SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Much of what would ordinarily be in this game preview is covered in the Jon Lester post that went up a couple of hours ago.
So I'm going to use this space to give you the following information that I received in a MLB press release this afternoon:
Major League Baseball today announced Chicago-born, award-winning rock band Fall Out Boy will headline MLB Opening Night’s first-ever live musical performance as part of the pre-game festivities at Wrigley Field on Sunday, April 5. Fall Out Boy will perform three songs live on-field for fans before the Chicago Cubs host the St. Louis Cardinals in the first official game of the 2015 MLB season. The band’s platinum hit – "Centuries" – also will be televised live to a national audience on Baseball Tonight, airing on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. CDT, immediately followed by the live broadcast of the Opening Night game at 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. CDT. With Fall Out Boy’s performance taking place pre-game, batting practice for both the Cubs and Cardinals will be moved earlier by approximately 30 minutes. Gates at Wrigley Field will open at 4:35 p.m. CDT as a result. "Wrigley Field has always been a magical place to me. In some ways I can chart milestones of my life and growing up there – from going to see Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg play, to going with the my dad to the one of the first night games they ever had there, to the first time I took the ‘EL’ there on my own for a game with my friends," said Pete Wentz, Fall Out Boy bassist. "When our band all lived in an apartment together in Roscoe Village, we used to pass out fliers for shows at the Metro after games. It has been a lifetime dream to get the chance to play at Wrigley Field. We are grateful to MLB for the opportunity and so excited to perform for our hometown crowd."
I'll give credit to Pete Wentz. He's a celebrity who's a genuine Cubs fan, a guy from the neighborhood. This makes the game even more of an "event" than it was already.
Baez 2B, Russell SS, Bryant LF, Soler RF, Rizzo 1B, Olt 3B, Castillo C, Jokisch P, Szczur CF
Kris Bryant gets his first start in the outfield. Javier Baez, Addison Russell and Jorge Soler get their turn to show the ESPN audience what they've got.
Calhoun RF, Trout CF, Pujols 1B, Cron DH, Aybar SS, Iannetta C, Joyce LF, Featherston 3B, Giavotella 2B
The Angels bring over many of their regulars for this game.
Eric Jokisch gets the call for the Cubs. Others on the Cubs' pitching list for this game (not necessarily in this order): Drake Britton, Justin Grimm, Jason Motte, Zac Rosscup, Neil Ramirez, Brian Schlitter and Blake Parker.
Jered Weaver will start for the Angels.
Today's game is on ESPN. It's also on cubs.com with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie.
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 6 p.m. CT and 7:30 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.