Barring a last-minute scratch, three Cubs will make a debut today: Yu Darvish makes his first Spring Training start as a Cub, Brandon Morrow makes his first Spring Training appearance as a Cub, and Ben Zobrist makes his first Spring Training appearance this year.
A scratch is always possible, as Darvish was scratched from first scheduled outing (illness), Morrow has been held back a bit to protect his arm after a long season in 2017, and Zobrist has been out with a back issue. But if all are able to get into the game, that’ll mean that the only Cub who has yet to appear this spring is Pedro Strop (calf), which is an incredibly strong health ratio when you consider how rampant injuries always are in the spring. Which is not to say that someone won’t go down before the season begins – it seems like *someone* always begins the season on the disabled list (though that’s often in service of helping resolve a roster squeeze, which the Cubs are less likely to have this year).
Zobrist’s role this year figures to be more complementary, though an injury to another position player could put him right back out there as a regular starter – that’s part of the super utility job, too. Morrow will be the Cubs’ closer, used in a very traditional way, and Darvish will be the team’s nominal “third” starter. All are important pieces, to put it mildly, so it will be great to see them in action.
Er, well, at least hear them in action. The Cubs play today at 2pm CT at Sloan Park, hosting Darvish and Morrow’s old mates, the Dodgers. Unfortunately the game is not being broadcast by the Cubs or the Dodgers, so any video looks we get will probably be limited to stadium feed snippets that the clubs elect to share.