice to see.

    And I love Rosscup. He’s going to be a good LH reliever.

  • ssckelley

    Strop has a nasty slider!

  • ssckelley

    Geez, Vogs did not even dive for that grounder.

  • NorthSideIrish

    Baez is leading off in the 9th next…

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

    Did vogelbomb just get picked off again?

  • johnnyp

    Who the fuck keeps saying “ooooooo” in the booth.

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