The Cubs have what can most generously be described as an interesting lineup in the earlier of their two split-squad affairs today. Daniel Descalso leads off at second base, with Albert Almora Jr. in center, Javy Báez at short, and Steven Souza Jr. at DH. Victor Caratini is catching, Hernán Pérez is in left, Alfonso Rivas plays first, Robel Garcia is in right, and Zack Short rounds things out at third base.
Descalso is currently 2-for-18 with a pair of singles and seven strikeouts to three walks, so he really needs to make something out of what should be at least three plate appearances. A single game won’t determine his future, of course, but he has yet to pull out of the nosedive that began last May.
Kyle Hendricks will be on the mound looking to extend his five-inning scoreless and walkless streaks to open the spring. The righty has been touching 89 mph already, indicating that his offseason workout regimen may produce slightly higher velo numbers this season. He already has the two-seam working and he’s locating everything really well, setting him up for that 1a role in the rotation.
First pitch from Goodyear Ballpark is set for 2:05pm CT with 670 The Score on the radio coverage. This one will not be televised because Marquee Sports Network is in Vegas for the other half of today’s split-squad action.