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Cubs vs. Rockies at Mesa preview, Thursday 3/7, 2:05 CT

The Cubs face their 2018 wild card opponent for the first time in 2019.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

MESA, Arizona — Today at, Jordan Bastian has an updated 25-man roster prediction.

I think this pretty well has it right, and he notes, as I did in Wednesday’s game recap, that Tyler Chatwood might be nailing down a bullpen spot with his solid outings:

The original roster prediction included Tony Barnette, and the righty remains one of the top candidates to nab the eighth spot. With three weeks to go, we’ve swapped Barnette out and put Chatwood in. Chatwood is the biggest domino for the Cubs’ bullpen makeup. He’s being stretched out as a starter and wants to be a starter, but there is no room at the inn as things currently stand. So, unless an unforeseen health issue emerges, Chatwood will either be in the bullpen or pitching for another team come Opening Day. So far, the righty has looked solid in his Cactus League appearances.

The intriguing thing there is “pitching for another team.” You can be sure that scouts have been watching Chatwood throw and they likely are reaching the same conclusions we are: that Chatwood has revamped his pitching motion to the point where he can be effective. Perhaps the Cubs can trade him. They might have to eat part of the contract to do so, but maybe they can get at least some salary relief out of such a deal.

As always, we await developments.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Happ CF, Zobrist 2B, Bryant 3B, Schwarber LF, Contreras C, Heyward RF, Russell SS, Caratini 1B, Hoerner DH

Nico Hoerner starts in a big league spring game for the first time.

Rockies lineup:

Blackmon RF, Desmond CF, Dahl LF, Reynolds 1B, Iannetta DH, Valaika 3B, McMahon 2B, Murphy C, Hampson SS

Jon Lester will start for the Cubs. Cubs relievers today (in alphabetical order): Brian Duensing, Brandon Kintzler, Dillon Maples, Dakota Mekkes and Junichi Tazawa.

Antonio Senzatela goes for the Rockies. Other Rockies pitchers scheduled today: Mike Dunn, Carlos Estevez, Scott Oberg, Seunghwan Oh, Jesus Tinoco and our old friend Wade Davis.

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 Rockies site Purple Row. If you do go there to interact with Rockies 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.