The regular season is just two days away, but the Cubs lineup is still peppered with regulars in their last tuneup before breaking camp for Chicago and various affiliates. Michael Rucker has looked good in five spring training appearances, striking out 11 in eight innings of work and allowing just two earned runs. The righty will face a Rangers lineup that features Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, so he’s got his work cut out for him.
Rafael Ortega leads off in center for the Cubs, followed by Clint Frazier in left and Patrick Wisdom at third. Alfonson Rivas is at first, Michael Hermosillo is in right, and Ildemaro Vargas is at second. Catcher John Hicks bats seventh, then it’s Luis Vazquez at short and Cole Roederer at DH.
This is Roederer’s first live action of the spring as he recovers from Tommy John surgery last year, but he’s played a little on the backfields and reports that his arm feels stronger than it did before reconstruction. He’s not assigned to an affiliate yet, which means he’ll be sticking around in Mesa for a little more rehab work before being given the green light, but this is great to see.
First pitch from Surprise Stadium is at 2:05pm CT on 670 The Score and Marquee Sports Network.