SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- The Cubs will ease their way back into daytime play by playing a night game tonight, then a late-afternoon contest (4:05 Arizona time) tomorrow, then back to day games Friday.
Tonight's lineup features no Javier Baez, no Jorge Soler and no Anthony Rizzo, all of whom are being spared the rush-hour drive to Peoria.
Fowler CF, Coghlan LF, Montero C, Castro SS, Sweeney RF, La Stella 3B, Olt 1B, Wood P, Alcantara 2B
However, Starlin Castro returns to the lineup and Ryan Sweeney, likely on the bubble to make the 25-man roster, gets a rare spring start. Also, Joe Maddon hits his pitcher eighth again. And Kris Bryant is on the list of reserves, so we might get to see him launch a pitch or two into the Arizona night. More Kris Bryant news:
Maddon says he plans to get Bryant in Thursday's game in LF.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) March 25, 2015
It will be the first time Bryant has played the outfield since he was drafted by the Cubs. And, there's news, or not-news, about Baez:
Maddon says despite a published report no one has told Javy Baez he has made the team yet— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) March 25, 2015
Weeks DH, Jackson CF, Cano 2B, Cruz RF, Seager 3B, Ruggiano LF, Morrison 1B, Zunino C, Miller SS
On the other hand, most of the Mariners' Opening Day lineup is on the field tonight. Former Cub Justin Ruggiano, who should see some time in Seattle's outfield against lefthanders, gets the start tonight.
Travis Wood starts for the Cubs tonight. Other Cubs pitchers on the schedule for this game: Phil Coke, Hector Rondon, Jorge De Leon, Gonzalez Germen, Pedro Strop and Felix Doubront (not necessarily in that order).
Taijuan Walker goes for the Mariners. Danny Farquhar and Charlie Furbush are also scheduled to throw for Seattle.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. It's also on cubs.com with Mick Gillispie.
Here is the complete MLB.com 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 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.