SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Generally, teams in the Cactus League play each other twice a spring, once at each team's park. The other day I mentioned the Cubs will play the Reds five times this spring (once in Mesa, twice in Goodyear and twice in Las Vegas).
The Rangers are the other side of that coin -- the teams won't play in Mesa, so this is the only Cubs/Rangers meeting of 2017... unless they play each other in the World Series. Which is entirely possible, as the Rangers are a strong contender in the American League.
I'm skipping the trip to Surprise again and so will be watching on TV with all of you.
Here are today's particulars.
Baez 2B, Almora CF, Contreras C, Russell SS, Candelario 1B, Szczur RF, La Stella DH, Hannemann LF, Kawasaki 3B
Most of the regulars have the day off again, so they don't have to take the long bus ride to Surprise. Anthony Rizzo has been taking BP, and should be back in the lineup tomorrow:
#Cubs Rizzo says he expects to play Monday vs Angels— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 5, 2017
Rizzo says back problem isn't a big deal. Wanted to play Saturday and was told to take another day off. #Cubs— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 5, 2017
Also, this will be Javier Baez' last day in Cubs camp before he leaves to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic:
Javier Baez to join Team Puerto Rico on Monday. #Cubs— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 4, 2017
Gomez CF, Choo DH, Mazara RF, Napoli 1B, Odor 2B, Lucroy C, Rua LF, Middlebrooks 3B, Alberto SS
On the other hand, the Rangers have most of their regulars in the lineup for their home crowd.
Jon Lester will start for the Cubs. Other Cubs pitchers scheduled: Alec Mills, Caleb Smith, Justin Grimm, Koji Uehara and Wade Davis.
Nick Martinez gets the call for the Rangers. Other Rangers pitchers scheduled: Adam Loewen, Wesley Wright (hello old friend!), Brady Dragmire, Anthony Bass and Dario Alvarez.
Today’s game is on 670 The Score with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer. It’s being televised by Fox Sports Southwest with the Rangers broadcasters, and available on MLB.tv. There will be a TV rebroadcast on MLB Network at 7 p.m. CT.
Please visit our SB Nation Rangers site Lone Star Ball. If you do go there to interact with Rangers fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.
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 2 p.m. CT and 3:30 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. There will also be a StoryStream on the front page with all the game thread links, as well as the recap after the game is over. The pitcher boxes and regular-season stats will return on Opening Night.
Discuss amongst yourselves.