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Cubs vs. Padres at Peoria preview, Friday 2/28, 7:40 CT

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The Cubs play under Friday night lights.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

There was an interesting article about Cubs Rule 5 pick Trevor Megill by Sahadev Sharma in The Athletic Thursday. In it, Sharma talks about Megill hitting 95-97 in an outing earlier this week, then details some of the work the Cubs did with him in their Pitch Lab over the winter:

Megill certainly has a deeper understanding of the data and tech that’s become prevalent in organizations across baseball. And while he says he’d already embraced all these concepts, is familiar with tech like Rapsodo and Trackman and considers himself a “progressive thinker” when it comes to the science of baseball, he still didn’t have a full grasp of it all until he joined the Cubs.

“People have explained it to me, but not to the great depths this front office has shown me,” Megill said. “They’ve really, truly helped me understand the fastball, slider and curveball I have. They’ve helped me know what it feels like when I’m doing it right.”

Megill said the Cubs were able to explain these often complex ideas to him “perfectly” and “in the language I can understand and really digest.” Not every player has to understand all these concepts, they just need to be willing to take to the coaching and be willing to adjust when needed. But for Megill, the data from his one session in the Pitch Lab allowed him to understand why the spike curve could help him.

The Pitch Lab has had great results already for the Cubs bullpen. Kyle Ryan, Rowan Wick and Brad Wieck all improved their games after time spent with the Pitch Lab, and hopefully this can do the same for Megill. If so, he might have a real chance of sticking with the Cubs on their Opening Day roster. As noted by Sharma:

As a Rule 5 pick, Megill either has to make the Cubs roster out of camp (and remain there all season long) or be offered back to his previous team, the San Diego Padres. With all the work the Cubs have already invested in Megill, they’d prefer not to see him flourish with another organization. The Cubs aren’t going to force him onto their roster if he’s not ready, but they’d also like to avoid losing him. If it comes down to it, they could agree to a trade with San Diego in order to keep Megill and utilize his remaining options, but that’s a situation they won’t have to face for a few more weeks.

He’s a guy worth keeping an eye on — and he’s hard to miss, at 6-8, 235. He’s not on tonight’s pitching list, but I would expect to see him in a spring game over the weekend.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Baez SS, Heyward RF, Contreras C, Kipnis 2B, Almora CF, Descalso DH, Miller LF

Most likely, at least the first six players in this lineup will be in those spots on Opening Day in Milwaukee.

Padres lineup:

Tatis SS, Grisham CF, Machado 3B, Hosmer 1B, Naylor LF, Myers RF, Profar 2B, Mejia DH, Torrens C

This is quite a few of the Padres regular players in tonight’s lineup, as well.

Tyler Chatwood will start for the Cubs. Cubs relievers scheduled today: Jeremy Jeffress, Ryan Tepera, Rex Brothers, Jason Adam, James Norwood and Brock Stewart. This will be the first spring outing for Jeffress as a Cub.

Former Brewer Zach Davies will go for the Padres. Padres relievers: Craig Stammen, Drew Pomeranz, Michel Baez, David Bednar, Dauris Valdez and Steven Wilson.

Today’s game is on the Marquee Network. Here is a complete channel guide for all the providers currently signed up with Marquee. Note that it is possible some of these channels might not be up and running right away. This is new to all of us and I would anticipate glitches. Hopefully it all gets squared away by Opening Day, including a Marquee deal with Comcast.

At last, there will be Cubs radio for this game, on 670 The Score. The audio link is at the Mediacenter link below. If you are in the San Diego area, the Padres radio broadcast is on KWFN 97.3.

This game will be rebroadcast on MLB Network at 11 p.m. CT.

MLB.com 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 MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

Please visit our SB Nation Padres site Gaslamp Ball. If you do go there to interact with Padres 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 7:35 p.m. CT and 9 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.