In my view, Jason Kipnis has played well enough to be the Cubs’ Opening Day second baseman.
But manager David Ross says the competition is still open:
“It really is a wait and see,” Ross said. “Kip’s having a good spring. David Bote’s doing well. Nico’s continuing to get his at-bats. ... And we’ll continue to work on their defense. I’m a big proponent of defense. I like taking away hits and runs. That’s a big one for me. So, we’ll just continue to watch that.”
You’ll notice who is NOT mentioned in that quote — Daniel Descalso, though he is mentioned earlier in Jordan Bastian’s linked article. As we know, spring stats are generally meaningless, but Descalso looks particularly bad at the plate: 1-for-14 with six strikeouts. That’s pretty much what he did most of last year.
You’ll note in today’s lineup (below) that Descalso is playing left field. Descalso has played 49 career games in left field, but has not started there since 2017. Maybe they’re showcasing him for a possible trade? We can only hope.
Here are today’s particulars.
Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Baez SS, Caratini C, Almora CF, Bote 2B, Descalso LF, Cuevas RF, Giambrone DH
Moustakas 2B, Votto 1B, Galvis DH, Akiyama CF, Barnhart C, Ervin RF, VanMeter 3B, Garcia SS, Payton LF
Unfortunately, the Cubs will miss old friend Nick Castellanos:
Jesse Winker is out sick today. Nick Castellanos is expected to play tomorrow after he was ill for a few days. #Reds— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) March 4, 2020
Tyler Chatwood will start for the Cubs. Cubs relievers today: Craig Kimbrel (making his spring 2020 debut), Kyle Ryan, Trevor Megill, Brock Stewart and Caleb Simpson.
Tejay Antone will go for the Reds. I swear I am not making these opposing pitcher names up. Other Reds pitchers today: Raisel Iglesias, Amir Garrett, Cody Reed, Michael Lorenzen, Sal Romano, Robert Stephenson, Nate Jones and our old buddy Pedro Strop.
Also of interest (note, time listed is ET):
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 Marquee deals with Comcast and YouTube TV, among others.
Radio today: Via the Reds flagship station, WLW 700, online. Also over-the-air in the Cincinnati area.
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.
Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter. If you do go there to interact with Reds 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.