The Cubs are back at Sloan Park Saturday afternoon to celebrate Leap Year with sort of a B lineup. Ian Happ leads off in center, with Nico Hoerner seeking his first hit of the spring as he bats second and plays short. Kyle Schwarber is in left, Steven Souza Jr. is in right, and Victor Caratini is behind the dish.
David Bote is at second, Hernán Pérez plays third, Josh Phegley is the DH, and Robel Garcia handles first base duties. Who knows what they’ll be able to do against the Brewers and righty Freddy Peralta, but there are certainly some things to watch for. For instance, the infield configuration is interesting in light of the Cubs’ roster decisions.
Yu Darvish is feeling better than ever heading into his third season with the Cubs and the early reports are that he’s pitching better than ever as well. He says he’s hitting upper 90’s with the fastball, which he’s been working away to lefties more intentionally than before. Even greater comfort with the spike curve should make his insane basket of pitches that much more potent, but working the splitter a little more could really amp up his game.
First pitch is set for 2:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network, with Brewers audio available via MLB.com. If you’re among those without access to Marquee, MLB.tv is offering a free trial week and doesn’t black out spring games. So rather than waiting on your provider to work out a deal, just get the games for free here in the meantime. When the trial runs out, set up a new sub with a different email.
Brewers-Cubs at Sloan Park. Peralta vs. Darvish: pic.twitter.com/bbq5VsDSmB
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) February 29, 2020