The Cubs are 1-8 on the spring, and I loathe that I am duty-bound to repeat that number here in this space.
John Lackey makes his Cubs spring debut today, hosting the Reds for a couple innings. Hopefully he looks healthy and efficient, and gives us very little to talk about.
Neil Ramirez is among the other Cubs pitchers scheduled to go today, and, with Rex Brothers released, Ramirez’s chance to stick in the Cubs’ pen got ever so slightly better yesterday. With continued health and the build-up of his velocity, the chance will increase further.
Today’s lineup is full of regulars, 1 through 6, with each of Dan Vogelbach and Jeimer Candelario drawing another start each. They’re seeing a ton of work here in the early going, as they should – not only are the two among the Cubs’ best upper level prospects, they are also big-time bats that are blocked at the big league level by Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. Letting them get in plenty of playing time now allows other teams’ scouts to see how they’re looking, which may come in handy at midseason if a trade opportunity develops.
The game is not televised today – you can check which games will be televised here – but you should also be able to listen along at MLB.com, if you’re logged into your MLB.com account, or on the At Bat app.
UPDATE: Shane Victorino has been scratched from the lineup with left calf soreness. Tommy La Stella is currently also out with calf soreness. Someone has to start protecting Cubs players’ calves! It’s an outbreak!
Today’s Starting Lineup v. Cincinnati Reds (Robert Stephenson):
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Miguel Montero, C
Shane Victorino, LF Juan Carlos Perez
- Dan Vogelbach, DH
- Jeimer Candelario, 3B
Starting Pitcher: John Lackey