Chicago Cubs Lineup (3/13/21): Sogard Leads Interesting Order, Alzolay Starts

Eric Sogard is leading off again and playing second base for the Cubs, which is either a sign that he’s got the inside track to a roster spot or just a matter of ensuring he gets enough reps to see what he’s got. Willson Contreras bats second and catches, Nico Hoerner is at short, and Cameron Maybin cleans up in center.

Ildemaro Vargas, whose name describes how you may feel after getting your COVID vaccine, is at third. Rafael Ortega is the DH, Matt Duffy bats seventh in right, Nick Martini is in left and Alfonso Rivas handles first base duties batting ninth.

Maybe having Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javy Báez all out is a sign that Jed Hoyer is planning to hold Extension Fest ’21 back in Mesa. That sure would be fitting when the rest of the team returns from Surprise. Get it? Because that would be a surprise.

Adbert Alzolay is making his second start and third overall appearance after a relief outing he’d like to forget. Over 1.1 innings back on March 7, the righty looked nothing like himself as he gave up five runs on four hits and two walks. Sometimes spring outings go like that as pitchers work on specific aspects rather than trying to get outs.

Unless that pitcher is Craig Kimbrel, whose velocity and location have left a whole lot to be desired. You won’t see him in this one, and not only because it’s not on TV at all. Slated to follow Alzolay in some order are Dillon Maples, Tommy Nance, Michael Rucker, Kohl Stewart, Robert Stock, and Jerry Vasto.

First pitch is set for 2:05pm CT and will only be broadcast via the Royals’ radio station.

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