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Cubs Announce Pitchers Through Tuesday, Sunday WBC Games and Cubs vs. Rangers at Mesa, Sunday 3/8, 3:05 CDT

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Today's Cubs game, an hour later for those parts of the USA and Canada that have switched to DST, will be carried on MLB Audio via KRLD, the Rangers' flagship radio station. Sean Marshall will face Matt Harrison. More on the Cubs' scheduled pitchers below.

There are also four WBC games today, two on the MLB Network and two on ESPN. You can also follow them on Gameday -- these appear, from looking at yesterday's Netherlands/Dominican Republic Gameday -- to be full-featured, pitch-by-pitch Gameday pages, so if you're not near a television, you can still follow the games. More on the WBC: in Venezuela's 7-0 win over Italy last night, Cubs minor leaguer Alessandro Maestri entered in relief in the fifth inning, stranded two runners and then threw a full scoreless inning in the sixth (although, he threw only 11 strikes out of 27 pitches). Gameday for South Africa/Cuba (1 pm CDT, ESPN) Gameday for Panama/Dominican Republic (3:30 pm CDT, ESPN) Gameday for USA/Venezuela (7 pm CDT, ESPN) Gameday for Australia/Mexico (8 pm CDT, MLB Network)

Rick Morrissey, proving once again how out of touch he is, says Americans don't care about the WBC. Guess he wasn't around here yesterday. Incidentally, be careful if you click on that link. The Tribune's website is -- well, I have no idea what they put there, but it loads slowly and occasionally crashes my browser, no matter which one I'm using or what computer I'm on. No wonder newspapers are in trouble. If you dare click through, you can also check out Paul Sullivan's profile of Reed Johnson, in which he reveals that Reed has been training hard this offseason:

Johnson, 32, shed 14 pounds in the off-season, training in his hometown of Las Vegas with San Francisco outfielder Aaron Rowand and professional BMX rider T.J. Lavin.

More Cubs notes: Z wants to start Opening Day and he's opted to NOT have LASIK eye surgery. The Cubs are going to double up on starting pitchers the next two days, because of the off day on Wednesday:

The Cubs plan to load up their starting pitching candidates Monday and Tuesday ahead of the first day off on the schedule, with Chad Gaudin and Jeff Samardzija pitching Monday [against the Royals at Mesa] and Rich Harden (two innings), [Ryan] Dempster (three) and Aaron Heilman (three) scheduled Tuesday [against the Mariners at Peoria].

Gordon Wittenmyer has a nice profile of Cubs trainer Mark O'Neal in today's Sun-Times.

Other baseball notes: The Sun-Times' Dave Hoekstra visited the Mesa Historical Museum, where there is a new exhibit on the history of the Cactus League. Sounds interesting if you are out there. And, buried in this story about Manny Ramirez' possible spring debut date (Thursday) is this note about who the Dodgers will be playing:

Later [Friday], manager Joe Torre revealed Ramirez is tentatively scheduled to play Thursday in his first exhibition game of the spring, when the Dodgers play the World Baseball Classic Asian bracket's second-place team.

"His position in the game of baseball, he's not taking it for granted," Torre said. "It's a good message for the young players."

The Dodgers will be facing either Korea or China, and with Ramirez possibly in the lineup, there should be a large media contingent present.

The Cubs are also scheduled to face a WBC team that day -- and since only two Pool A (Asia) teams are coming to the USA to play in the second round in San Diego, that team has to be Japan, which won Pool A. So on Thursday, you'll see Kosuke Fukudome (among others) playing against the Cubs in Mesa.

The rest of today's games can be found at today's Mediacenter. Gameday for Cubs/Rangers

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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