Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Preview, Saturday 7/14, 12:05 CT

Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs hits a double against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Today's the day that, if you look around the area behind home plate in the stands at Wrigley Field, you're likely to see multiple scouts from other teams. (The notebooks and radar guns will be a dead giveaway.)

Ryan Dempster, of course, is one of the leading trade targets leading up to the non-waiver deadline 17 days from now. Don't assume this is Dempster's final start as a Cub, though; teams might want to see him make one or two more just to make certain he's healthy. These same scouts might have had their interest in Alfonso Soriano piqued after his big day on Friday, too.

Schedule note: the game against the Cardinals next Saturday (7/21) in St. Louis, on original schedules as a 3:05 start as a Fox-TV game, has been dropped by Fox; instead, it will start at 6:15 p.m. and will be on WGN.

Cubs lineup:

Johnson CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Baker RF, Soto C, Barney 2B, Valbuena 3B, Dempster P

Diamondbacks lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Check the BCB Twitter feed for the D'backs lineup.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Joe Saunders
Joe Saunders
Diamondbacks
4-3 W-L 4-5
1.99 ERA 3.44
70 SO 53
22 BB 21
6 HR 9
vs. Ari -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Ryan Dempster 4-3 13 13 0 0 0 0 86.0 65 21 19 6 22 70 1.99 1.01


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Joe Saunders 4-5 13 13 1 1 0 0 81.0 91 36 31 9 21 53 3.44 1.38

Ryan Dempster missed the recent series against the Diamondbacks in Arizona; he was on the DL with lat problems. He last faced the D'backs April 28, 2011 in Phoenix. You really don't want to look at that link. (Don't say I didn't warn you.) Current D'backs are hitting .315 (41-for-130) against Dempster, although 15-for-51 of that is Geoff Blum. I can't believe Geoff Blum is still playing. Stephen Drew (5-for-9 with a HR) and Chris Young (6-for-16 with two doubles, a triple and a HR) have hit Dempster best.

Joe Saunders also missed the recent series against the Cubs in Arizona; he was on the DL with shoulder problems. This is his first game back. He last faced the Cubs April 4, 2011 at Wrigley Field, where he threw six decent innings in a Diamondbacks loss to the Cubs. However, his previous start against the Cubs, June 20, 2010 at Wrigley Field while he was with the Angels, was a blowout win for the Cubs. So maybe we're not doomed after all.

Today's game is on WGN.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Diamondbacks site AZ Snakepit.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 12:05 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 1:05, 2:05 and 2:50 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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