The Cubs will find themselves in familiar surroundings this afternoon, as they visit Surprise Stadium for the second consecutive day. This is the second time this spring they've been scheduled like this; last week they visited Camelback Ranch two days in a row. The Cubs, I understand, weren't real happy with the spring schedule this year -- it had them home for four consecutive days at the start of spring training (including the game vs. the Dodgers that got rained out), then had only three other weekend dates the rest of the spring, none on Sunday. This may have something to do with the difficulty of scheduling an odd number of teams (15 now in the Cactus League), which means many more split-squad dates and off days.
Some other Wednesday notes:
- Cubs phenom Starlin Castro turns 20 today. Happy birthday!
- Ted Lilly will start a minor league game on Saturday.
- Xavier Nady will play the outfield in a minor league game on Thursday (that minor league camp will be a busy place). But:
He won't be allowed to attempt throws to bases.Mmmm-kay. That link also says that the Cubs won't likely be making a deal for a veteran reliever before the end of camp.
- In non-Cub news, the Mariners' Cliff Lee, who was suspended for five games for an ugly incident with the Diamondbacks, now has an abdominal strain that may have him not ready for Opening Day. So why doesn't he just drop the appeal of his suspension and serve it?
- Lefty reliever signings (both to minor league deals): Ron Mahay to the Twins and Joe Beimel to the Rockies.
Today's game info after the jump.
Sean Marshall -- who I'd much rather see in the rotation than the bullpen -- gets another shot at it today. He'll face the Rangers' Brandon McCarthy.
Lineup via tweet from Carrie:
RF Fukudome, 2B Fontenot, 1B Lee, DH Millar, CF Byrd, LF Soriano, 3B Tracy, C Soto, SS Blanco
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today. As noted yesterday in Carrie Muskat's blog, you can listen to today and tomorrow's games free via MLB Audio:
Fans can listen to live streaming play-by-play ... through Thursday, free of charge, via cubs.com. Mick Gillespie, voice of the Double-A Tennessee Smokies, will call the action.
To access the webcast, fans need to visit cubs.com and select "Listen to Gameday Audio" from the "Audio and Video" link at the top of the page.
As usual, the first pitch thread will post at 3 pm CDT, and the overflow thread at 4:15 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.