As sometimes happens in the Spring, the Cubs and Angels got together to add a “B” game to the schedule for this afternoon, which will allow each team to get in some playing time for guys who need it, but who might not have otherwise been accommodated by the Cactus League schedule.
The stats from “B” games won’t go into the Cactus League stat pile, but, then, how much do those stats really matter anyway? (More than none, but not a ton.)
Further, the game won’t be broadcast in any traditional way that I’m aware of, but, on the bright side, if you’re in the Mesa area, my understanding is that you can just show up and watch the game at Sloan Park. Hopefully some BN’ers will be there to give us the scoop on how guys are playing. I’d imagine there will be some media there, as well.
Kyle Hendricks gets the start in this one, with Eric Jokisch to follow. At some point, Daniel Bard is supposed to make his debut, so I really hope we get reports on how he looked (and velocity readings, if possible).
The lineup (wish this one was televised, man):
- Tommy La Stella, 2B
- Chris Denorfia, LF
- Kris Bryant, DH
- Miguel Montero, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Arismendy Alcantara, 3B
- Albert Almora, CF
- Chris Valaika, 1B
- Billy McKinney, RF
Once again, La Stella plays at second while Alcantara mans third. My gut tells me it’s a signal that the Cubs feel like third is where Alcantara needs a little more work (he doesn’t have much experience there), but that he could be better there defensively than La Stella. Or maybe the Cubs want more information on that point – which is kind of a half dozen of one, six of the other kind of thing.
In any case, we’re getting to the point in the Spring where plotting out the roster is going to underway behind the scenes, and the Cubs need to know a bunch of different formulations that will leave them appropriately covered at a variety of positions. That’s the tricky part about having so many versatile options available for the roster – but it’s a good problem to have.