Keegan Thompson is staring for the Cubs in one half of Friday’s split-squad affair as the Cubs face the Brewers at American Family Field of Phoenix. This is the young righty’s second spring start, the first of which came back on March 21, as he prepares for what will probably be a bullpen role in Chicago. With the news that Wade Miley has been shut down for at least 10 days with elbow pain, however, Thompson could be more of a hybrid pitcher.
Clint Frazier brings his elite bat speed to the leadoff role as he plays left, followed by Rafael Ortega in center and Willson Contreras behind the plate. Jonathan Villar is the third baseman, Michael Hermosillo is in right, Alfonso Rivas is at first, and Ildemaro Vargas is the second baseman.
Greg Deichmann serves as the DH in his fourth Cactus League game and Ed Howard mans short in his fifth game. The young man known as Silk was 2-for-2 back on March 27 to notch his only two spring knocks, but he has struck out just once in six at-bats. Rather than damning with faint praise that’s a very good sign for someone who posted a 30.1% K-rate at low-A last season.
The Cubs are facing righty Luis Perdomo, who has looked very good this spring across four appearances. He isn’t likely to go very deep in this one, though, so expect to see quite a few Brewers pitchers in this one.
You can expect to see several Cubs pitchers as well, with Jonathan Holder, Ethan Roberts, Manny Rodriguez, Adrian Sampson, and Rowan Wick scheduled to throw. Three of those are very likely going to break camp with the big club when camp ends.
First pitch is set for 3:10pm CT on Marquee Sports Network.
Ed. note: An earlier version of this indicated the game was at Sloan Park, which was the result of our intrepid author failing to drink enough coffee or pay attention to the location.