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Cubs vs. Diamondbacks Preview, Wednesday 7/24, 8:40 CT: DeJesus Activated, Sappelt Optioned

This is about the most anonymous game of the year, the third of a four-game series. Nothing really special to distinguish it from the 161 others. Got any ideas to spice it up?

Christian Petersen

The optioning of Dave Sappelt to Iowa upon the activating of David DeJesus from the disabled list should come as a surprise to no one; Sappelt just... well, he just isn't. He was a pretty good base stealer in the minor leagues through 2009... but since then, has just 21 steals in the minors in 259 games, and just four in 95 big-league games. He doesn't hit for much power, doesn't hit for a high average, doesn't draw a lot of walks and his defensive abilities appear to be just average.

So what's to like? Not much, and he wasn't hitting at Iowa either this year (.269/.311/.398, .709 OPS, after hitting .266/.314/.376, .690 OPS, there in 2012, almost exactly the same). He'll be 27 in January, and really doesn't fill any role (he's not particularly fast any more, so even pinch-runner isn't great for him). I could see him being DFAd, actually, if Theo and Jed need the roster spot.

Junior Lake is playing left field today with DeJesus in center and Nate Schierholtz in right. Don't think that Alfonso Soriano not playing means anything, because:

Now, you can choose to believe that or not -- who knows for sure? Maybe there's a trade looming. Or maybe not. Stay tuned.

Lake could fill in at the other two OF positions as well -- look for him to start in CF tomorrow when lefty Wade Miley goes for Arizona.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus CF, Lake LF, Rizzo 1B, Schierholtz RF, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Barney 2B, Castillo C, Samardzija P

Again, Soriano is just getting the day off. (Yes, I believe that.) I chose the photo for this post long before I knew he was going to sit tonight.

Diamondbacks lineup:

Eaton CF, Parra RF, Goldschmidt 1B, Chavez 3B, Prado 2B, Kubel LF, Nieves C, Gregorius SS, Kennedy P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija


vs. Ian Kennedy

Ian Kennedy


vs. Ari


vs. Cubs

2013 - Jeff Samardzija 6-9 20 20 1 1 0 0 131.1 121 62 57 15 47 134 3.91 1.28

2013 - Ian Kennedy 3-7 20 19 0 0 0 0 114.0 116 70 67 16 43 94 5.29 1.39

This game is a pitching rematch of the game June 1 at Wrigley Field. Shark pitched all right, but then the bullpen... well, trust me, you really don't want to look. Since that game, Shark has a 5.33 ERA in eight starts, though most of that was getting pounded by the Angels at Wrigley. He righted the ship in his first start after the break. Kennedy has been even worse: a 6.11 ERA in eight starts since that Wrigley outing, although he too had a decent outing in his first start after the break.

In short, who knows?

Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (check local listings for the channel on your system).

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Diamondbacks site AZ Snakepit.

Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes, and for this late-night series in Arizona, two and a half hours.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.