SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — It looks like it’s going to be a while before we see Ben Zobrist in a spring game:
Ben Zobrist admitted his back started feeling stiff a week before arriving to the Cubs’ spring training complex last week and reiterated he hopes to take live batting practice sometime next week.
“They’re just taking me slow and want to make sure I’m good before they put me in any games,” Zobrist said Saturday, emphasizing he wasn’t feeling any pain but merely stiffness.
Zobrist, 36, has been hitting off a tee in the batting cage, but manager Joe Maddon advised him to progress slowly.
“Back tightness is something you can be careful with in baseball,” Zobrist said. “So we’re just trying to be careful and not push it when we don’t need to, especially when I’ve got some miles on my body. So there’s no need to push and try to push and put extra miles on them right now when I don’t have to. That was Joe’s recommendation.”
It was anticipated that Zobrist would fill a reduced role this year, perhaps getting 350-400 at-bats. This hasn’t been characterized as a “setback” — not yet, anyway — but even though we’re four-plus weeks away from Opening Day, it would not surprise me to see Zobrist begin the year on the disabled list.
Here are today’s particulars.
Happ CF, La Stella 2B, Schwarber LF, Gimenez C, Navarro 1B, Bote 3B, Young DH, Zagunis RF, Freeman SS
Panik 2B, McCutchen RF, Posey C, Longoria DH, Pence LF, Sandoval 3B, Jensen 1B, Tomlinson SS, Hernandez CF
Jen-Ho Tseng will start for the Cubs. Other Cubs pitchers on today’s list: Shae Simmons, Randy Rosario and Daniel Camarena.
Madison Bumgarner gets the call for the Giants. Among scheduled Giants relievers today is our old friend Pierce Johnson.
Today’s game is on cubs.com with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie. It’s being televised by NBC Sports Bay Area with the Giants announcers. I’m not attending today’s game so will watch this TV broadcast with all of you. It’s always interesting to hear the opposing team’s announcers view of the Cubs.
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.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Please visit our SB Nation Giants site McCovey Chronicles. If you do go there to interact with Giants 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.
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 Day.
Discuss amongst yourselves.