SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Mike Olt is in today's lineup, again batting fourth. Personally, I think he should be right there six days from now in Pittsburgh. Will that happen? Here's an article from CSN Chicago's Patrick Mooney on the subject. The Cubs and manager Rick Renteria are being noncommital on who'll play third base Opening Day:
"I’m not willing to tell you," Renteria said before Monday’s 7-1 loss to the San Diego Padres at Cubs Park. "We’ll just let it keep playing itself out."
I'm hoping Olt has another couple of big games and makes it impossible for the brass to send him down. Mooney's conclusion:
Cubs executives could figure it’s better for Olt to work through these issues in Des Moines, instead of inside the Wrigley Field fishbowl with 40,000 fans watching, the television cameras rolling and the Chicago media circling.
40,000? Well.... Anyway, this appears to be Mooney's speculation rather than anything that's been decided.
Also, this afternoon's game, televised on CSN Chicago, will be another replay-review test game. Perhaps Renteria will actually use the tool at his disposal today, if there's a close play.
Lake CF, Valbuena 2B, Schierholtz RF, Olt 3B, Ruggiano LF, Vogelbach 1B, Barney SS, Whiteside C, Almora DH
There are minor-leaguers and NRI's in this game because of the split squad today, the final one of the spring.
Calhoun RF, Trout CF, Pujols 1B, Freese 3B, Hamilton LF, Iannetta C, Ibanez DH, Green 2B, Aybar SS
Unlike the Angels' last visit to Mesa, most of their regulars are playing today, including Mike Trout. Both teams are using the DH, because... well, what's the point of giving at-bats to Tsuyoshi Wada?
Speaking of Wada, who was released Sunday by the Cubs and signed Monday to a minor-league deal: He gets the start. He has not had a good spring, but maybe some time at Iowa will help him. Others scheduled: James Russell, Alberto Cabrera, Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Jose Veras.
Brandon Lyon gets the start for the Angels.
Today's game is on cubs.com with Mick Gillispie. It will be televised live on CSN Chicago with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies, and you can also watch online if you have a MLB.TV subscription.
Here is the complete MLB.com 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 3 p.m. CT and 4:30 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.