We’re here. The winter is over. Spring Training is no longer just for batting practice, grounders, and bullpen sessions.
Baseball will be played, and the Chicago Cubs will be playing it.
You’ll have to forgive my enthusiasm, but believe me that it’s genuine. And, in reality, it’s not just about the return of Cubs baseball, per say.
When I started writing up this post, I realize that the last Pre-Gamin’ I wrote up was Game Seven of the World Series. And as I reread what I wrote, the emotions from before that game are all rushing back into my brain. Go give that a look and see what it does for you.
I am so ready for baseball. Let’s do this.
In the home half of a split-squad day, Mike Montgomery takes the mound against the Oakland Athletics. Although both he and Brett Anderson (who’ll be pitching on Monday) will both definitely see action in the Cubs rotation this year, it isn’t yet clear who will pick up the ball for Game Five in April.
Cubs Lineup versus Oakland Athletics:
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Willson Contreras, C
- Jon Jay, CF
- Matt Szczur, LF
- Ian Happ, DH
The other half of the team heads away from Sloan to take on the Giants at their park. Taking the ball in this one is youngster Rob Zastryzny (who was sadly mistaken for a civilian, not a ballplayer, by some fans the other day). Hopefully, he puts together a strong spring (he was excellent in the second half at Iowa, and in the big leagues), and emerges as clear, long-term starting pitching depth for the Cubs. Absent that, you hope he can at least contribute in the bullpen for years to come.
Cubs Lineup versus San Francisco Giants:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Jeimer Candelario, 3B
- Miguel Montero, C
- Albert Almora, CF
- Chris Dominguez, 1B
- John Andreoli, RF
- Munenori Kawasaki, SS
- Mark Zagunis, DH
Oh, and here’s your friendly reminder: THE RESULTS DON’T MATTER.