After a rain-shortened evening last night, the Chicago Cubs are taking on the Arizona Diamondbacks this afternoon from Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
There’s mostly regulars in there again today, but a few stray, peripheral guys are fighting for a spot on the bench.
Here’s the Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Matt Szczur, RF
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Tommy La Stella, 2B
- Jake Arrieta, P
- Munenori Kawasaki, SS
Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist (he was scratched yesterday with a stiff neck), and Addison Russell notably get the day off, but it’s most likely business as usual. Because, as you can see, the three guys most reasonably angling for that final spot on the bench – Matt Szczur, Tommy La Stella, and Munenori Kawasaki – are all getting a start.
All things equal, I think you’d prefer Tommy La Stella’s overall skill-set on the Cubs bench come Opening Day (lefty, high-contact, infield glove). Of course, things are far from equal. He may not accept an assignment to Triple-A Iowa, Matt Szczur is out of options, and Munenori Kawasaki is Japanese (okay, that last one is irrelevant, he just loves to remind us, so I thought I’d do it for him).
And all of this could go out the window, depending on how many relievers the Cubs decide to carry out of camp. We’ll have to wait and see. As usual, we’ll have a full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time.