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Cubs vs. Rangers at Surprise Preview, Tuesday 3/18, 9:05 CT

The Cubs play one of two straight night games, both televised.

What is Junior thinking in this photo?
What is Junior thinking in this photo?
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Starlin Castro still has played in just one spring game, injuring himself on an attempted steal. He says he'll be ready for Opening Day:

"I'm getting there," Castro said Monday. "I'm running hard, like 80 percent. [I'm making] good progress, ground balls, hitting light in the cage, too. I think [Tuesday] I can run the bases. Maybe this week, I'll get some at-bats in the Minor League [camp]."

The article says Castro thinks "8 to 10" games would be enough to get him ready for the season. The Cubs have 13 games remaining this spring, so if that's true, we should expect to see him in Cactus League games by Friday or Saturday.

Cubs lineup:

Coghlan 1B, Murphy SS, Kalish CF, Olt DH, Baez 2B, Lopez C, McDonald LF, Jackson RF, Candelario 3B

Javier Baez gets another start at second base. This is a good thing. I suppose that after the three straight split-squad games, that's why most of the regulars are getting the night off. Last time Mike Olt and Baez played together in a Cactus League night game, they sent balls almost into orbit. And in case you were wondering when Olt will play third base:

No Rangers lineup was available at the time I wrote this post, except I do know that Prince Fielder is expected to play for Texas. I'll tweet the lineups when I get to Surprise, probably around 7:30 CT or a bit after.

Jason Hammel starts for the Cubs. Others scheduled: Alberto Cabrera, Armando Rivero and Brian Schlitter.

Alexi Ogando gets the start for Texas. Other Rangers pitchers: Neftali Feliz, Jason Frasor, Neal Cotts and Joakim Soria.

Neal Cotts, wow. Five years after he washed out as a Cub due to injuries, he was one of the Rangers' best relievers in 2013.

Today's game is on with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie. It will be televised live on MLB Network via FSN Southwest (available on MLBN in the Chicago area), and you can also watch online if you have a MLB.TV subscription. Gameday

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today.

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's game, that will be 9 p.m. CT and 10:30 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.