Jen-Ho Tseng and Tyler Chatwood start off the Spring for the Cubs this weekend, getting the starts that are usually taken up by depth starter types before the regular rotation gets to work. On that front, the Cubs announced that the primary starting five for the Cubs will actually take the next five starts after that:
Jon Lester, Monday versus Padres
Yu Darvish, Tuesday versus Diamondbacks
Cole Hamels, Wednesday at Rangers
Kyle Hendricks, Thursday versus A’s
Jose Quintana, Friday at Diamondbacks
This is a little earlier in the spring than we’re used to seeing the main guys get going, so that’s a mildly interesting thing. To be fair, though, they’re usually throwing live BP and/or simulated games at this point anyway, so the difference is quite small. Expect each to throw just an inning or two this first time around.
Also: good to see Yu Darvish right in there, still on the normal schedule.
Also also: is this going to be the actual rotation order when the season kicks off? No confirmation on that from Joe Maddon, and obviously things could easily shift around over the next month. But if that were the order, no one would be surprised. Basically, you know that Jon Lester or Kyle Hendricks will get Opening Day, just because, and then the rest of the guys could really be ordered in just about any fashion. Maybe you use Hendricks and Darvish to break up the lefties (like this order does). Beyond that, it doesn’t really matter outside of optimizing match-ups where possible.