SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Weather permitting (how many times have you heard that phrase Saturday morning?), the Cubs will play two games today, at Mesa against the Giants this afternoon, tonight against the Diamondbacks at Talking Stick. Since you are reading this post, the game(s) are still on as of posting time.
Here's an article by Jesse Rogers about Travis Wood, who is making his spring debut today:
"Confidence" is a word that comes up often with Wood. It can be a fragile thing for baseball players, but once they realize they can play the game and have success in the major leagues, there's no telling what that confidence can do. "This game is a lot about it," Wood said. "If you believe in yourself and know you can do it, things can kind of fall into place. It's also easy to lose it. You fall into a slump or have a few rough innings, you have to find a way to get that confidence back." It's one thing Bosio and Wood have worked on since teaming up in 2012: Maintaining that confidence through tough times. Wood says they've been on the "same page" since day one. "He's not arrogant," Bosio said. "He's not cocky, but he means business when he gets out there. We like to dictate the tempo, and Woody does that."
This is, I think, what people mean when they say a pitcher has "mound presence." Wood has that. He goes out there every start with a plan, and you can almost feel that confidence when he executes that plan. Obviously, two innings today isn't going to tell us much, but we'll hope to see two solid innings, anyway.
If all goes as planned, I'll write a recap of this game as part of the preview for the night game, which will post at 7 p.m. CT, about an hour before game time at Talking Stick.
Alcantara 2B, Valbuena 3B, Rizzo 1B, Ruggiano CF, Castillo C, Valaika SS, Kottaras DH, McDonald LF, Cunningham RF
Blanco CF, Perez LF, Belt 1B, Morse DH, Sanchez C, Arias 3B, Crawford SS, Kieschnick RF, Adrianza 2B
"Kieschnick" isn't ex-Cub Brooks Kieschnick trying to make a comeback (he's 41). This "Kieschnick" is Roger Kieschnick, trying to make the Giants as a backup outfielder. The two are third cousins.
As noted above, Travis Wood will make his first spring start this afternoon against the Giants' Matt Cain.
Today's game is on cubs.com with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie.
For spring-training games, we'll have a first-pitch thread at game time and one overflow thread, 90 minutes after game time (because I know how you all like overflow threads!). For today, that will be 2 p.m. CT and 3:30 p.m. CT. These threads will not post individually onto the front page; instead, you can find links to them in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page. They will also appear in this StoryStream™. The pitcher box and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.
Discuss amongst yourselves.