The Cubs haven’t won a game in over a week now so, while that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme, it sure would be nice to see them hang a big crooked number this afternoon. It’d be even better if the offensive production came from the regulars rather than having dudes with wide receiver numbers doing all the damage.
Nico Hoerner has been in the leadoff spot when he’s played and he’s back there again at second base, then the Cubs are going with Dansby Swanson in the two-hole after spending a few games batting third. Ian Happ is in left, Trey Mancini cleans up at first, Cody Bellinger is in center, and Yan Gomes is catching. Edwin Ríos is at third, Mike Tauchman is in right, and Matt Mervis is the DH.
Justin Steele is the starter and the goal will be to get at least into the 5th inning as he continues to stretch out. We should see him working with his full bag of tricks as well, so look for a few more changeups being sprinkled in with the fastballs and sliders. Scheduled to follow Steele are Nick Burdi, Michael Fulmer, Bailey Horn, Eric Stout, and Keegan Thompson.
Fulmer is a lock and two of those pitchers were recently trimmed from the big league roster, so the main focus will be on Burdi and Thompson. The latter hasn’t pitched at his best this spring and could open the season in Iowa to sharpen a few things up if he doesn’t improve over the next several days.
First pitch from Sloan Park is set for 3:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 19, 2023