A few days ago, I posted this primer on several rule changes instituted for Spring Training this year. These changes are largely to help keep players, staff and fans safe as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the MLB protocols for spring games is:
Games that occur from February 27 (or 28) through March 13 may be shortened to seven-inning games or five-inning games upon mutual agreement of both managers. Games that occur on or after March 14 shall be nine-inning games (and, upon mutual agreement of both managers, can be shortened to seven-inning games).
It appears most, if not all, Cubs spring games in 2021 will be seven innings, per manager David Ross:
Spring training games this year are 7 innings, unless managers from both teams agree to 9 or 5.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) February 28, 2021
Ross said plan for now is to stick to 7 inning games, with known exception of a TV game that will be 9.
That “known exception” is most likely the game this Wednesday, March 3 against the Mariners at Sloan Park. That game is being televised nationally by ESPN (no blackouts), and I would guess the network asked for a full nine-inning game.
But for the others, that makes a great deal of sense, particularly since there’s no minor-league camp being conducted concurrently with the big-league camp. Thus there won’t be the guys with no names on their jerseys available to play the last couple of innings of the MLB spring games.
This is fine with me, and I’m glad they are being pro-active and letting people know this ahead of time.
In other Cubs spring news, here are the pitchers for Monday’s game at Peoria against the Padres:
#Cubs pitchers scheduled vs. #Padres tomorrow (3/1): Kyle Hendricks, Shelby Miller, Joe Biagini, Rex Brothers, Tyson Miller, Trevor Megill, Brendon Little— Al Yellon (@bleedcubbieblue) February 28, 2021
And here is Monday’s lineup:
Ross said his Monday lineup at Padres will include: Rizzo, Contreras, Pederson, Baez, Maybin, Bote, Vargas, Miller, Higgins (DH).— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 28, 2021
Chris Paddack will start for the Padres.
On Tuesday for the Mesa home spring opener, Adbert Alzolay will start for the Cubs against Jakob Junis for the Royals.