Cubs vs. Giants Preview, Saturday 3/2, 2:05 CT

Norm Hall

The Cubs will face the World Champions Saturday. A familiar face gets yet another chance... with an unusual twist. And a fan caught a bat thrown into the stands Friday -- on the fly (above). Sign him up!

SOMEWHERE IN NEW MEXICO -- Still on the road heading toward Arizona -- might even be fairly close to the NM/AZ line by now -- and the Cubs will be taking on the defending World Champions in Scottsdale soon. This game has the possibility of being the first the Cubs will play this spring in front of a sellout crowd, because the Giants always draw well, it's a weekend, and the weather's supposed to be spectacular.

One Cub-related story that I didn't have a chance to weigh in on -- and I know it was fanshotted Friday -- was the signing of Mark Prior to a minor-league deal by the Cincinnati Reds.

Wow. Just wow. The mind simply boggles at the possibility of Prior reunitedwith Dusty Baker. I wrote over the winter that I thought the Cubs should have tried this -- after all, if Dontrelle Willis, why not Prior? -- and I do wish him luck with his comeback. He has not pitched in the major leagues in almost seven years. There are very, very few players who can come back and be effective big-league players after that long a layoff. I hope he makes it. Though he's on a minor-league deal, it would not surprise me if the Reds threw him in a game against the Cubs, just because. The teams will play Friday, March 8 at Goodyear and Tuesday, March 26 at Mesa.

You should read this prospect retrospective about Prior written by SB Nation's John Sickels at Minor League Ball. It's a very good summary of Prior's career.

As was the case yesterday, please check Twitter for today's lineups. If I have the chance to tweet the Cubs lineup while at a rest stop or stopping for gas, I will -- check the BCB Twitter feed.

Carlos Villanueva takes the mound for his second outing of the spring, hoping for a better one than the first time. He'll face the Giants' Tim Lincecum.

MLB.com Gameday

Today's game is on WGN radio with Len Kasper (filling in once again for Pat Hughes) and Keith Moreland. Having listened to Len on the webcasts, I'll say right here that I think he does a really nice job on radio PBP, which is quite different from TV PBP. If you live in the Bay Area, it's on KNBR, and also available on MLB Audio and the MLB At Bat app.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

For spring-training games, we'll have a first-pitch thread at game time and one overflow thread, 90 minutes after game time (because I know how you all like overflow threads!). For today, that will be 2 p.m. CT and 3:30 p.m. CT. These threads will not post individually onto the front page; instead, you can find links to them in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page. They will also appear in this StoryStream™. The pitcher box and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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