The Cubs open their Cactus League slate Saturday afternoon as they welcome the Giants to Sloan Park. This is going to be one of those contests in which the regulars might get one or two plate appearances, but it’s just great to have baseball back. Even if the individual performances don’t matter much in the early going, these games will have meaning in terms of the players — specifically pitchers — getting used to the new rules.
Marcus Stroman will get a chance to test drive the pitch clock as he takes the bump for the Cubs. He has typically been willing an able to go deeper in his early outings than most of his colleagues, so that bears watching here. Adrian Sampson will be the next man up as he vies for the fifth rotation spot.
The lineup features a cast of regulars, with Nico Hoerner leading off at second base in what may be a preview of the regular season. Dansby Swanson bats second at short, Ian Happ is in left, and Seiya Suzuki cleans up in right. Trey Mancini hits Fifth as the DH, Cody Bellinger is in center, and Eric Hosmer is at first. Patrick Wisdom will handle third base and Yan Gomes bats last as the catcher.
Update: Suzuki has been scratched due to left oblique tightness and is undergoing further evaluation. The lineup will all bump up one spot and Brennen Davis will bat ninth in right.
First pitch is set for 2:05pm CT on Marquee Sports network and 670 The Score.
Baseball is back!
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) February 25, 2023