For the time being they still do, anyway. With the White Sox having decamped to Glendale, the D'backs and Rockies hold down the Tucson spring fort, and today the Cubs make one of the two trips they'll make down I-10 (the other is Saturday, March 28 vs. the Rockies) this year.
Bruce Miles says Kevin Gregg wants to close, and adds yet another clue about how
Lou Piniella's pre-ninth inning bullpen may set up:
[Aaron] Heilman has been in the mix for the fifth starter's spot, but with Sean Marshall apparently in the lead, Heilman may pitch the seventh.
"What we're looking for more than anything else is what we do in the seventh inning," said Piniella, who offered a possible hint by saying that he liked the way Heilman works out of the stretch. "How we set up our bullpen in the seventh inning will dictate a lot what happens everywhere else. Heilman's had experience in that department. He's done a good job there. I have a pretty good idea what we're going to do. Let's just let it play itself out a little bit."
Carlos Marmol says he knows why he wasn't sharp yesterday:
"I get in trouble every time I throw breaking balls in Arizona," Marmol said. "I just have to do better. I can't wait to get out of here."
He can't wait to get out of Arizona? Geez, he just got there. Just remember, Carlos, cool weather in Chicago awaits you. The good news for him and the Cubs is that the first six games of the regular season will be played in domes.
Corey Koskie has passed his physical and is ready to play. I hope he gets some playing time as soon as today. He could be a Jim Edmonds-type find if he can hit even close to what he did with the Brewers and Twins.
Today's game is available via KTAR, the D'backs flagship radio station, at the MLB.com Mediacenter. Rich Harden will face Brandon Webb; among Cubs regulars making the trip to Tucson will be the Cajun Connection, Mike Fontenot and Ryan Theriot.
There are also three WBC games today; the one between the USA and the Netherlands is now an elimination game, after the USA's shocking, mercy-rule, 11-1 loss to Puerto Rico last night.
MLB.com Gameday for Japan/Cuba (3 pm CDT, ESPN2)
MLB.com Gameday for Netherlands/USA (6:30 pm CDT, ESPN2, elimination game: loser goes home)
MLB.com Gameday for Mexico/Korea (10 pm CDT, ESPN2)
Discuss amongst yourselves.