SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Well, this ought to be interesting.
Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel were the principals in the Cubs' biggest trade last summer, the one that sent them to the Athletics for Addison Russell, Billy McKinney and Dan Straily.
Russell will be helping the big-league Cubs very soon, McKinney perhaps in a couple of years, and Straily (along with Luis Valbuena) brought Dexter Fowler in trade from the Astros. And Hammel's back in a Cubs uniform after signing a free-agent deal.
That's a pretty good haul. Kudos to Theo & Co.
Meanwhile, Shark has been named the White Sox' Opening Day starter (with Chris Sale unavailable due to an injury from which he's recovering). And today, he'll face his former teammate Hammel; both pitchers should be on target to throw five innings, perhaps even six.
The game is sold out. I'll predict right now it has a chance to break the all-time single-game spring attendance record that the Cubs set March 6 -- 15,331.
Here's the rest of today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Coghlan LF, Soler RF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Alcantara 3B, Montero C, Hammel P, La Stella 2B
Except for Mike Olt, that very possibly could be the Cubs' Opening Night lineup (the players, at least, if not the batting order).
White Sox lineup:
Eaton CF, Ramirez SS, Cabrera LF, Gillaspie 1B, Garcia DH, Shuck RF, Flowers C, Beckham 3B, Johnson 2B
As noted above, Samardzija and Hammel are today's starters.
For the Cubs, additional pitchers on today's list: Phil Coke, Gonzalez Germen, Felix Doubront, Blake Parker, Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop (not necessarily in that order, and you'll note that one pitcher -- Germen -- who's already been reassigned to minor-league camp, is on the list).
Today's game is on CSN Chicago with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. It's also on cubs.com with 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 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.