Ian Happ will lead off and play center Friday afternoon in Mesa, followed by Javy Báez at short and the scorching-hot Joc Pederson in left. Kris Bryant cleans up at third, Jason Heyward is in right, David Bote is at second, and Eric Sogard is the DH. Matt Duffy handles first base and P.J. Higgins rounds out the lineup at catcher.
Jake Arrieta is on the mound for the second time this spring, but it’s his first start at Sloan Park. That means Cubs fans will actually get to watch him live as he gets ready for a season that will look quite a bit different from his first go-round in Chicago. While Arrieta doesn’t have the velocity that helped make him the most dominant pitcher on the planet in 2015, he’s craftier and may be making some changes to mitigate what he’s lost.
Penciled in to follow Arrieta are Joe Biagini, Juan Gámez, Jake Jewell, Craig Kimbrel, and Keegan Thompson. It’s important to be realistic about spring results, but Kimbrel has only been touching 95 so far and he’s piped a few fastballs that have been tagged for homers. You really want to see that velo tick up a few notches along with elevating the heater.
As a special treat, Pat Hughes will be doing the play-by-play for Marquee Sports Network. If you aren’t at the TV or don’t get Marquee, you can also listen to the 2:05pm CT game on 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 12, 2021