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Cubs vs. Royals at Mesa Preview, Tuesday 3/17, 3:05 CT

The Cubs face the Royals for the first time this spring.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- I used to make fun of the Royals when the Cubs played them because they were so bad. The first year KC was in Arizona for spring training was 2003; they had an unusual good year that year, but from 2004-12 they lost 104, 106, 100, 93, 87, 97, 95, 91 and 90 games -- an average of 96 losses per year over that nine-season period.

Beyond that, between 1992 and 2013 the Royals had two winning seasons and before last year they hadn't made the playoffs in 29 years.

No longer. The Royals are a good team, though as I noted in the Know Your Enemy article about them earlier today, they might have a tough time repeating their playoff run of 2014.

It'll be interesting to have a look at them from that different perspective this afternoon.

Cubs lineup:

 Fowler CF, Denorfia DH, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Montero C, Lake RF, Baez 2B, Olt 3B, Szczur LF

Kris Bryant is supposed to be able to be back at third base by Thursday.

Royals lineup:

Escobar SS, Rios RF, Cain CF, Hosmer 1B, Perez C, Moustakas 3B, Infante DH, Dyson LF, Jackson 2B

Jason Hammel goes for the Cubs this afternoon. Among others on the Cubs list today: Anthony Carter, Brian Schlitter, Francisley Bueno, Phil Coke and Gonzalez Germen.

Danny Duffy gets the start for the Royals. Other KC pitchers scheduled today: Wade Davis, Brandon Finnegan, Louis Coleman, Brian Broderick, Michael Mariot and Jandel Gustave.

Today's game is on with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie. Gameday

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today.

Please note that during spring training, Gameday doesn't usually go pitch-by-pitch as it does during the regular season -- usually, it will update after each at-bat.

For spring-training games, we'll have a first-pitch thread at five minutes to 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 3:05 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.