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Chicago Cubs vs. Seattle Mariners, Mesa, Arizona, Thursday 3/8, 2:05 CT: Koyie Hill's Replacement

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Write your own caption. Credit: Allan Henry-US PRESSWIRE
Write your own caption. Credit: Allan Henry-US PRESSWIRE

Koyie Hill has left the building, and when last seen yesterday for the Cardinals he was hitting into a double play and then committing an error that helped the Nationals tie up this game in the ninth inning.

Enjoy him, Cardinals fans.

Anyway, despite the presence of several catchers in camp, the battle for backup behind Geovany Soto has already dwindled to two: rookies Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger:

"It's going to be a tough call for that at the end of spring," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Wednesday. "They're both doing a great job, they both have things they can contribute. It's one of those things -- who knows what will happen at the end? They've both been working as hard as anybody in camp. They're receiving tremendous, calling games, both can swing the bat a little bit. It'll be an interesting call at the end of this month."

Jason Jaramillo was in camp as a non-roster invitee, but has been unable to play because of soreness in his quadriceps.

Clevenger might have the better bat than Castillo; Castillo is hitting well this spring, but he did last spring, too. Clevenger hits lefthanded, but that's what got the Cubs in trouble with Hill. Hill is a switch-hitter who couldn't hit from either side. Meanwhile, Henry Blanco, who the Cubs dumped to make room for Hill, is still going for the Diamondbacks four years later.

Whoever is chosen will have to be ready to start 30-35 games, so he'll have to be good both offensively and defensively. Today is Castillo's turn.

Chris Volstad makes his Cubs debut today. He will be followed (not necessarily in this order) by Kerry Wood, Carlos Marmol, Dae-Eun Rhee and Lendy Castillo.

For the Mariners, it's Kevin Millwood. Other Mariners expected to pitch are Tom Wilhelmsen, Shawn Kelley, Forrest Snow and Philippe Valiquette.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus RF, Byrd CF, Castro SS, Stewart 3B, Soriano LF, Rizzo 1B, Baker 2B, Johnson DH, Castillo C

Mariners lineup:

Ackley 2B, Saunders CF, Montero DH, Smoak 1B, Seager 3B, Olivo C, Peguero RF, Wells LF, Kawasaki SS

Once again, no TV today. Here is the MLB.com Mediacenter for today. Today's game is via cubs.com with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie.

MLB.com Gameday

Note that for spring training gameday links, you probably will not get pitch-by-pitch as during the regular season; these are unofficial links. Each play will be posted, but might not be updated until after each half-inning.

There will be one overflow thread, which will post at 3:30 pm CT. The "Recent Stories in Game Threads" box on the sidebar is where you'll find it.

Please visit our SB Nation Mariners site Lookout Landing.

Discuss amongst yourselves.