Ian Happ will lead off for the third time in five games when the Cubs take on the White Sox at Sloan Park this afternoon. After homering from the right side against Madison Bumgarner in his last game, Happ will flip around to face righty Carson Fulmer.
Kyle Schwarber will bat second and play left (without a knee brace), followed by Willson Contreras behind the plate and Tommy La Stella at DH. Victor Caratini will handle first base as Anthony Rizzo sits, with David Bote holding down the other corner spot.
Mike Freeman looks to continue in his role as spring training hero as he plays short yet again, while Chesny Young makes up the other half of the double-play duo. Jacob Hannemann will be out in right to start this one off.
Outside of the top of the order, the real story (inasmuch as that’s even fair to say about such an early game) is Jon Lester making his spring debut. If things go according to plan, the elder statesman of the rotation could be set up to take the bump when the season opens in Miami in late March.
And the best part about this game is that it’ll actually be televised live on WGN, though that doesn’t really help the folks outside of the immediate Chicago area. Oh well, everyone can still listen to the Cubs radio broadcast on MLB.com or to the Sox broadcast on WGN 720. First pitch from Sloan is at 2:05 CT.