Cubs vs. Royals at Surprise Preview, Wednesday 3/27, 8:05 CT

Al Yellon

Back-to-back night games in spring training... a highly unusual occurrence.

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Two night games in a row? Can't remember the last time that happened in Cubs spring training, if ever. You won't have to stay up quite as late tonight to hear the end of this one, as it starts an hour earlier. Plus, since Carlos Marmol ruined yesterday's ninth inning and helped it run about 40 minutes, he won't be appearing in tonight's affair.

I contributed to a SB Nation roundtable on the NL Central; you can read my comments and those of our other NL Central writers at that link.

If you are in the Phoenix area, I will be appearing in a piece on the last Cubs day at HoHoKam Park on the local NBC affiliate (channel 12)'s morning show. I'm told it will be appearing sometime between 6 and 7 a.m. Thursday. I'll post a link to the piece online Thursday morning if one is available.

The Cubs claimed Guillermo Moscoso on waivers from the Blue Jays and say he's in the mix for the final bullpen spot. The question is, "Why?" Moscoso was pretty bad for Colorado last year, though he was better -- as a starter -- for the A's in 2011. He's had a terrible spring -- 12.86 ERA, 2.571 WHIP, four HR allowed in seven innings -- for Toronto. The Cubs think this guy is better than Zach Putnam? Oooooookay. Moscoso was so bad this spring that he was waived by the Royals 11 days ago. Now he gets to make a trip back to Arizona. For two days.

Arodys Vizcaino was placed on the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster. Expect more 60-day placements later.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus CF, Clevenger 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano DH, Hairston RF, Navarro C, Lillibridge SS, Barney 2B, Sappelt LF 

ICYMI, Starlin Castro is not in the lineup tonight; he and his girlfriend are expecting their first child. He's off to NYC to be with her, then will join the club in Houston Friday.

Royals lineup:

Gordon LF, Getz 2B, Butler DH, Moustakas 3B, Perez C, Hosmer 1B, Cain CF, Francoeur RF, Johnson SS

That's pretty much the entire Royals Opening Day lineup, except for Elliot Johnson at shortstop. This is a split squad of Royals, too; clearly, they saved their regulars for their home game.

Tonight, Scott Feldman faces the Royals' James Shields. Shields will be the Opening Day starter for his team. Feldman won't. Other Cubs on tonight's list: Hector Rondon, Michael Bowden, Cory Wade and Zach Putnam. For the Royals: Aaron Crow, Tim Collins and Kelvin Herrera.

MLB.com Gameday

Tonight's game is on WGN radio.

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 8 p.m. CT and 9:30 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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