SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Opening Day at Wrigley Field against the Pirates is two weeks from today. Most of the Cubs' roster spots are settled; the only real decisions remaining appear to be fifth outfielder and some of the bullpen spots. (We can hope for a real competition for backup catcher, but unfortunately, that decision appears to have been made already.)
A few notes:
- Alfonso Soriano is healthy this year, perhaps 100% for the first time since he's been a Cub. The Cubs expect more power from him. Maybe yesterday's long home run is an indicator.
- Cubs starting pitcher ERAs have been quite good so far this spring. Ryan Dempster talks about what that means, and doesn't.
- Gordon Wittenmyer on some of the roster battles. And here's more from Patrick Mooney at CSN Chicago on the second base job in particular.
- Phil Rogers has another one of his wacky ideas: make Carlos Marmol a starter. Right, Phil, because he was so good in that role in 2006, and all those walks would make him a great starting pitcher. ::: facepalm ::: to this one.
Carlos Zambrano will start today against the Reds' Sam LeCure, who is in line for a Cincinnati bullpen slot, not their rotation. Other Reds scheduled to throw today: Matt Maloney, Daniel Ray Herrera and Jared Burton. The other side of the coin is the Cubs' Carlos Silva, who will appear in relief today to see if he can handle a bullpen slot. Barry Rozner says the Cubs should just cut him and eat the contract.
Complete lineups after the jump.
Colvin RF Castro SS Byrd CF Ramirez 3B Pena 1B Soto C Soriano LF DeWitt DH Barney 2B
The reason for the DH: Big Z has a sore left wrist, which obviously won't affect his pitching, but they've decided to hold him out from hitting today.
Stubbs CF Phillips 2B Votto 1B Rolen 3B Bruce RF Gomes LF Hanigan C Janish SS LeCure P
Here's all the media information for today.
MLB.com Gameday for today's game
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today. The game is on MLB.com audio with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie.
There will be an overflow thread posting at 4:30 p.m. CDT. As usual, the overflow thread will NOT post on the front page but will be in the "Recent Stories In Game Threads" box on the right sidebar. If you need an extra overflow thread beyond that one, post it in the FanShot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.