David Ross will miss the third game of his managerial tenure due to flu-related tummy issues, so bench coach Andy Green continues to steer the ship as the Cubs look to push their Cactus League record back above the .500 mark. They’re at Peoria Stadium to take on a Mariners squad led by lefty Marco Gonzales, a solid performer who throws five different pitches with nearly equal frequency.
Kris Bryant leads off at third base, followed by Anthony Rizzo at first and Javy Báez at short. Steven Souza Jr. is cleaning up in right with a southpaw on the mound, Albert Almora Jr. is in center, David Bote is at second, and Josh Phegley is catching. Robel Garcia at DH and Ian Miller in left round out the bottom of the lineup.
With the exception of the bottom third here, this is the kind of lineup we could expect to see when the Cubs face lefties. Souza and Bote in particular figure to be in platoons this season as Manager David protects Jason Heyward and perhaps Jason Kipnis.
Adbert Alzolay is on the mound for the Cubs, so watch to see if he tries to work his new-look changeup into the abbreviated outing. He’s throwing it with more of a four-seam grip now, though these early outings are sometimes about little more than dialing in fastball location.
As for the relievers, the Cubs have righties Dan Winkler, Ryan Tepera, Casey Sadler, Rowan Wick, and Brock Stewart listed on the lineup card. Also listed is flame-throwing righty Manuel Rodriguez, who was a surprise addition to the 40-man roster despite having zero experience above A-ball. The 23-year-old can light up the radar gun, so check him out if you can.
Marquee Sports Network will have the broadcast of the 2:10pm CT start, but those of you still without access or following from work can get the audio on MLB.com or the At Bat app. As of post time, DirecTV, ATTNow, and Uverse customers are still unable to authenticate to watch live through the Marquee app.
Ross remains on IL: pic.twitter.com/Yxyb22EFEO
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) February 24, 2020