Pre-Gamin': Cubs at Dodgers (3:05 CT) - Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Cubs at Dodgers (3:05 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Cubs

After today, there are just 15 game-days (with 16 games) until the start of the regular season. And in that short time, the Cubs need to decide who’s taking the mound after Wade Miley makes the third start of the season: Alec Mills, Drew Smyly, Justin Steele, Keegan Thompson, and/or Steven Brault (Caleb Killian, Cory Abbott, and Adbert Alzolay could factor in later on).

Absent any other moves (or injuries), that order above is probably the most likely outcome for the rotation/depth — at least, as of today. But I do think both spots are winnable. So Alec Mills will have to do some defending of his role today, as he takes the mound for the first time this spring.

As for the Cubs lineup, today’s group is again filled with a bunch of players who are expected to make the Opening Day roster, but perhaps without a clearly identified role: Rafael Ortega is starting in center, Nico Hoerner is logging innings at short, and Clint Frazier is the DH. Although it’s never a non-factor, I don’t quite think any Cactus League performance will dictate their role at the start of the season. Instead, with those three in particular, it will be how they fit into the broader roster plans.

Is Ortega just the strong side of a center field platoon with Michael Hermosillo? How does Jason Heyward play into that? Is Nico Hoerner actually going to draw starts at shortstop over Andrelton Simmons? What about second base? Does that make Nick Madrigal a permanent DH? And if he is, where does Clint Frazier fit into the broader picture? Could he start the year at Triple-A until the roster is fleshed out a bit?

But beyond all those questions, the most exciting part of the lineup today is Nelson Velazquez. I really can’t wait to see as much of him as possible this spring. Velazquez could be one of the most pleasant surprises of the year, if he has as much success this season as he did last year. In fact, both he and Brennen Davis could both turn into mid-summer call-ups, further complicating the outfield picture (in the best way possible). I can’t wait to see how it plays out. Go Cubs.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (2-2) @ Los Angeles Dodgers – Sunday, March 20 at 3:05 CT on MLB Network, 670 The Score

Starting Pitchers

Dodgers: Robbie Erlin (L)

versus

Cubs: Alec Mills (R)

Chicago Cubs:

1. Rafael Ortega, CF
2. Nico Hoerner, SS
3. Frank Schwindel, 1B
4. Clint Frazier, DH
5. Yan Gomes, C
6. Nelson Velazquez, LF
7. Ildemaro Vargas, 2B
8. Dixon Machado, 3B
9. Greg Deichmann, RF

Los Angeles Dodgers:

1. Chris Taylor, DH
2. Justin Turner, 3B
3. AJ Pollock, LF
4. Will Smith, C
5. Matt Beaty, 1B
6. Zach McKinstry, SS
7. Jason Martin, RF
8. Michael Busch, 2B
9. James Outman, CF


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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami