Ben Zobrist leads off at second base, Kris Bryant is at third, and Anthony Rizzo is handling DH duties this afternoon. Javy Báez will clean up at short, followed by Kyle Schwarber in left and Willson Contreras catching.
Jason Heyward is in right, Victor Caratini is at first, and Albert Almora Jr. is in center. This feels like the kind of lineup we could see during the regular season, with the exception of the DH. You get the feeling Joe Maddon is settling into a three-headed leadoff monster of Zobrist, Almora, and Ian Happ, though whether and how long that sticks is an open question.
Yu Darvish will be on the mound to face his old team, so we’ll see whether he makes good on the claim that he was going plunk Joey Gallo and Rougned Odor. Rather than a serious threat, Darvish’s joke was further indication of how comfortable he is this spring. That has shown up on the mound so far as he’s touched 97 mph and displayed comfort with the breaking stuff.
This outing should see him go at least into the 4th inning and the hope is that his control and command are dialed in enough to let him do so efficiently. First pitch from Sloan Park is set for 3:05pm CT and you can listen via MLB.com.