The Cubs are now set with their 25-man roster to open the season, so the next two Cactus League games and the two at Chase Field vs. the Diamondbacks this weekend are just tuneups. Incidentally for those who think the Cubs farm system is not productive, Bruce Miles points out that 11 of the 25 are products of the Cub organization.
So, here are a few miscellaneous Cubs and baseball notes before today's split-squad games.
- The game today vs. the Brewers at Maryvale will feature mostly Cubs from the minor league camp.
- After another warm (though very windy) day today, there's a pretty good chance that tomorrow's game vs. the Rockies may be rained out.
- The Reds' Aroldis Chapman will be heading to the minor leagues to start the season.
- But Dontrelle Willis is going to be the Tigers' #3 starter. (Seriously?)
- The Rangers' Ian Kinsler, nursing a sprained ankle, is probably going to start the season on the DL. Which means the Rangers' opening day 2B will be... Andres Blanco.
- Ted Lilly is pledging money to Ryan Dempster's foundation based on his performance this year:
Lilly is donating $10 for every strikeout and $1,000 for every win this season to the Ryan and Jenny Dempster Family Foundation.
- Sad story about former major league pitcher Juan Acevedo, who is now in jail in suburban Chicago. Acevedo is the guy who gave up the game-winning homer to Eric Karros in a game in which Roger Clemens faced Kerry Wood at Wrigley Field on June 7, 2003. Three days later in a Steinbrennerian fit of pique, the Yankees released him.
Carlos Zambrano makes his final spring start today at Mesa vs. the Angels' Jered Weaver. Don't expect Z to go more than four innings. Meanwhile, an assortment of Cubs minor league pitchers will face the Brewers' Yovani Gallardo at Maryvale.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today. The Maryvale game will be on MLB Audio with MLB.com announcers -- don't know exactly who at this writing. The Mesa game vs. the Angels will also be on MLB Audio via KLAA (the Angels flagship).
As usual, the first pitch thread will post at 3 pm CDT, and the overflow thread at 4:15 pm CDT. With two games going, if you need another one, post as a FanShot.
Discuss amongst yourselves.