SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- As I have often written, wins and losses in spring training are virtually meaningless. Games aren't really played "to win" -- teams substitute players and pitchers for the purpose of analysis, not necessarily winning, and spring-training records have almost no bearing on regular-season records. (Although: the Royals, who had the best record of anyone in 2013 spring action -- 25-7 -- did build on that to have their first winning year in a decade.)
Nevertheless, winning is fun, certainly for the fans, and for players as well. The Cubs go for their third straight victory this afternoon against the Rockies in Mesa.
Yesterday, incidentally, was the 100th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the construction of Weeghman Park, what we now know as Wrigley Field. No rooftop owners complained, and the whole thing was completed in seven weeks.
What a concept.
Of interest if you are going to this game, or if you're going to be at any games in Mesa this spring: here's a calendar of the locations for all the food trucks in the Phoenix area. The link includes a list of all the trucks that will be at Cubs Park for each game. The location is behind the right-field berm, and there are picnic tables set up around the trucks. I'm going to check this out today and let you know what it's all about.
Kalish LF, Valbuena 3B, Lake CF, Roberts 1B, Baez SS, Kottaras C, Jackson RF, Valaika 2B, McDonald DH
Well, let's see... that's two regulars or semi-regulars (Luis Valbuena and Junior Lake). But there's more Javier Baez! That's a good thing. It's the first spring-training start for Ryan Kalish, and the team is looking at Chris Valaika at yet another position.
Blackmon CF, Cuddyer RF, Gonzalez LF, Tulowitzki SS, Paulsen 1B, McKenry C, Wheeler 3B, Garneau DH, LeMahieu 2B
Ex-Cub DJ LeMahieu has a pretty good chance to be the Rockies' starting second baseman this year.
Jeff Samardzija and Chris Rusin will both pitch in this game. Shark will start, Rusin will follow, and after that, it'll be Pedro Strop, Jose Veras and Armando Rivero (not necessarily in that order).
Tyler Chatwood starts for the Rockies.
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's game, 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.