The Cubs head home today, after losing a tough one yesterday, 10-0, to the Kansas City Royals.
Most of the damage came off Hector Rondon, who gave up seven hits, including a home run, and five runs in his .2 innings of work, but I wouldn’t be worried, just yet.
Ben Zobrist was originally scheduled to start tonight, but was scratched for – and I’m being serious – an ingrown toe nail (Carrie Muskat, Mark Gonzales). Before the scratch, though, I wrote this about the Cubs Thursday lineup:
Warning: Before you look at today’s lineup be prepared to shed a tear of joy. With an entire group of regulars, and Kyle Schwarber behind the plate, the Cubs are rolling out what I can only describe as the most exciting Cubs lineup I’ve ever seen.
It’s still quite an excellent lineup, with eight regulars going alongside Munenori Kawasaki, but it doesn’t carry the same panache it did before Zobrist was removed.
As an aside, we recently learned that Schwarber might become something of a personal catcher for one of the pitchers at the back of the rotation, in 2016, and Joe Maddon indicated that pitcher may be Jason Hammel. Well, lo and behold, Schwarber is catching for him today, and it may be the beginning of something we see all season long. Hammel has some good velocity, but an otherwise simple repertoire – he mostly throws a combination of fastball/slider, but does work in the occasional curveball and change up – without much movement. The two reportedly work well together and it could be a mutually beneficial relationship.
Jorge Soler gets another start in left field – which has become something of an expected trend, this Spring – and hey! the pitcher’s batting ninth.
Today’s game will be broadcast on ESPN. Additional video and audio of the game will also be made available on MLB.tv or through the AtBat app. For future reference, you can check which games will be televised here.
Today’s Starting Lineup v. Kansas City Royals (Chris Young):
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Kyle Schwarber, C
- Jorge Soler, LF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Munenori Kawasaki, 2B
- Jason Hammel
Starting Pitcher: Jason Hammel