Years ago, when there were six or eight teams in the Cactus League, you'd see every team four, five, six times. Now, with 15 teams training in Arizona, you maybe get to play each club twice.
Such is the case today; it's the Cubs' only visit to Scottsdale Stadium and a large crowd is expected. And, it may be the warmest day of the spring season so far, 86 degrees, with possible gusty winds.
Bruce Miles reports that Lou hasn't been keeping track of Tyler Colvin's complete lack of walks this spring:
"He hasn't walked?" Lou asked. "I didn't realize that. He hasn't swung and missed that much. One thing that people don't realize about walks is if you don't swing and miss much and you're putting the ball in play, it makes it a lot harder to get walks. If he continues to hit and the scouts start going over the fact that, 'Hey, this young man is swinging the bat; let's be a little careful,' the walks will start coming. Right now, they're just pitching to him."
It's not quite that simple, Lou. Somehow, Colvin has to develop some plate discipline, because many of the pitchers who have been allowing him to "swing the bat" this spring won't be in the major leagues during the season. This is something that I hope Rudy Jaramillo will work with Colvin to produce positive results.
Attendance note: yesterday's crowd of 10,318 -- lower, said some, because local kids were back in school this week -- brought the Cubs' spring total to 134,781, an average of 11,232. That's about 5% lower than the same number of dates in 2008.
The Giants, for their part, are still wearing spring training game jerseys that are black with orange numbers -- a very difficult color combination to read at a distance. White with orange trim, or orange with white trim, would be better. Even the Giants broadcasters -- who do need to figure out who's playing -- complained about them, but the team refused to change.
Tom Gorzelanny will start for the Cubs today, his final spring start. He'll face ex-Cub Todd Wellemeyer, who is trying to nail down the fifth spot in the rotation for the Giants.
Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez return to the lineup today. Full lineup via tweet from Carrie:
SS Theriot, RF Colvin, 1B Lee, 3B Ramirez, CF Byrd, LF Soriano, 2B Fontenot, C Hill, P Gorzelanny
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today. The game will be on MLB Audio with MLB.com announcers -- don't know exactly who at this writing.
As usual, the first pitch thread will post at 3 pm CDT, and the overflow thread at 4:15 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.