Cubs vs. Reds - Cubs Lineup, Pitching Matchup, How to Watch, More

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Cubs vs. Reds – Cubs Lineup, Pitching Matchup, How to Watch, More

Chicago Cubs

When I saw that the Cubs had another night game tonight, I was disappointed. The games already don’t “matter,” so an 8:05 CT start time (with a 5-month old baby decimating any semblance of a sleep schedule) wasn’t really my jam. But then I saw Caleb Kilian was starting. And that’s a pretty good draw. The lineup, however … it’s pretty boring after a couple of games full of regulars. I might be tuning out after Kilian shoves it down Cincy’s throat.

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Nick Madrigal, 3B
  2. Tucker Barnhart, C
  3. Edwin Ríos, 3B
  4. Mike Tauchman, RF
  5. Chris Morel, CF
  6. David Bote, 2B
  7. Zach McKinstry, LF
  8. Jake Slaughter, DH
  9. Sergio Alcántara, SS

I’d have to go back and check, but I’m pretty sure Nick Madrigal has led off every game that Nico Hoerner hasn’t this spring. I’m guessing/hoping that has to do ONLY with maximizing his exposure and reps this spring, ahead of what will be a very important evaluative season at a new position.

Why am I beating around the bush. Let me put a finer point on that: I absolutely hate the idea of leading off with Nick Madrigal during the regular season no matter who is not in the lineup. So please don’t let this be some sort of B-lineup plan.

Ríos, Tauchman, Morel, Bote, and McKinstry are among the biggest roster bubble-guys, and they’re all in the lineup tonight. And as a reminder, McKinstry is out of options, Bote is not on the 40-man, and Tauchman, while on a minor league deal, might be out of the organization soon after Opening Day if he’s not with the big league team. Ríos and Morel are both on the 40-man, but also both have options (in other words they can be sent up and down to Triple-A a bunch all season). Kinda stinks that the two guys I’d arguably want to see with the Cubs most are the easiest to not have on the team from a procedural perspective.

It’s notable that Jake Slaughter is getting a DH start this late in the spring (and after NOT getting an invite to big league camp). He’s not likely a threat to make the team, but it is a nice nod to the work he must’ve been doing at camp this month. Good for him.

Pitching Matchup

Reds: Connor Overton, RHP


Cubs: Caleb Kilian, RHP

A year ago at this time, Caleb Kilian was all the rage as the top pitching prospect in the Cubs organization, following a fantastic 2021 season and AFL performance. Unfortunately, 2022 wasn’t great for Kilian, particularly in the walk department (which was especially weird given his reputation for command and control). And his debut did not go well. He enters 2023 with a LOT lower expectations, which may be ideal. The Cubs don’t *need* him to join the rotation any time soon. Not with Adrian Sampson, Javier Assad, and Hayden Wesneski all around and optionable. But he certainly has a path to the big leagues if he performs. It’s kind of like Brennen Davis, actually. Very similar arc over the last 1.5 years, just without the injury.

I’m excited to see both in Chicago this year.

How to Watch

Chicago Cubs (10-7) vs. Cincinnati Reds (9-10) – Wednesday, March 15 at 8:05 CT on Marquee

Author: Michael Cerami

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