SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Two years ago, did you ever think you’d read something like this about Tommy La Stella?
La Stella — a Jersey wise guy who’s into meditation — fist bumped reporters at the end of a quick interview. A Chicago Sun-Times headline had already called this “one of the greatest comebacks in Cubs history.” La Stella appreciated the comeback from the front office.
“It was awesome,” La Stella said. “That’s what it’s all about, man. Top to bottom, it’s cultivating that all-together type of mindset. They’re as much a part of this as we are. We all kind of need to have that synergy.”
After La Stella went home instead of going to Iowa late in 2016, it seemed as if he’d written his baseball epitaph. But after much conversation between him, management, and visits to a sports psychologist, TLS is now back, a valued member of the team, and the article above (from The Athletic, $) is about his taking Theo and Jed’s parking spaces and their retaliation by making him take fielding practice wearing a polo and khakis. All in good fun, and it seems, as TLS said, the team has an “all-together type of mindset.” That’s great, and TLS seems to have accepted his role as a valued bench player on the Cubs.
Good stuff. This team is not only talented, but very close. And that’s a good thing.
Here are today’s particulars.
Happ DH, Schwarber LF, Almora CF, La Stella 3B, Gimenez C, Navarro 1B, Bourjos RF, Court 2B, Freeman SS
And, there’s TLS in the lineup tonight, at third base.
Lindor SS, Kipnis 2B, Ramirez 3B, Encarnacion DH, Alonso 1B, Chisenhall RF, Gomes C, Zimmer CF, Upton LF
That’s Melvin Upton Jr., who did not play in the major leagues in 2017. He’s in Cleveland camp as a NRI.
Jose Quintana will start for the Cubs. Relievers on the Cubs list today: Dillon Maples, Jen-Ho Tseng, Dario Alvarez, Shae Simmons, Duane Underwood Jr., Craig Brooks, David Garner and Alberto Baldonado.
Trevor Bauer gets the call for the Indians. Other Indians pitchers tonight: Nick Goody, Dan Otero, Matt Belisle, Zach McAllister, Ben Taylor and our old friend Jeff Beliveau.
Today’s game is on WGN-TV with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. It’s also on cubs.com with Mick Gillispie. The TV broadcast will be live on MLB Network (except in the Chicago market).
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 Indians site Let’s Go Tribe. If you do go there to interact with Indians 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 7 p.m. CT and 8:30 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.