So here's the deal. I wrote this preview before I left for the ballpark and at that time, the Cubs had not announced the roster move to make room for Adam Warren to start this afternoon's game.
I am going to assume it'll be Spencer Patton optioned to Iowa. While I'd like to see the Joel Peralta Experiment end, he's a favorite of Joe Maddon's and I suspect he gets a reprieve.
If I'm wrong... well, so be it. In any case Warren will be added to the 25-man roster and by starting today, he will become the first pitcher other than the original five-man Cubs rotation to start a game this year.
There also hasn't yet been a roster move announced for the reactivation of Tommy La Stella, but I'm guessing Jeimer Candelario will be optioned.
That leaves the Cardinals as the last 2016 team that's had only five starting pitchers this year.
There could be rain this afternoon at Wrigley Field. Here's WGN's weather radar to help you keep track.
Here are today's particulars.
Zobrist 2B, Bryant RF, Rizzo 1B, Contreras LF, La Stella 3B, Heyward CF, Russell SS, Montero C, Warren P
Cozart SS, Hamilton CF, Votto 1B, Duvall RF, Suarez 3B, Phillips 2B, Peraza LF, Barnhart C, DeSclafani P
Adam Warren made 17 starts for the Yankees last year, 14 of them in April and May, three more in September. Some were pretty good, others not. He made two starts at Iowa preparing for today. One start was pretty mediocre, the other (five innings, three hits, two runs, no walks, three strikeouts) decent. He threw 73 pitches in that second one, on June 30. This year against the Reds he has two relief appearances covering two innings, in which he allowed one hit and no runs, a small sample size. His only other outing vs. the Reds was in 2014, and no current Reds player has more than one career at-bat against him.
In short: Who knows?
Anthony DeSclafani missed the early part of this season with a strained shoulder. He's been very good since his return to the major leagues, though: five starts, 1.78 ERA, 1.286 WHIP. The last time he faced the Cubs was September 30, 2015 in Cincinnati, where the Cubs hit him pretty hard. That was a post-clinching game, so... again, who knows?
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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The 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.