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Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers Preview, Saturday 4/9, 6:10 CT: Roster Follies

who can it be now?
James Russell is scheduled to start Tuesday, but should the Cubs call up someone else instead? (Yes, I know he has Spock ears. Credit my poor Photoshop skills. Photo illustration by Al Yellon)

So let me get this straight.

The Cubs placed two pitchers on the disabled list yesterday. The Cubs recalled one pitcher from Triple-A; Casey Coleman has been recalled effective today and will start tomorrow against the Brewers. And here's the plan after that:

Manager Mike Quade confirmed Friday that left-hander James Russell will get his first major league start Tuesday night in Houston, replacing the injured Andrew Cashner.

Russell was to be available in the bullpen Friday and Saturday in Milwaukee, and likely won't pitch more than four innings innings in his start against the Astros.

"I ask him to give me 45 of his best pitches," Quade said. "Turn the lineup over once, give me nine outs. … I don't want him trying to pace himself. So whether we run a tandem behind him, or use some of equal length behind him … if we wind up with a real rested bullpen on Tuesday, that gives us some options."

So, essentially, the Cubs are going to play Tuesday's game like a spring training game, with a pitcher who isn't stretched out and who hasn't started a game since 2009 at Iowa (and who wasn't very good as a starter there). Why not call up Chris Carpenter and see what he can do? How many times have we seen guys like that come up and pitch against the Cubs and go lights-out?

Oh, yes. There's a game tonight. Preview after the jump, but first, tonight's lineups.

Cubs lineup; Reed Johnson gets his first start of 2011 tonight:

Baker 2B, Castro SS, Byrd CF, Ramirez 3B, Soto C, Pena 1B, Soriano LF, Johnson RF, Garza P

Brewers lineup:

Weeks 2B, Morgan CF, Braun LF, Fielder 1B, McGehee 3B, Betancourt SS, Kotsay RF, Nieves C, Narveson P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Matt Garza
Matt Garza
vs. Chris Narveson
Chris Narveson
0-0 W-L 0-0
0.00 ERA 0.00
12 SO 5
0 BB 3
0 HR 0
vs. Mil -- vs. Cubs

Matt Garza has never faced the Brewers. The only Brewer who has more than a handful of AB against him is former AL player Yuniesky Betancourt, who is 5-for-15 (.333) against him.

Chris Narveson threw six shutout innings against the Braves in his first start of the season on April 4, but wound up with a no-decision after Takashi Saito gave up a pair of solo homers in the eighth inning. His last start against the Cubs was on August 3, 2010; he gave up only one run in 5.2 innings, but that was in the Cubs' low period in between the time Lou Piniella announced he was going to retire and when he actually did retire -- the last of a seven-game losing streak.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Wisconsin, and has national coverage via MLB Network. Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball. The usual caution is advised.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 6 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 7 pm, 8 pm and 8:45 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to rain delays or extra innings, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.