When I visited Sloan Park in Arizona for Spring Training a few years ago, one of the games I got to see was Cubs/Angels. That was my first time at Spring Training, and it was also the first time I saw Mike Trout play in person.
Obviously, I can’t say for sure that my excited anticipation to see the greatest player of our generation (and maybe ever) altered my view, but I’m pretty sure his soft fly out was the hardest hit soft fly out to the right fielder of all time. Mhm.
As for today’s game, Mike Trout is once again in the lineup, batting second for the Angels, but the Cubs are countering with a “one of the best current players in baseball” of their own, Kris Bryant. Yep, in case you missed the good news, Kris Bryant is returning to the lineup today, after missing the past several days with some sort of illness (seems to be going around). He’ll bat second and play third base in his second Spring Training game of the season.
Leading off today is Jason Heyward. As far as I can tell, this is the first time someone not named Ian Happ or Albert Almora (who’s in the lineup, batting seventh) is leading off for the Cubs this Spring. Heyward, before his time in Chicago, would’ve been something of an ideal leadoff hitter for this team, given that he bats lefty, runs well, used to get on base a lot, and doesn’t hit for much power. Of course, until he proves otherwise, that life’s behind him.
Elsewhere in the lineup, you’ll find regulars including Anthony Rizzo at first, Addison Russell and Javy Baez up the middle, and Kyle Schwarber at DH. This is probably the lineup with the most regulars this Spring …. Which is a good thing if you have MLB TV, because this game will be televised (albeit with the Angels broadcast)!
The other notable news is that Jose Quintana is taking the mound today, in what will be his Spring Training debut. Here’s to a healthy 1-2 innings of work and the beginning of a great three full seasons with the Cubs.
And here’s the Cubs lineup:
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Kyle Schwarber, DH
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Albert Almora, CF
- Victor Caratini, C
- Peter Bourjos, LF
Pitcher: Jose Quintana
— Angels (@Angels) March 2, 2018