I am just so freakin’ excited for today.
I know we’ve been getting pictures and video from Cubs camp for a couple weeks now, and have been able to listen to the games on the radio, but today is different. Today, we get to *watch* a Cubs baseball game *live* as it happens … and it’s against the White Sox! Ah!
At the top of the order, you’ll find Ian Happ leading off for the third time in five games, which is awesome and not an accident. Although Albert Almora has been getting time there too (and is certainly a leadoff option against tough lefties), I recently examined why we might see more of Happ both in that leadoff role and in general this season.
The new and improved Kyle Schwarber follows Happ, and Willson Contreras rotates back in behind the plate, batting third. Tommy La Stella is the only other sure-fire Opening Day player starting today, but you could argue that Victor Caratini is at least still battling for the backup catcher honors with Chris Gimenez. Both bat after Contreras.
With Kris Bryant still day-to-day (illness) and Ben Zobrist expecting to ramp back up in a week (back), the rest of the lineup is filled with Triple-A types, looking to leave their mark before heading to Minor League camp sometime in the next couple weeks.
The newly announced Opening Day starter, Jon Lester, is taking the mound for his first start of the Spring, and he’ll be followed, at some point, by Oscar De La Cruz (can’t wait to get eyes on him). Other available pitchers include Dario Alvarez, Rob Zastryzny, Michael Roth, Dillon Maples, Duane Underwood, and Cory Mazzoni.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ian Happ, CF
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Tommy La Stella, DH
- Victor Caratini, 1B
- David Bote, 3B
- Mike Freeman, SS
- Chesny Young, 2B
- Jacob Hannemann, RF
Starting Pitcher: Jon Lester
White Sox Lineup: