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Cubs vs. White Sox at Mesa preview, Sunday 3/3, 2:05 CT

Eloy’s coming.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

MESA, Arizona — Clouds and rain have left the Phoenix area and it’s again sunny and pleasant in the Valley of the Sun, much better baseball weather. And yes, I know it’s unseasonably cold in Chicago. Time to think baseball, and know that it will warm up enough for baseball in Chicago in just five weeks’ time. (Right? Right?)

We still haven’t seen Pedro Strop nor Brad Brach in game action. They are being “eased in,” according to this article by Jordan Bastian:

Strop is tentatively scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on Wednesday against the Rangers. Brach’s spring debut should be right around the corner as well. Both of those arms -- along with Cishek, Strop and Brandon Kintzler -- will be mixed and matched in the later innings over the first month of the season, while closer Brandon Morrow (right elbow) is on the injured list.

Personally, I am very interested in seeing Dakota Mekkes throw in person for the first time today. He could be a key part of the Iowa Shuttle this year.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Zobrist 2B, Bryant DH, Rizzo 1B, Contreras C, Schwarber LF, Bote 3B, Happ CF, Russell SS, Field RF

Today is Ben Zobrist’s first day playing the field in 2019, he’s been the DH twice before today.

White Sox lineup:

Garcia RF, Moncada 3B, Abreu 1B, Alonso DH, Jimenez LF, Collins C, Anderson SS, Sanchez 2B, Engel CF

Last year when the Sox visited the Cubs, Eloy Jimenez slammed a pinch-hit, two-run homer. Today, he’ll start in left field. It will be interesting to see him match up against Yu Darvish.

Yu Darvish will start for the Cubs. Cubs relievers scheduled today: Tony Barnette, Dillon Maples, Dakota Mekkes, Carlos Ramirez, Junichi Tazawa and Mike Zagurski.

Manny Banuelos will go for the White Sox. Other Sox pitchers today will include Aaron Bummer, Ryan Burr, Jace Fry, Kelvin Herrera, Jimmy Lambert and Juan Minaya.

Today’s game is on No TV today. Gameday

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 Mediacenter for today.

Please visit our SB Nation White Sox site South Side Sox. If you do go there to interact with White Sox 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.