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More Split-Squad Fun: Cubs vs. Reds at Mesa, 2:05 CT and Cubs vs. White Sox at Las Vegas, 3:05 CT

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The Cubs really like what they've seen in Tyler Colvin:

Colvin is playing his way into the conversation for a backup outfield spot. His ability to play all three spots and Xavier Nady's cautious rehab schedule with his throwing elbow could play into Colvin's favor. Colvin is hitting 10-for-18 (.556), including five extra-base hits.

"He's vastly, vastly improved with the bat from what we saw last September. That was the end of the minor-league season, and he was probably a little tired. He put on some weight, some muscle, and it's really shown in his bat speed." -- [Lou] Piniella on Colvin

With Colvin, Nady, Sam Fuld, Chad Tracy and Kevin Millar all going for two spots, the Cubs will have some choices to make.

One other interesting article link today: you've probably seen the proliferation of broken bats the last few years as players have switched to lighter maple bats. After Rays pitcher David Price suffered a minor injury from one recently, Rays manager Joe Maddon had this to say:

"Some day somebody is going to get killed or impaled," Maddon said. "David was fortunate today."

Let's hope they do something before that happens.

Ryan Dempster will start the game in Las Vegas; he'll face the White Sox' Lucas Harrell (yeah, I know: who?). Here's a complete list of the Cubs who made the trip to Vegas. Sean Marshall will start for the Cubs in Mesa; for the Reds, it will be righthander Homer Bailey. I did not know until I looked up Bailey's record here that his actual first name isn't "Homer", it's "David". Micah Owings is also scheduled to see some action for Cincinnati this afternoon.

Here's the broadcast info for the games today: Cubs/Reds will be on WLW from Cincinnati, if you can stand listening to the Brennamans (ugh). Cubs/White Sox will be on Chicago radio (WSCR) and TV (CSN), both with White Sox announcers. Here's the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday for Cubs/Reds

MLB.com Gameday for Cubs/White Sox

SB Nation game preview for Cubs/Reds

SB Nation game preview for Cubs/White Sox

The game threads will work as follows: first pitch thread will be up at 2 pm CST -- that can serve as "first pitch" for both games even though the second one doesn't start till an hour later. A first overflow will post at 3:15 pm CST and a second overflow, that should cover till the end of the Vegas game, at 4:45 pm CST.

Discuss amongst yourselves.