Cubs vs. Angels at Mesa and Cubs vs. Athletics at Phoenix Preview, Monday 3/17, 3:05 CT

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There has been a lot of Cubs baseball the last two days. One more time, they'll split the squads and play two this afternoon.

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- The Cubs still have 53 players in camp. Some other teams, such as the Brewers (35 players remaining) and Nationals (44 players remaining) have made deeper roster cuts than the Cubs have.

This is the last of three straight split-squad days for the Cubs, where they have needed multiple extra players. I would expect that after today (especially with a night game Tuesday), we'll hear about quite a number of roster cuts. It's time to start getting playing time for those who will actually be on the 25-man roster. There still might be a surprise or two, or even a trade or two, before the regular season begins two weeks from today.

Two weeks from today... man, that's pretty soon, isn't it? Is all the snow melted yet?

One more note: Here's a positive review of Cubs Park from Chris Chrisman at our SB Nation Rockies site Purple Row. Oddly, it doesn't seem as if he went to watch his own team play there.

Cubs lineup:

Bonifacio SS, Roberts 2B, Rizzo 1B, Ruggiano CF, Schierholtz RF, Castillo C, Sweeney DH, McDonald LF, Valbuena 3B

Angels lineup:

Romine 2B, Boesch RF, Conger C, Stewart 3B, Tracy DH, Pena 1B, Cowgill CF, Long LF, McDonald SS

Huh. A bunch of ex-Cubs, waiver-wire guys, and minor-leaguers. Pretty much all the Angels regulars are in Tempe facing the Giants. Also, the Angels lineup at Mesa features a player wearing number 00 (Brennan Boesch) and number 0 (Collin Cowgill).

Cubs lineup:

Lake CF, Barney SS, Kalish RF, Valaika 1B, Baez 2B, Villanueva 3B, Vitters DH, Jackson LF, Whiteside C

So let's see. Javier Baez is playing second base... but in an away game that's not being televised. Here's some more info about this lineup:

And if that makes you worry about Mike Olt, don't:

Athletics lineup:

Crisp CF, Jaso C, Reddick RF, Moss 1B, Callaspo 3B, Vogt DH, Punto SS, Fuld LF, Sogard 2B

Edwin Jackson goes for the Cubs in Mesa.

Joe Blanton will go for the Angels.

James McDonald gets the start for the Cubs in Phoenix.

Scott Kazmir will face the Cubs for the A's. Also scheduled: Sean Doolittle, Jim Johnson, Joe Savery and Fernando Abad.

Today's game vs. the Athletics in Phoenix is on the A's website with their announcers.

Today's game vs. the Angels in Mesa is on CSN Chicago with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. In fact, all but three of the remaining spring games are being televised (exceptions: the game vs. the A's today, the night split-squad game vs. the Padres 3/24, and the game vs. the Diamondbacks 3/26).

MLB.com Gameday for Cubs/Angels

MLB.com Gameday for Cubs/Athletics

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's games, that will be 3 p.m. CT and 4:30 p.m. CT (there won't be separate threads for the two games, just use these). 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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