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Cubs Under The Lights: Cubs vs. Diamondbacks at Phoenix Preview, Friday 4/2, 8:40 CT

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It's a beautiful afternoon in Phoenix -- temperatures in the low 70's (yes, I know it was in the 80's in Chicago again today), so of course the Cubs will play a night game, likely with the roof closed, at Chase Field. This ballpark has not been friendly to the Cubs. Overall, since the Diamondbacks came into the NL in 1998, the Cubs are 15-29 in regular season games there, and 0-2 in the postseason. They have had only two winning seasons in Phoenix -- 4-2 in 1998, and 2-1 in 2003, both Cubs playoff years.

Time to set a tone for the future by winning tonight and tomorrow. After tomorrow, the Cubs' next appearance in Phoenix will be July 5, 6 and 7.

Notes:

  • The Cubs' average spring attendance of 10,892 (which does not include the one Las Vegas game where they were the "home" team) is the highest spring average in the majors this year. Meanwhile, the overall average for all Cactus League teams was up 5% over last year.
  • The Cubs still technically have 27 players in camp. The active roster lists 25 players, but does not include Chad Tracy and James Russell, who have made the team. Both Tracy and Russell were non-roster invitees; they will have to be added to the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 37. Tracy and Russell will replace the two players, on the "active" roster link above, Ted Lilly and Angel Guzman, who will go on the DL (probably Sunday). Lilly will be placed on the 15-day DL; Guzman (likely) on the 60-day DL. Since players on the 60-day DL do not count against the 40-man roster limit, the 40-man will stand at 38 as the season begins.
  • Some of you have wondered here, about what kind of money minor leaguers make. Here's an excellent article from Baseball America that gives the details.

Ryan Dempster (and "most" of the bullpen) will face Rodrigo Lopez in tonight's game.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today. The game is on radio and TV, but with D'backs announcers: Fox Sports Arizona and KTAR radio.

MLB.com Gameday

SB Nation game preview

Tonight, the first pitch thread will post at 8:30 pm CDT, and the overflow thread at 10 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.