Cubs vs. Diamondbacks and Cubs vs. Rockies, Thursday 3/15, 3:05 CT: Split Squad Day

Mesa, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Alex Gonzalez is forced out at second base by Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro at HoHoKam Park. Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Now we get into the meat of spring training. On four of the next six days (today, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday), the Cubs will play split-squad games, including the pair in Las Vegas against the Rangers. This will give a lot of players extra playing time, and by the time the stretch is over -- right before the only scheduled off day of the spring -- there will probably be some major decisions made regarding the rotation and bullpen.

Meanwhile, the Cubs made some other roster cuts today, at least one of which might be unexpected: Jeff Beliveau was optioned to Iowa. He was thought to have a chance to make the major league bullpen. Also sent to Iowa: Alberto Cabrera, John Gaub and Josh Vitters.

Junior Lake and Matt Szczur were sent to Double-A Tennessee and Jason Jaramillo, who has not played yet this spring due to injury, has been reassigned to the minor league camp.

Cubs lineup in Mesa:

Johnson rf, Byrd cf, Castro ss, Soriano lf, Baker 1b, Soto c, Barney 2b, Vitters 3b, Dempster p

Diamondbacks lineup:

Parra cf, Hill 2b, Upton rf, Kubel lf, Blum 3b, Overbay 1b, Blanco c, McDonald ss, Kennedy p

Cubs lineup at Talking Stick:

DeJesus rf, DeWitt 2b, Stewart 3b, LaHair 1b, Mather cf, Jackson lf, Castillo c, Lake ss, Lopez p

Rockies lineup:

Young lf, Scutaro 2b, Tulowitzki ss, Helton 1b, Nelson 3b, Blackmon rf, Rosario c, Colvin cf, Chacin p

Rodrigo Lopez is the starter at Talking Stick, while Ryan Dempster will go in the home white pinstripes in Mesa. Also scheduled at Mesa: Kerry Wood, Carlos Marmol, James Russell and Jeff Beliveau.

For the Diamondbacks, it'll be Ian Kennedy, followed by Barry Enright. For the Rockies, Jhoulys Chacin will start.

Today's Mesa game is on cubs.com with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie. Here is the MLB.com Mediacenter for today. The game at Talking Stick is on MLB.com with Rockies announcers.

MLB.com Gameday for Cubs/Diamondbacks

MLB.com Gameday for Cubs/Rockies

Note that for spring training gameday links, you probably will not get pitch-by-pitch as during the regular season; these are unofficial links. Each play will be posted, but might not be updated until after each half-inning.

There will be one overflow thread, which will post at 4:30 pm CT. The "Recent Stories in Game Threads" box on the sidebar is where you'll find it.

Please visit our SB Nation Diamondbacks site AZ Snakepit.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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