MESA, Arizona -- The inaugural spring-training game at Cubs Park, the awesome new Cubs facility, will be tomorrow, Thursday, February 27 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It will start at 2 p.m. CT and be televised on WGN-TV.
But that won't be the first baseball game played at Cubs Park. That event will happen this afternoon, in about half an hour, when two squads of Cubs will face each other. Thus, this game thread!
I'm particularly interested in this game because Kyle Hendricks will be one of the starting pitchers; the other is Eric Jokisch. Both will likely start the 2014 season in the Triple-A Iowa rotation. The game will go six innings. Maybe they can even get that number of innings complete in less than two hours!
Here are the lineups. Most of the regulars will get at least some playing time today.
"Visitors": Valbuena 3B, Lake CF, Castro SS, Schierholtz RF, Roberts DH, McDonald LF, Valaika 1B, Barney 2B, Baker C
"Home": Bonifacio 2B, Ruggiano RF, Rizzo 1B, Sweeney CF, Castillo DH, Murphy 3B, Baez SS, Kottaras C, Coghlan CF
Tsuyoshi Wada, Arodys Vizcaino and Brian Schlitter will be the pitchers for "Visitors" after Jokisch. Jokisch and Wada should be throwing two innings, the others one each.
For "Home", after Hendricks throws two innings, Neil Ramirez, Armando Rivero, Marcus Hatley and Chang-yong Lim will get an inning each, not necessarily in that order.
Position player substitutes for "Visitors" are Watkins, Lopez, Jackson, Vitters, Valdez, Cunningham, Olt, Szczur and Flores.
Position player substitutes for "Home" are Maier, Kalish, Alcantara, Bryant, Almora, Soler, Wells, Whiteside and Remillard.
* Luis Flores and Will Remillard are listed on the roster as "minor-league catchers who will assist at times in big-league camp."
I'm at this game and will live-tweet play-by-play -- not every pitch, but the result of every play, so you can follow along in this game thread. I'm planning on sitting in the stands, rather than my usual lawn spot, to get a different perspective. I'll post a recap (and perhaps photos and video) when I return.
Enjoy the first, albeit "unofficial," game thread of 2014. The game is expected to get underway about 30 minutes after this thread posts, starting about 2 p.m. CT.
And one last thing we can absolutely be guaranteed of in this game: the Cubs will win!