Today In The Valley Of The Sun: Cubs vs. Rangers at Mesa, Tuesday 3/16, 3:05 CT

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- On Sunday, Ted Lilly's wife Natasha gave birth to their first child, Theodore Roosevelt Lilly IV. (Incidentally, there is a good reason for continuing that name -- according to this, Ted's great-grandfather was a member of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders. I would have expected nothing less!)

Today, we learn that Ted might pitch in a couple of games before spring training ends, and be ready to slot into the rotation by mid-April. Good news.

Sharp-eyed BCB reader Mulhollandmania noticed last night that Welington Castillo had been removed and Brian Schlitter added to the Cubs' 40-man roster. I have learned that this is a MLB.com mistake -- no changes have been made to the 40-man.

Maury Brown at Biz of Baseball notes that this year, MLB will draw its 3 billionth fan since the AL/NL "merger" (as he calls it) in 1901. More interesting will be whether overall attendance drops for the third straight year since the all-time record (79,503,175) was set in 2007. About a third of last year's decline can be accounted for by the fact that both the Mets and Yankees moved into new, smaller ballparks. The milestone will be reached near the end of the season; it'll take almost 71 million. The current attendance total is 2,929,151,842.

What great planning. Who's the first Cubs pitcher I get to see in person this year? Why, Carlos Silva, of course. (Please don't suck today, Carlos.) He'll face the Rangers' Neftali Feliz and C.J. Wilson, both of whom are scheduled to go four innings.

Lineup via tweet from Carrie:

SS Theriot, RF Fukudome, DH Nady, CF Byrd, 1B Hoffpauir, LF Soriano, 2B Fontenot, C Soto, 3B Tracy

Today's game is on WGN radio with Pat & Ron. Here is today's complete MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

SB Nation game preview

Today's first pitch thread will post at 3 pm CDT, and the overflow thread at 4:15 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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